Care Packages complete, MP honours Blankets for T.O.

by Blankets for T.O. on March 27th, 2021

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

As this school year comes to a close, Blankets for T.O. organized the Care Package Event which aimed to donate items to shelters around Scarborough. As we prepared our donations, we also received a visit from local Member of Parliament Shaun Chen, who honoured us with a certificate!

What is the Care Package Event?

The goal of the Care Package Event was to collect numerous items which are often in short supply in homeless shelters and gather them into personalized packages for donation. With the help of the shelter at Warden Woods Community Centre, we chose items that are important for safety during the pandemic, like hand sanitizer and masks, as well as personal hygiene items which are often in high demand. Additionally, our Blankets for T.O. members gave excellent ideas for items to include!

Our care packages were meticulously made by our Blankets for T.O. executive team on March 26th, 2021 while on the University of Toronto Scarborough campus. These care packages were subsequently donated to two shelters around Scarborough, including the respite site at the Warden Woods Community Centre.

Executives pack during the care package event, March 2020
Blankets for T.O. executives are seen packing the care packages for Blanket's for T.O.'s care package event on March 26th, 2021. Photo taken on the University of Toronto Scarborough campus.

What is in each care package?

Each care package is a drawstring bag containing items that are often tough to come by for residents of shelters. Each bag contains:

  • thermal blanket

  • hand sanitizer

  • face masks

  • headphones

  • toothbrush + toothpaste

  • rain poncho

  • adhesive bandages

  • pen

  • granola bars

  • personalized note: our kind members submitted to us messages of positivity and encouragement, which we added in as notes that care package recipients will read. We hope that these words can brighten up their days!

  • a vaccination leaflet: a short and sweet information card that tackles some of the common origins of vaccine hesitancy within the homeless community. We aim to help people in need to better understand vaccines and address their concerns to ultimately promote higher vaccination rates!

In total, we packaged 800 items! This is about 80 care packages in total!

Blankets for T.O. receives a visit from a local MP

Shaun Chen, the Member of Parliament for Scarborough North, came by to the University of Toronto Scarborough to talk to us about our event! We talked about homelessness in Scarborough and explained our plans for events and fundraising.

Co-presidents with Shaun Chen during Care Package Event March 2021
Blankets for T.O. co-presidents stand with MP Shaun Chen (Scarborough North) at the front of the University of Toronto Scarborough Student Centre holding donation bags made for the Care Package Event on March 26th, 2021.

Blankets for T.O. is also honoured to have received a certificate from Shaun Chen's office. The certificate recognizes organization's efforts "to address homelessness by distributing essential items to those in need in the Greater Toronto Area". Our "generosity and acts of care during the COVID-19 pandemic are greatly valued and will significantly impact our community".

Below are photos of our co-founders accepting this special and customized certificate:

MP Shaun Chen gives certificate to cofounders
Pictures of Blankets for T.O. co-founders accepting a certificate from Member of Parliament Shaun Chen during the Care Package Event on March 26th, 2021.

The Care Package Event comes to a close

The Blankets for T.O. care package event was a complete success! We would like to thank the executive team that organized such a daunting event. Thanks to our members for giving us their input about items to donate and offering us help in obtaining them.

Thank you MP Shaun Chen for making our Care Package Event much more special! Blankets for T.O. is always open to working with local community leaders, as well as with politicians, regardless of their affiliation! Want to work with us? Send us a message here.

Keep updated with our latest articles

A pencil, letter envelope, and card are placed next to each other on a blank table.

A letter to an individual experiencing homelessness

July 23rd, 2022
A homeless individual and their dog are seen at a street corner in front of Toronto Union Station. A member of Blankets for T.O. is seen kneeling next to him.

We donated care packages on the streets of downtown Toronto

July 23rd, 2022
A subway train pulls into Spadina Station in Toronto. Photo by Jed Dala Cruz on Unsplash.

Public transit and homelessness

June 17th, 2022