Local businesswoman raises funds for Options Community Services

Jen Temple believes in the old adage that it takes a whole village to raise a child.

And she is particularly interested in helping at-risk youth and families in the community, those who are on the margins and who do not fit into the traditional areas where money is allocated.

That’s why Temple raises funds for the Options Community Services (OCS) as part of this charity Gamechangers 2022 fundraising campaign.

OCS’ goal through the 2022 campaign is to raise over $1 million to seed a long-term fund that will help for years and years to come.

“We are raising $1.5 million to develop a long-term discretionary fund to help young people who need the kind of support that cannot otherwise be provided in a timely manner, if at all, by other agencies or the government,” read a post on the site. SCO website. “This includes financial support as well as enhanced support services and on-demand mentoring.”

As part of the campaign, 50 women signed up to raise $25,000 each. These “women of options” seek community donations to achieve their fundraising goals.

“I signed up to help raise $25,000 for this incredible organization,” said Temple, who manages Hillcrest Village shopping center in Clayton. “Any nonprofit can apply for this particular funding and it makes a difference at the street level.”

She added that the idea is to “create an emergency fund that fills gaps not covered by other organizations or government funding models.”

She said there are many “incredible” organizations in the province that provide much-needed funding to many groups. But OCS has discovered gaps in funding and that’s where they are stepping in to help.

“Some programs don’t start for 24 to 48 hours,” Temple explained. “It can be a game-changer for some of these kids.”

Temple should know. She benefited from a much-needed program funded by OCS when she was in high school and became a teenage mother.

She said some of the stories about the life-changing help provided by OCS touched her heart and encouraged her to reach out to others in an effort to raise funds.

“A young mom was going to school and had a daycare subsidy,” Temple explained. “But she was $300 a month short and she was stuck with a tough choice, either drop out of school and get into the system or try to find another helper.”

Temple said OCS stepped in to cover childcare costs for six months while the new mom completed her dental hygienist program. The woman graduated, found a job and is now taking care of her children on her own.

Another story cited by Temple was one in which a young boy was involved in gangs. As his parents tried to get him out of gang life, gangsters started threatening the whole family of children.

“Even with the police, the city, the gang enforcement unit and many other nonprofits that were at the table, no one had the ability to use their funds to move this family off the land. province,” she explained. “Options used their funds in a critical 24-48 hour period to rent a U-Haul, pack up and take the family out. Now this family has a second chance at life.

Temple said the stories of OCS helping people are all stories of hope.

A third story she told involved a young mother who had run away from an abusive relationship.

“She lived in a very seedy motel, but she had no money for bail, so she was stuck there,” Temple recalled. “She requested a Christmas hamper from Options and when they found out she was living in deplorable conditions, Options was able to help her get back on her feet.”

Temple said the stories are endless.

“I believe with all my heart that it takes a village to raise a child and I want to be part of these children’s villages. They are our future and they need our help.

Not content with raising the required $25,000, Temple asked the Gary and Gail Grelish Foundation to match his fundraising efforts. They agreed. If it reaches $25,000, that means OCS will receive $50,000. This donation will be the very first for the fledgling Gary and Gail Grelish Foundation, a foundation created by Temple’s parents.

Temple’s fundraising page can be found by going to womenofoptions.caclicking on “2022 Gamechangers Campaign”, scrolling down to “Jen Temple” and by clicking on it image. Temple was halfway to its goal as of Sept. 9, reaching $12,500 in donations.

OCS is also pending a fundraising gala September 16 at the Sheraton Guildford. The gala will benefit the Gamechangers campaign. Tickets can be found by visiting womenofoptions.ca and clicking on “Gala”.

The Gamechangers 2022 campaign runs until the end of September.

“It’s a great cause,” Temple added. “When I was young, I needed help. And now I want to help others. There are so many needs. »


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