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Easter Seals amps up online fundraising as equipment requests climb

Click to play video: 'Easter Seals amps up online fundraising as equipment requests climb during coronavirus pandemic' Easter Seals amps up online fundraising as equipment requests climb during coronavirus pandemic
Officials with Easter Seals say equipment requests have been climbing during the coronavirus pandemic, now totalling close to $1 million in Ontario. The organization is now shifting fundraising efforts online after their annual events were postponed. Caley Bedore has more on the need and on a challenge making the rounds online. – May 14, 2020

With children staying home without access to programs and resources during the coronavirus pandemic, funding requests for Easter Seals have been flooding in across Ontario.

The organization, which provides supports for children with physical disabilities, said provincially, current requests for equipment total close to $1 million.

“Families are realizing how ill-equipped their homes are for accessibility needs,” said senior development officer Coralie Jacobs. “Normally the kids are going to programs, they are at school, and now they are home full-time.”

READ MORE: Easter Seals Telethon in Peterborough raises $101,000 for children with disabilities

The Easter Seals annual telethon was postponed due to COVID-19. That fundraiser was expected to pull in about $80,000 for the organization.

Typically, that money would go to sending kids to fully accessible camps. Now, those sessions have also been cancelled for the summer.

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“We have shifted our focus online so we can still provide for the families and are now looking at those in-home priorities,” said Jacobs.

To do that, Easter Seals has teamed up with Century 21 in Ontario to launch an online fundraising campaign, coined the 21 Times Challenge. It encourages people to complete a challenge involving the number 21 and, in turn, challenge friends to do the same, while getting a suggested pledge of $21.

“People have been doing 21 pushups or skipping or bouncing a ball on a tennis racket 21 times,” said Jacobs. “It is just something fun and an interactive way to support the community.”

Jacobs said more than $30,000 has been raised through the campaign.

The annual Easter Seals telethon has been postponed until Sept. 13. Meanwhile, you can visit the Easter Seals website if you’d like to get involved with the 21 Times Challenge.

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