This profile originally appeared in the 2021 Giving Guide. Read the full magazine here.
In recent years, the Catholic Centre for Immigrants (CCI) has aided thousands of Syrians and Afghans settle in their new home and become full members of Canadian society. CCI provides settlement and integration support for newcomers, especially refugees fleeing war and persecution. We help them find long-term housing and employment. We help arrange language and trauma counselling. CCI has been welcoming newcomers to Canada since 1954 and is committed to serving all immigrants and refugees regardless of their religious affiliation. The Catholic Centre for Immigrants Foundation, established in 1997, raises funds for CCI from a variety of sources such as individual donors, faith communities, and other organizations.
At a glance:
Year founded: 1997
Total revenue for last fiscal year: $367,158
Top funding sources:
- Religious orders & churches: 17%
- Individuals and memberships: 27%
- Grants: 53%
- Other: 2%
Geographic region of focus: National Capital Region and Eastern Ontario
How you can help
The Foundation raises funds for CCI programs such as mental health counseling or organizing social and sporting activities for young people.
Donations allow us to help groups who want to undertake the challenging yet important task of sponsoring refugees to come to Canada. CCI has helped church and private groups bring more than 1,000 refugees to our city. Groups look to CCI for help with the complex process of sponsorship. CCI has the expertise to help refugee families integrate and settle into their new homes after they arrive.
Our Skating Program has been introducing newcomers to the Canadian pastime of ice skating for over 14 years. Newcomers can try skating on City Hall’s Rink of Dreams.
Youth mentorship and school support is also an important aspect of CCI’s services. We assist young people with homework clubs, job-seeking skills, resume preparation, and educate them on how to present themselves effectively during their job searches.
Life in a new country can be daunting and frightful and CCI has a team of volunteers to offer friendship and advice. Parents with children in the school system may be unfamiliar with how the education system functions. Newcomers and volunteers can share cooking, music, and stories. Often volunteers and their “matches” remain friends for years.
Other volunteer activities can include conversation circles to practice English or French, sewing clubs, cooking sessions, etc. CCI’s goal of building a strong community relies on creating a welcoming community for both long-time residents and recent arrivals.
As a member of the Local Agencies Serving Immigrants coalition (LASI), we help connect talented newcomers to employers in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. We partner with employers to help them meet their labour market needs by understanding their business requirements, finding, and pre-screening internationally trained newcomers and offering cross-cultural training.
Events and fundraising
Monthly giving: CCIF welcomes donations at any time. Giving monthly ensures the stability of funding for programs, allowing us the flexibility to allocate funds as best needed.
Planned giving: Leaving a gift to CCIF in your will is a way to ensure your legacy and commitment to Ottawa continues. We can work with you to create an effective and meaningful plan.
Company giving: Many organizations have directed corporate giving. If you are contributing to a company-wide program, many times you can direct your gift to a charity. Many organizations choose a single charity to support annually. We offer presentations on the work CCI does and its value to the economic wellbeing of our society.
Special appeals: As a front-line agency CCI is often called on to help in extraordinary circumstances. In 2015, CCI helped over 2,000 Syrian refugees settle in Ottawa. In late summer of 2021, CCI was involved in settling Afghan families into Ottawa. We know when we reach out to the community, people respond generously to support those in critical need.
Board members and executives
CCIF & CCI Executive
President, Board of Directors
Retired Public Servant
CCIF has been mandated by CCI to raise $1.5 million to fund programming that is not funded from public sources. CCI has an annual budget of $10,137,654. With current revenue of $367,158, CCIF is actively looking for an additional $1.15 million to fulfil this goal to support CCI’s mission to assist newcomers to realize their full potential in Canadian society.