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Second Annual Belongathon Hits Woodstock

Photo Credit: Xander Wynberg

About 20 people participated in the second annual Belongathon for Karis Disability Services in Woodstock on Saturday.

WOODSTOCK - It was a sea of teal for the 2nd annual Belongathon for Karis Disability Services.

About 20 people participated in the walk in Woodstock on Saturday, which kicked off at The Family Church on Dufferin Street in the afternoon.

Karis is a payment transfer agency under the Ministry of Community and Social Services. David Petkau, the Executive Director for Southwestern Ontario, says it is also a registered non-profit charity that provides support services for people living with developmental disabilities in Ontario and Saskatchewan.

"A large portion of those services are residential in nature but we also provide community access supports and employment supports. We have a host family program, which is a relationship where we will hook up somebody with a developmental disability with a family that will take them in, kind of like a children's foster system but with an adult context."

Karis used to be known as Christian Horizons, with the official name change happening two years ago. That's also when the first Belongathon took place, and Petkau explains what it's all about.

"It is an event that is to raise awareness for building communities where everyone belongs. Of course we're trying to raise a little bit of money too, we've got a goal of raising $90,000 and I think we're well on our way to getting there."

Belongathon events have been taking place across Ontario and Saskatchewan in hopes of raising $90,000 before the end of the month. Over $76,000 had been raised as of this morning.

Petkau adds they have a lot of online resources for people looking for more information regarding Karis or the Belongathon.

"You can go to belongathon.ca or karis.org. Either one of those, you can find links that will help you get to a website where you can not just donate and get involved that way, but just become aware of what we're doing. There is employment opportunities and there is opportunities for volunteerism."

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