For the first time ever, this Sunday’s annual Walk for Kids Help Phone risks not meeting its financial goal, according to the organization’s manager of marketing and fund development in eastern and western Ontario.
“We’re really cognitive to the state of the economy this year, so we’re depending on (donors) to get that extra pledge if they can,” said Clare Wittman. “We can’t sustain our services unless we raise the money here.”
The walk usually raises about 30 per cent of Kids Help Phone’s annual budget.
This year marks the 20th Anniversary of Kids Help Phone, Canada’s toll-free, anonymous and confidential phone and online counselling, information and referral service for kids and youth.
Last year, Kids Help Phone connected with kids from 3,000 communities across Canada more than 2.2 million times by phone and online.
Kids Help Phone spokeswoman Virginia Middleton said that the use of the service has been increasing over the years as awareness has grown.
“Whether it’s an emergency situation, or they’re just having a bad day, kids know there will always be someone to talk to when they call.”
The Ottawa walk starts at Vincent Massey Park and aims to raise $150,000.