April 23, 2019 9:32 pm
Updated: April 25, 2019 3:03 pm

West Island Community Shares raises record-breaking $1.3 million

West Island Community Shares staff at the annual funds distribution event. Tuesday April 23, 2019.

Gloria Henriquez / Global News

West Island Community Shares celebrated another successful year of fundraising, breaking its own target with a total of $1.3 million.

“We raised $50,000 more this year than last year, so it’s been very amazing,” said Sophie McCann, the organization’s executive director.

WATCH: WIAIH celebrates 60 years of serving the community

The organization has been helping non-profits reach their goals for more than two decades. The task of raising enough money every year, though, is daunting.

“We are very lucky we have amazing corporate partners like Pfizer, Merck, Tenaquip,” McCann explained, “but we also have very generous donors — some are individuals, some of them are part of foundations — and we organize events.”

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Forty non-profit organizations in the West Island rely on the funds, among them Action Jeunesse Ouest de L’Ile (AJOI), which helps vulnerable and homeless youth.

READ MORE: AJOI raising funds for the West Island’s first youth emergency shelter

“It allows us to hire an outreach worker full-time for a year, so it’s crucial for us,” said Tanya Charron, AJOI’s executive director, of the funds raised.

The money also helps WIAIH provide services for people with intellectual disabilities and autism, as well as their families.

“I think that beyond the amount, it’s just the regularity,” explained Lyne Charlebois, WIAIH’s executive director. “It’s knowing that that’s in the bank year after year and not having to fundraise the amount.”

The fundraising efforts are never really over, though. West Island Community Shares is now focused on next year.

WATCH: Annual West Island Community Shares Breakfast

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