by William Huang on March 14th, 2022
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
In less than a month, Blanket for T.O.'s January Blanket Drive raised over $2250 in donations to help Toronto’s homeless. It was heartwarming and touching to see how many donors pitched into this fundraiser, and it completely shattered our expectations for this initiative. Since the conclusion of the fundraiser, our executive team has been busy organising the distribution of these funds in order to make the most out of this.
With the funds received, we purchased essential supplies and packaged them into 100 care packages for donation to shelters within Toronto. Each care package contained a pair of gloves, a hat, a scarf, a pair of wool socks, pairs of hand and feet warmers, a rain poncho and a thermal blanket. All items were handed out in waterproof and portable drawstring bags. We chose these items because they will offer the best comfort and warmth to the homeless this winter.
We donated these care packages to two shelters, with each receiving 50. The first site was the Homes First Better Living Centre Shelter, located in downtown Toronto with a capacity of 175 residents. Homes First is a non-profit housing provider which runs numerous shelters across the Greater Toronto Area, collectively housing more than 1500 individuals each night through their emergency shelter services. They also provide meal programs, community engagement opportunities and 1-on-1 assistance programs. Learn more about Homes First through their website.
The second shelter we donated to was a Family Residence site located in Scarborough and run by the Shelter, Support and Housing Administration. This shelter can house 52 families and offers children and youth programs, pregnancy support, counselling, and employment workshops. Read more about this shelter and other city-operated sites in Toronto on their website.
Thank you to everyone who donated to the fundraiser and shared it with others! We at Blankets for T.O. are so grateful for your generosity, and we are sure that the shelters and homeless individuals that received these care packages will be as well! Additionally, as we raise awareness for causes of homelessness, including discrimination, systemic inequalities, unaffordable housing and inadequate support systems, we hope that we can build a strong and resilient community to tackle homelessness.