Through Toonies for Tuition we see…
Families who are overjoyed at the news that they can attend a Catholic school next year…
Vital support for struggling small schools trying to make ends meet…
Students learning the importance of giving to those less fortunate…
Toonies for Tuition is so much more than just a fundraiser – it’s a means of supporting our entire mission of Catholic Education.
Promoting the Toonies for Tuition Program remains at the centre of CCSTA’s priorities. Though the past several years have presented many challenges to its growth, we continue to see its invaluable role in preserving and promoting our mission of Catholic Education.
To garner more attention, we rebranded this year and added a theme to give the campaign a fresh look. We emphasized its importance in our social media posts. We created a guide for schools to help fundraising goals.
However, behind-the-scenes is where we see the real stories of Toonies.
We see hundreds of Canadian families wanting to choose a Catholic School for their children – but who are held back by financial restraints. Each year, our Endowment Fund Committee receives letters from across Canada outlining the specific situation of a family in need. Each year the Toonies fundraising covers only a portion of these requests.
Our goal is to continue growing this campaign to ensure every child has the opportunity to be educated in a Catholic school.
We still have a lot of work to do.
“I am involved with Toonies because of the need for assistance in the non funded provinces. The commitment by parents in those provinces to have their children get a Catholic education is inspiring.”Marino Gazzola, Endowment Committee
While our goal is to increase the amount of funds we can give out, the impact we’ve seen from Toonies doesn’t stop at fundraising totals. This campaign has influenced the entire mission of Catholic Education and has become a means of supporting vitally important aspects of its growth.
Here are 4 ways we see Toonies for Tuition making a contribution to the entire mission of Catholic Education.
Maintains Canadian Families’ right to choose their children’s education
If it’s important to the Church – it’s important to our mission of Catholic Education.
The history of Catholic Education in Canada is a fascinating one. For decades, this mission has been fought for and protected by men and women who were convicted of its importance.
From the very beginning, the efforts to protect Catholic schools centred around upholding the rights of Canadian parents to choose the education they wanted for their child. The Church has always emphasized and defended the rights and responsibilities of parents when it comes to educating their families – and the Canadian Catholic School system has always upheld these teachings.
From the Pontifical Council for the Family, charter of the rights of families (22 October 1983):
- Parents have the right to freely choose schools or other means necessary to educate their children in keeping with their convictions…
- The rights of parents are violated when a compulsory system of education is imposed by the State from which all religious formation is excluded.
After years of preserving these rights within Canada, we now find ourselves in a situation where some regions of Canada have lost funding for Catholic schools – removing this fundamental “choice” in education.
For some families who can’t afford private education, that means no choice at all. Toonies for Tuition exists to support these families’ rights.
One of the central themes in Catholic Social Teaching is “Option for the Poor and Vulnerable.”
The Church points out how frequently those without financial means are left without the same choices as the rest of society. To be a true Christian community, we’re called – explicitly – to never tire of protecting the choices of the vulnerable.
As we’ve lost public funding in various areas of Canada, it is our duty to do everything we can to ensure the right to a Catholic education remains equal among families of every socioeconomic standing.
Toonies for Tuition reminds us that the students who are left out of Catholic schools this year are our responsibility- and to care for them is at the heart of our entire mission. To teach our students the importance of this is fundamental to authentic Catholic education.
Creating a deeper sense of community across Canada
We wish you could watch through a window when families receive notice of funding from Toonies for Tuition. It’s often an emotional experience for families to realize that through the generosity of others across Canada, their children can receive the Catholic Education they desire.
The beauty of this experience lies not just in the dollar amount allotted – but in families realizing they are part of an authentically Christian community of people who were willing to shoulder their financial burden to give them an equal chance of the education they deserve.
Though Toonies donors may never know the names of the children they’ve supported – these families know that there are people across Canada who care about their right to choose a Catholic school. Creating a strong community will always be a significant part of our mission. Toonies is playing an important role in allowing all families – regardless of their home province – to feel like they belong.
Enables real lives to be changed by Catholic schools
The total number of students in our Catholic schools has landed somewhere around 800,000 for the past several years. It’s easy to spew that number off in conversations surrounding Catholic Education – or watch it rise and lower slightly as the years change.
However, that number represents a multitude of real human beings who are being given the chance to encounter the Gospel through their education. That number means 800,000 real young people – with searching souls and an unfolding story – who are privileged to have the opportunity to meet the living Christ as He is made known in the halls and classrooms of our Catholic schools.
The students who join our schools through Toonies for Tuition aren’t just another number or a statistic – they’re young people whose lives will be forever changed by the opportunity provided by the campaign.
Toonies for Tuition is allowing this life changing opportunity for many families across Canada. There are young people encountering the Gospel, learning about our Faith, being educated in body, mind and spirit – thanks to Toonies for Tuition.
Supports the school systems in Provinces with no funding
It’s no secret that our non-funded Provinces are home to some incredibly dedicated and generous Catholic educators. Many of our independent Catholic schools charge minimal tuition so families can afford it – and rely heavily on fundraising just to make ends meet from year to year.
When families can’t afford tuition payments, the schools often try to find ways of accommodating them rather than sending them away. However, this often poses one more financial hurdle to these schools which are already struggling just to cover daily operational costs.
Toonies for Tuition plays a role in enabling these small schools to continue – by alleviating some of the financial stress put on them.
This 2022 / 2023 School Year is coming to a close soon and we’re grateful for everyone who has donated to this campaign. Our hope is that everyone involved in Catholic Education across the country would make one small donation to keep this campaign alive to continue supporting our mission across Canada.
““Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love” – Mother Teresa