Park Extension group relies on Centraide
Concordia concert and raffle are ways you can contribute to the cause
Perry Calce leads not a double but a triple life.
Not only is he an administrator at Concordia’s School of Community and Public Affairs, he sits on the university’s Centraide committee and has donated countless hours of his time to many community organizations.
Before joining the Concordia Centraide committee three years ago, Calce put in seven years on the admissions committee at Centraide of Greater Montreal. He is involved with a bevy of groups, including the Centre de santé et des services sociaux de la montagne, where he serves on the board, and the selection committee of La Fondation de maire de Montréal pour la jeunesse.
“Without these community agencies, we would descend into social chaos. People don’t realize how important they are to society,” he said.
“They are the final safety net. They do what government agencies don’t do. They’re a front line service provided by people who really care about people, who want social justice, and care about their environment.”
Calce is president of the Park Extension Youth Organization (PEYO), one such agency that relies largely on funding from Centraide. For nearly 40 years, it has provided a plethora of programs to youth in one of Montreal’s most culturally diverse and financially disadvantaged neighbourhoods.
Its largest initiative is a lunch program that ensures more than 1,100 underprivileged children in area schools have a nutritious meal each day. It also offers sports and activities, among them hip-hop classes, cricket, hockey and fine arts.
Ever aware of the community it serves, PEYO has an innovative program to help children from war-torn countries adjust to life in Montreal.
“They have to mourn what they’ve lost, “said Jo-An Jette, program director at PEYO. These children may have travelled with their families from countries such as Pakistan and Rwanda, and may not speak French or English. They require a safe and secure environment where they can start the healing process.
“We have art therapists who help children release their feelings and frustrations through theatre arts,” Jette said. Some 100 children take part in this program.
“I can tell you that without the $160,000 per year we receive from Centraide, we wouldn’t be able to provide these services,” Calce said.
If you can’t contribute your time, a donation will also help the 340 agencies and projects like PEYO that are funded by Centraide. Concordia faculty and staff have until Dec. 16 to make their tax-deductible gift by using the pledge cards that can be downloaded from centraide.concordia.ca
Campaign co-chairs Kathleen Perry and Miriam Posner say the most convenient and effective way for faculty, staff, and retirees to make a gift is through the automatic payroll deduction system. “If you give 10 dollars every paycheque, that’s the price of a latté a week. That’s something nearly everyone can afford,” Perry said.
Well-known jazz singer Jeri Brown, an associate professor in the Music Department, will be doing her part.
On Nov. 25, the six-time Juno nominee and her quintet will seduce audiences at the Oscar Peterson Concert Hall with a tribute to Nina Simone.
The committee will hold “Days of Caring” on each campus to introduce you to representatives of Centraide-affiliated organizations.
The Loyola Campus day is Nov. 10, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the SP and CJ buildings. The Sir George edition is on Nov. 16 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the library building atrium.
A draw will be held on each campus for an iPod Nano, donated by the Concordia Computer Store. Tickets will be one dollar each or 12 for $10, with all proceeds going to Centraide. Winners will be announced at the end of each day.
Do you have a secret life with Centraide? Tell us about it! E-mail email@example.com