We recognize the need and aim to meet the challenge

Children struggling with poverty at home have a difficult time succeeding in school. They are also at a greater risk for long-term health problems. Children living below the poverty line are more likely to live in problem neighbourhoods. They are more likely to suffer from medical conditions and ailments. Many are not getting the nutrition they need to face each day of learning.

Over 15,000 children in Ottawa visit a food bank at least once a month. Our Foundation strives to offer help to the children in our schools who need it most. By helping provide the basic necessities of life – like food, shelter, and clothing – we can give them a better chance for success. We can help change their future for the better. We can help provide them with what they need to get through the day. 

Our mission

The Catholic Education Foundation of Ottawa (CEFO) is a registered charity whose objective is to counter the effects of poverty on Ottawa Catholic School Board (OCSB) students. We are an independent charitable arm of the OCSB.

All of our proceeds are directed to educational programs, recreational activities, and emergency response funds for impoverished children and their families. 

Our Board of Directors

CEFO’s Board of Directors meets regularly to ensure that the overall mission of the foundation is kept clearly in focus. The Board is comprised of representatives from local community organizations and professional educators who are committed to helping children in our schools living in impoverished circumstances.
Thomas D'Amico, PresidentDirector of Education, Ottawa Catholic School Board
Carrie Bowie, ChairSecondary Principals' Representative, Ottawa Catholic School Board
Cathy Philpott, Vice-ChairCommunity Representative
Shelley Donnelly, TreasurerManager of Finance, Ottawa Catholic School Board
Trustee Mark D. Mullan, DirectorChairperson, Ottawa Catholic School Board
Trustee Luka Luketic-BuyersTrustee, Ottawa Catholic School Board
Shelly Lyonnais, DirectorElementary Principals' Representative, Ottawa Catholic School Board
Michele Pierce, DirectorOECTA Representative
Roxeanne Marberl, DirectorCatholic School Parents' Association of Ottawa (CSPA)
Denis Belanger, DirectorKnights of Columbus Representative
Deacon Fred Jardine, DirectorArchdiocese of Ottawa, Diocesan Representative