The Ontario Public Service, including government ministries, crown agencies and the OPP, has a long history of generosity and giving. We see it as one more way to serve and support our fellow Ontarians and it has always been a fundamental part of our core values as public servants. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Federated Health Charities campaign. What began with a small group of charitable OPS employees raising money for the Canadian Cancer Society has grown into one of Canada’s largest workplace giving campaigns. Those employees had no idea the scale of what they were creating, and how one small fundraiser would grow to help hundreds of thousands of people and families across Ontario every year.
Today, the Federated Health Charities campaign helps fund 21 different health charities and the critical programs, services, medical research and health education they support in communities across Ontario. Since 1983, the campaign has raised over $54 million dollars for the health of our communities and loved ones. This success is built on the hard work, generosity and dedication of Ontario’s public servants. I am truly honoured to be a part of this important legacy and to stand with the many generous provincial employees who have given their time, skills, and money to this initiative over the last 40 years. This year’s campaign is one of celebration. We should all be proud of the history of the Federated Health Charities campaign – whether this is your first campaign or your 21st, this legacy belongs to all of us.
In the coming weeks, ministries, agencies and the OPP will be launching their individual campaigns. As we all continue to grapple with the impact of the last three years, I can tell you that the charities that rely on the funds they receive from Federated Health Charities are also struggling to rebuild and regain the ground lost to the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds raised by this campaign make a difference in the lives of tens of thousands of people, including friends, family members, and countless of our colleagues throughout Ontario. Last year, Ontario’s public servants responded with compassion and generosity to the challenges facing our charities by giving more than $1.5 million to the Federated Health Charities campaign. I hope I can count on you again this year.
The funds raised by this campaign allow prevention, education, and awareness work to be done across the province and they allow millions of dollars to be invested in the finest research to work toward cures and improved treatments so that every person affected by one of these diseases has the best chance possible for recovery. Those with pre-existing health conditions have been some of the most severely affected by the pandemic and they depend on the services provided by our charities. We want to make sure those services are available to them in their time of need.
Please join us in our efforts this year as we continue the traditions of those who came before us. This campaign is a testament to the fact that every idea, effort, and donation counts. We wouldn’t be here today, celebrating our 40th anniversary, if one small group of employees hadn’t decided to run with one small idea and raise a small amount of money for one charity. Perhaps it felt small at the time, but it turns out they were making history.
Assistant Deputy Minister
Ministry of Transportation