With COVID-19 restrictions lifting across the province, one Halifax non-profit is giving supporters an opportunity to get back out to local restaurants while supporting families in need.
Dine Out in Support of Family SOS is a food lovers’ dream, offering the chance for raffle ticket buyers to win $2,300 worth of gift cards to Halifax eateries. Money raised from the raffle go straight to supporting Family SOS programs.
“I’d say our motto is ‘helping families where they are,’” says Family SOS Fund Development Lead Katherine Ryder-Burbidge. “So that could be anything from virtual parenting programs to food support or given the last year, navigating a global pandemic.”
Family SOS has been serving the Halifax community for more than 42 years. The child-centered organization works to build strong and positive families, offering free programs like in-home parenting support, teen mentoring and helping new Canadians navigate their new home. Their goal is to empower families to gain confidence, improve health and well-being and self-sustainability.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a tough fundraising environment for non-profits. Like many other non-profits struggling to fundraise during COVID-19, the staff at Family SOS had to get creative when planning how to secure much-needed funds. Over the past year, they have hosted a golf adventure raffle and a wine sale to fund their programs.
Typically, the organization hosts its annual Courage to Give Back Awards. The in-person fundraiser celebrates those who give back to the community while inspiring others to do the same. Hundreds of supporters attend the gala event and in past years, over $140,000 was raised to support local families.
The event was cancelled in 2021 because of COVID-19 and the team at Family SOS recently made the difficult decision to cancel the gala again in 2022 due to on-going pandemic concerns.
Dine Out is another example of how non-profits like Family SOS have to continue to be resourceful and find new ways to encourage the public to help them raise funds without hosting large gatherings.
The raffle includes some of Halifax’s top restaurants and Family SOS hopes it will not only support local families, but also drive business to the participating restaurants who may have been struggling during lockdowns and restrictions since last year.
“This is a wonderful, wonderful event and if you are a foodie…the list is an A-1 list,” says Ryder-Burbidge. “After such a hard year for the hospitality industry, a lot of these restaurants stepped it up and offered us more than we requested in terms of gift cards and I can’t thank them enough.”
Dine Out in Support of Family SOS raffle tickets will be available to purchase until Tuesday, July 27. The draw date is July 29 at noon. Ryder-Burbidge says it’s no coincidence the draw is happening before a long weekend.
“Very conveniently, it’s just before the August long weekend and patio season is upon us so it’s time to get out and dine.”
To learn more about Family SOS and to purchase Dine Out in Support of Family SOS raffle tickets, visit their website at www.familysos.ca.