Despite the lockdown, 100 Men Who Care Ottawa has raised $7,105 for Empathy House for Recovery. That’s the largest amount the organization, which was founded in 2014, has ever brought in for a single charity. What’s more, it was all done digitally.
Empathy House is a ten-bed residential empowerment program offering treatment and shelter to women in recovery. Established in 1978, the organization serves women with addiction, abuse, mental illness and other vulnerabilities.
The pandemic has resulted in an unprecedented demand for services at Empathy House while also saddling the organization with significant, unexpected expenses for personal protective equipment.
When 100MWCO realized it could not hold its quarterly fundraiser in May because of the lockdown, the steering committee came up with a solution: Identify a single, deserving charity and put all its efforts toward that organization. Empathy House was chosen because it is a small organization providing vital support to vulnerable women, who have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, and because it has limited fundraising capabilities.
An online campaign quickly ensued. That included an invitation to all members to attend a special Zoom meeting on May 20 to replace our cancelled get-together earlier in the month. Patrizia Wand-Mayville, the executive director of Empathy House, joined the Zoom meeting and spoke about the crucial work her organization does for women in our community.
By May 27, 100MWCO had topped the $7,100 fundraising mark.
That same day, Ms. Wand-Mayville sent a note of heartfelt appreciation, in which she noted, “Your donations to support the women at Empathy House and our front line healthcare workers is making a huge difference. Together with100MWC, and all of us here, we are making these times is a bit brighter with hope for a better future. Thank you for your kindness during this global pandemic.”
Ron Smith, the chair of 100MWCO, said, “These are demanding times with so much need and many of our members are being effected personally too. This was a wonderful team effort and decision to support a woman’s shelter.”