SAULT STE. MARIE -- COVID-19 has resulted in charities losing millions of fundraising dollars. With most physical events being cancelled for the summer, organizations have been forced to find new ways to host fundraisers.

In November, the Sault Area Hospital Foundation started selling 50/50 tickets. The results were decent with monthly prizes ranging from $27,000 to $50,000.

Tickets were sold online and in person. When Covid hit, the foundation had to cancel in person ticket sales and staff were expecting the worst.  

"We had projected that our prices may decrease in size." said Logan Costa, Communications and Development Officer with the Sault Area Hospital Foundation.

"But our draw actually doubled in size."

In the three months since the pandemic first started, the foundation has made $350,817.50 from ticket sales.

Each month, a new record for ticket sales has been set.

"We are very lucky that we had this started when the restrictions came into place and we were ready for it in that sense," said Costa.

"We never expected this would be our main fundraiser. It just kinda happened."

The foundation just cancelled its most successful fundraiser of the year, the 5 Car Draw. The draw raised more than $4.2 million in thirty years for the foundation.

The local hospice is also struggling to reach its yearly fundraising goal. Seeing the success that the hospital is having, Algoma Residential Community Hospice (ARCH) started its own 50/50 draw.

With its regular fundraising events cancelled, the organization is also relying on community donations more than ever before.  The community is stepping up. 

"So we’re grateful for how our 50/50 is going." said Christianne Monico, Executive Director of ARCH.

"We’re grateful to the unions, to social clubs that are doing other things for us. Catch the ace is out there. The steel workers have stepped up among other community members."

A couple of months ago, ARCH was down 64% in donations compared to the same time period in 2019. 

Monico said the community has helped to shrink that number in half during the pandemic.