Local residents are invited to experience a new way to give back with the Mosaics of Hope fundraiser, running through March 20th at Parkland Mall.
Previously known as ‘Shades of Ambition’, this event provides a unique opportunity for charitable organizations in Central Alberta to raise funds for their programs, organizers say. This year marks the sixth year for the fundraising event, said Marketing Director Melody McKnight.
The participating charities this year are The Red Deer SPCA, Red Deer Regional Health Foundation, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Red Deer and District.
Participating charitable organizations each begin with a black and white mural, which will be on display in the mall for three weeks. Members of the public can then purchase a tile from any of the participating organizations for a $5 donation. Each group has 750 tiles to sell during the three-week period.
“It’s an exciting opportunity for the mall to give back,” said McKnight. “For every tile sold during the event, Parkland Mall has committed to matching those donations. That means each charitable organization has the opportunity to receive up to $7,500 when the event wraps up on March 20th. And for a lot of these groups, that’s a significant amount of money for them to assist their programs and make some positive changes in our community.”
McKnight said that a couple of key changes were made last year.
“First, we changed the name to better reflect what the event is about,” she said. It was also getting harder for some of the smaller non-profit organizations to participate because they couldn’t always provide enough volunteers to cover the entire three-week stretch of the campaign.
“So we changed it to where there is just one week of volunteers from each organization. Even though you can purchase tiles for any organization at any time, they each have a week where they are featured on the radio ads and they provide the volunteers for that week and promote themselves for that specific week as well. It’s then a lot easier for them to participate.”
For example, this week the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation is being promoted, but if someone wants to buy a tile for the SPCA, that’s not a problem and the Foundation volunteers can take care of that particular request. Some folks opt to buy a tile for all the organizations, said McKnight, adding said there were 10 organizations that applied to be part of the fundraiser.
Mosaics of Hope is also a great way to bolster awareness about the various organizations taking part, she said. Folks often stop by the murals and chat with the volunteers about the causes they are representing.
“From my days at a non-profit, I found that matching funds was always the way to go. For example, anytime the government matches funds for something, people step up and donate – it really resonates with people. We thought we would try that and it was successful – every group last year sold out their mural. We are hoping for the same this year.”
Meanwhile, Parkland Mall will hand out cheques at their Mosaic Reveal Event on March 20th, where each participating charity will get to showcase their final mosaic and be presented with a donation from Parkland Mall equivalent to the number of tiles that were sold.
For more information about Mosaics of Hope, visit www.parklandmall.ca.