Local charities team up to help underprivileged families in Montreal

Underprivileged Families in Montreal - food baskets

Speranza MTL, an organization supporting Montreal’s underprivileged and at-risk groups, and Ray Of Light Canada, an organization raising funds and awareness for autism, have teamed up on a fundraising campaign to assist Montreal families who are struggling financially. Inspired by their mutual desire to help families during this especially difficult year, the two charities wanted to make an immediate impact and give struggling families a chance to make ends meet during the epidemic.

Through a GoFundMe campaign and individual family sponsorship, the initiative raised close to  $15,000 in the first two weeks. The funds directly impact individual families in whatever capacity they need it most. Overdue hydro bills and rent have been paid, and boxes of food have been given as well as grocery gift cards. Almost $3,000 was allocated to John Grant High School’s Christmas Basket Program.

Some of the families receiving assistance have been on the brink of being evicted from their homes. “Seeing the difference we have already been able to make in these families lives has been incredible,” said Pina Di Basi of Speranza MTL. “One grateful mother said she felt like she had won the lottery.”

A portion of the funds raised has been allocated to families with children with special needs. “Many who know me know that being a mom of two kids on the autism spectrum is definitely not easy,” said Charlotte Flannery, founder of Ray of Light Canada. “However, I’ve been blessed this year, despite the pandemic. I felt I had to do more to help families that are struggling financially.” 

The go-fund me page is now closed, but the team is still looking to match sponsors with families. Assistance includes everything from purchasing a child’s snowsuit and boots to helping with bills or rent. Donors can be matched with a family and choose to be in contact with that family directly, or they can allow Speranza MTL take care of the details. Speranza means ‘hope’ in Italian, and the two charities are definitely hoping to help the Montreal community far beyond the holiday season.

About Speranza MTL:

Founded in 2019 by Pina Di Blasi, Sabrina Mendaglio and Amanda Izzi, Speranza MTL started a campaign this time last year to raise funds for the Old Brewery Mission. Through their GoFundMe campaign as well as through corporate sponsors they were able to raise $7,000 in cash funds and grocery gift cards. Additionally they collected 100 bags of clothing, as well as a donation of seven pallets of long johns, socks and underwear to the homeless shelter. Social responsibility and diversity are very important, and Speranza MTL is committed to contributing to community growth with respect to diversity, equality, and the needs of all.

About Ray Of Light Canada

After her two children were diagnosed with autism, Charlotte Marie Flannery embarked on a mission to raise awareness about the disorder, as well as to raise funds for several autism charities. What started as an autism awareness jewelry collection to raise funds for Trails Of Summer, a day camp for children with special needs in Montreal’s West Island, has turned into a support network for special needs families as well as additional fundraising efforts, including the Ariana’s Sparkle Project benefiting Autism Speaks Canada.

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