JSS Challenge Receives Overwhelming Community Support
Yuko Sorano, Board member
On Sunday June 13, 2021, we hosted our first JSS Challenge, a walk/run fundraiser to raise awareness about our services and to support our operations. In the pre-pandemic times, JSS would join the Toronto Challenge, a similar charity event organized by the City of Toronto. When this event was cancelled amid the Covid restrictions, we decided to turn the loss into a new opportunity by organising our own challenge virtually. The Board and staff set up a small team of runners and walkers and started inviting participants and soliciting financial contributions.
The participants “met”, via zoom, at 10 am that Sunday morning for a brief get-together. We then went on to walk or run individually in our respective areas of our choice, returning an hour later for a celebration (again virtually). It was mostly sunny, not too hot nor too cold, an ideal Sunday morning for the occasion.
The outcomes of the JSS Challenge were beyond what we could have expected; the team expanded to 33 individuals, collectively recording 166.51 km in distance. The Challenge raised $19,195, which is nearly four times the amount we had set as our initial goal. We had individuals of all ages from children to seniors, and some participated as families or in groups. As for donors, some were long-time friends of JSS while others were new to the JSS circle.
As a board member and participant of this initiative, I was touched by the warm support from the community. They support us because they want to help those we serve in our community; it is a reminder that JSS and our services exist thanks to our supporters, that we must continue our work.
Thank you all for supporting the JSS challenge. A special thank you goes to our major contributors: Mrs. Junko Yamamoto, Mr. Marty Kobayashi and Mr. Tak Yoshida, as well as the Japanese Gospel Church of Toronto team for your generous support. For those who participated in the walk/run, we sincerely appreciate your dedicating an entire Sunday morning to our cause. Thank you.