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At the invitation of Jeffrey Hanger, Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF) Representative, Diocese of Edmonton, people interested in the work of PWRDF came together virtually on Zoom, in February.

“One of things I like about PWRDF is its ability to respond to change,” said Hanger. “It works with partners on the ground in a huge number of countries to respond to emergencies and assist communities with long-term development.”

St. Mary’s, Ponoka, Hanger’s home parish, has held several events, including themed activity nights, in support of the work of PWRDF.

Many people at the virtual gathering said that, although they have donated to PWRDF, either individually or as a parish, there is not currently a PWRDF rep for their parish. Limited time and energy, coupled with declining and aging membership were cited as barriers to involvement.

On the flip side, one couple said their parish in Edmonton has welcomed “an influx of young families and lots of kids” in the last few years. They asked about resources for young people and little ones that could be used in Sunday school and for kids’ talks. They also inquired about activities that parishes have done in the diocese and across the country to raise funds.

Some people recalled promoting awareness and raising funds with dinners, and Christmas card sales.

“I’ll do what I can to help you feel comfortable and confident talking about PWRDF, a charity making a global impact,” said Hanger.

He noted that the PWRDF has a youth wing made up of representatives from ecclesiastical provinces across Canada. Leah Marshall, of St. Andrew’s, Camrose, was a recent Rupert’s Land youth council rep from the Edmonton diocese.

Kinsley Hanger, the youngest member taking part in the Zoom discussion, said she found a magazine published by the PWRDF for young people “interesting and fun.”

Suzanne Rumsey, Public Engagement Program Coordinator, and Anslim Hameed, Donor Relations and Fundraising Facilitator for the PWRDF, joined the discussion and gave an overview of the organisation. Rumsey said the PWRDF has been connecting Anglicans in Canada to people in need since 1958, when a coal-mining tragedy in Springhill NS prompted Anglicans and other Canadians to respond with assistance for the stricken families. Since the Springhill Mine disaster, the organisation has expanded its efforts here in Canada and around the world by working with partners, such as the Canadian Foodgrains Bank and the ACT Alliance.

When a disaster happens, the PWRDF works with the dioceses affected by the emergency to disburse the funds. In western Canada, PWRDF has helped raise funds for wildfire response, and cultural programs in support of Indigenous mothers and families.

Members of the diocese joined the discussion from Jasper, Ponoka, St. Albert, and Edmonton. Canada’s shortage of affordable housing and Edmonton’s homelessness crisis were top of mind for many people. Rumsey said PWRDF that although the PWRDF has not yet directly responded to this nationwide crisis, the Anglican Foundation of Canada may be able to help with funding for specific projects aimed at helping unhoused people.

Hameed manages a crowdfunding platform that enables people to set up an online giving page in celebration of a personal milestone. This is one way people can raise funds for a specific cause. To learn more, please email Anslim Hameed at .

Ideas for parish activities, such as hosting a reconciliation workshop or holding a PWRDF Sunday can be found on the “PWRDF at Church” section of the organisation’s website:

Parishes can contact Hanger for resources, or simply order what they need, free of charge, on the PWRDF website:

If you are interested in becoming a representative for the PWRDF in your parish, please email Jeffrey Hanger at .