A big thanks to our friends at the Leaside Toy Drive for your indispensable contributions not only in feeding hundreds and hundreds of families every month but also in the overall creation of the new food bank in Thorncliffe Park, the TNO Food Collaborative.
Without the generosity of the corporations you reached out to and the overwhelming support of the people in Leaside and Davisville Village, these families would have gone hungry over the first wave of the pandemic. While we pray there is not a second wave, at least now thanks largely to you, we have solid infrastructure in place to feed our community (we are already the third largest member of Daily Bread Food Bank!).
We would not have gotten here without Team Toy Drive. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all your contributions and lasting relationships, which allow the food bank to be sustainable. Most of all, though, thank you for all your time and for being side by side with us during the dark and desperate early times. We did not know what to do and you gave us the knowledge, support, and motivation to keep going.
We know you will need to work harder than ever in this difficult year to raise funds to buy and deliver gifts for all the primary school children in our community. Please know that you can count on our support to be side by side with you to help you reach your goal.
This article was contributed by Aamir Sukhera, Trades Centre Coordinator at The Neighbourhood Organization.
by The Leaside Toy Drive
Thanks to Aamir for his kind words regarding the Leaside Toy Drive’s efforts to help establish the TNO Food Collaborative, but it is he and his TNO team who are the real heroes. And while we are proud of our contributions, we also want to acknowledge the generosity of the entire Leaside and Davisville Village community as well as the incredible work of individual volunteers such as Leaside Life’s own Susan Scandiffio.
Through our collective efforts, we have generated more than $275,000 in both in-kind and cash donations. Further, we have left the TNO Food Collaborative with many sustainable processes and business relationships with food manufacturers like Agrocrop, which donated over 50,000 lbs. of lentils, and Coca-Cola Ltd., which donated 86,000 Minute Maid juice boxes as well as retailers like Loblaws Redway, among many others.
Because of the pandemic, we know that physically hosting 150 people at the Leaside Pub is not viable for our fundraising event this year. We are investigating other ways to raise funds to continue our tradition of giving gifts to more than 4,000 children this December. Additional details will be shared in the coming weeks via Leasidetoydrive.ca.
Our first step to bridge the gap is to launch our GoFundMe campaign much earlier (link to GoFundMe campaign is on Leasidetoydrive.ca), with an ambitious goal of raising $10,000. For this to be a success, we of course are leaning on the residents and businesses of Leaside and Davisville Village to generously support our campaign. Finally, we would like to extend a request for assistance on corporate donations. We thank the generous people at Spin Master who have provided incredible toys for the children for the last two years. We look forward to working with them again. If your company is able to donate or you have a contact who may be able to help, please reach out to us at Leasidetoydrive@gmail.com as we would love to work with more great corporate partners to deal with this growing need.
Thank you once again for your ongoing support!
Mayor John Tory offers his congratulations on this initiative! Read his letter below: