MIDLAND, ON (20 October 2023) – Martyrs’ Shrine reveals today the results of its inaugural Thanksgiving Food Drive event that took place during the period of September 15th through to its closing date on October 9th. A total of $10,000 was raised in support of local food banks.
Martyrs’ Shrine had committed a portion of its Gate and Shrine Shoppes revenues throughout this period to support local area food banks for the holidays. Additional financial contributions came flooding in from Shrine visitors looking to support the initiative.
Each weekend throughout this event the Shrine offered family-friendly activities, live entertainment, prizes and store discounts. And, thanks to local Highway 93 Tim Hortons franchise owners and philanthropists Janet and Kimberley Trude, complimentary snacks and beverages were also available to visitors. Prizes were co-sponsored by local area attractions – the Wye Marsh and Sainte-Marie among the Hurons.
Image: Koustov Panda, Fr. John O'Brien, S.J., Catherine MacDonald (Midland), Sharon Mortiboys (Victoria Harbour), Kathy Patullo (Penetanguishene), Kimberley Trude (Tim Hortons), Alexis Lamoureux.
This event has been very successful. Martyrs’ Shrine had seen nearly a 30% increase in visitor traffic compared to the same period last year and visitors had been pleasantly surprised by the gesture of the event in actively supporting the local community.
“It appears to be a cause near and dear to people’s hearts,” says organizer Tyler King, Manager of Marketing and Communications for the Shrine. “Visitors have all expressed their sincere appreciation for all those involved as well as have expressed best wishes for all of the families who will inevitably benefit from the initiative this year.”
The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, which manages foodbanks in Midland, Penetanguishene and Victoria Harbour, has been selected as the beneficiary. They provide food and financial assistance on a non-discriminatory basis regardless of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation. All of their services are provided by volunteers and they receive no federal or provincial funding.
“It is with immense gratitude that Midland, Penetanguishene and Victoria Harbour Saint Vincent de Paul Societies accept the Martyrs’ Shrine’s contribution of $10,000. This initiative to raise funds reflects their awareness of the direct and essentials needs of our community. Especially, just as all three Societies are planning on how to provide Christmas assistance.
It is known that unforeseen circumstances can lead to food shortage and a desperate need to meet rent/mortgage, utility payments. Saint Vincent de Paul helps cover some of these emergency expenses by operating food banks in Midland, Penetanguishene, and Victoria Harbour. Emergency shelter funding has been provided, payment of overdue utility and medical expenses sometimes covered, depending on the Society’s financial situation at that time.
In 2022, generous donations assisted the Saint Vincent, Midland in covering the $51,000 cost of providing food vouchers and gift cards so families can purchase presents for their children. This was only possible with big-heartedness of donors such as the Martyrs’ Shrine and others in the surrounding area.
We are extremely grateful to Martyrs’ Shrine and each and everyone one of our donors. We trust everyone will continue to give what they can and how they can so we may continue to do our work by serving the most vulnerable.”
- The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul Societies
“The Shrine wishes to thank everyone who has supported them and the local area this season. The dividends certainly are still paying out to support local families and our community. Without the ongoing commitment from each and every one of the Shrine’s visitors and benefactors, none of this would have been possible,” King says. “Martyrs’ Shrine wishes everyone a happy and healthy holiday and Merry Christmas season ahead and challenges everyone to reach out and assist someone in need this year.”
Martyrs’ Shrine is now closed for the season and will reopen to the public on the first Saturday in May, 2024. For details, please visit www.martyrs-shrine.com.
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Martyrs’ Shrine, Canada’s early church, is a national holy and historic space honouring the lives of the Canadian Martyrs. The Shrine celebrates a nearly 400-year-old story of love and discovery that inspired and influenced the formation of Canada as we know it today. The Shrine is a ministry of the Jesuits of Canada. This ‘house of prayer, home of peace’ honours the Jesuit missionaries and their companions who lived, worked, and died here in the lands of the Wendat (Huron) back in the seventeenth century. Martyrs’ Shrine is located just outside of Midland, Ontario, in the Heart of Georgian Bay. Nearly 100,000 visitors from around the world visit the Shrine for prayer, healing and fellowship each year.