2022-2023 Tote Bag Competition

Last updated: February 19th, 2023.

February 19th 2023 Edit: Event timeline and prizes have been updated! We have expanded prizes to 2nd and 3rd place. Event has been extended to mid March to allow more teams to submit.

February 23rd 2023 Edit: Signup and submission deadlines pushed forward by a day to 2nd and 9th respectively.

Brief Overview

The Blankets for T.O. Tote Bag Competition aims to raise awareness for the daily challenges faced by the homeless community during the winter, by having competitors strive to create the most effective tote bag care package. Each participating group, individual, or organization crafts their own creative idea of a tote bag by hand-picking items to include in the package, based on their assessment of the needs of homeless individuals in Toronto. Based on their written or video submission, their tote bag is judged, and the submission featuring the most creative and thoughtful care package will win a prize!


The competition is open to all. A participant can be a single individual or group of individuals. A participant may also choose to enter as representatives of an organization (e.g. company, school, charity, student association or place of worship), provided that you have appropriate approval from the organization or group that you are representing.

Those interested in participating must register via this Google Form by March 2nd, 2023.

Competition Rules

To compete in the Tote Bag Competition, each participant must complete the following by the indicated deadlines.

  1. Register for the competition

  2. Create a suitable care package that would help a homeless individual if donated to them.

    • The care package should contain at least 5 items. Items packaged together into a single kit can be considered as one item.

  3. Submit a written piece OR a short video describing your completed care package to our judges.

    • The written piece or video must be submitted by March 9th, 2023. We will give more details on how to send your submission closer to the deadline.

    • Videos must be shorter than 2 minutes. Written pieces must be shorter than 500 words. Here is an example of what we are looking for. Exceeding the limit will lose you points, so keep your submission short and sweet.

    • Your video or written piece must include the following information:

      • An introduction of you or your group, and why you were motivated to participate in the competition.

      • A brief description of all items selected for your care package and why those items were chosen.

    • Read the "Judging Criteria" section below for more information.

  4. Attend our Tote Bag Competition event at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) on March 16th, 2023.

    • Our event will be held Thursday, March 16th from 5pm-7pm at UTSC, in the Meeting Place (open space next to Starbucks on campus).

    • The winner will be announced during this event. To be eligible to win the competition, the participating individual or group must be physically present at this event.

    • Bring your Tote Bag that you made, so that Blankets for T.O. can help distribute them.

    • There will be food, as well as an opportunity to mix & mingle with other participants.

    • The event will be open to the general public, including any members of the media.

    • Do you want to speak about homelessness at the event as a guest speaker? Contact us!

Judging Criteria

We want groups to express their creativity and thoughtfulness through their selection of items. Each entry is scored on four categories, each with 5 attainable points, and the category scores are summed to calculate a total score out of 20.

  1. Item Quality (0-5 points): Are the items of high durability? How long do they last? Are they protective against the elements?

  2. Creativity (0-5 points): Has there been creative thought put into what items to include? Was there an item included that was not seen in other packages?

  3. Usefulness (0-5 points): Will the chosen items be helpful to homeless individuals? Do the items alleviate a key necessity or address an important issue faced by the homeless community?

  4. Presentation (0-5 points): What is the overall quality of the video? Are all items arranged and shown clearly?

We encourage participating groups to do some research into homeless issues and the conditions faced by homeless individuals in their communities, so that they can guide their item choices with specific ideas and use cases in mind.


Top-scoring submissions will win some awesome prizes:

  • 1st Place: $300 gift card or item equivalent in value

  • 2nd Place: Fujifilm Instant Camera

  • 3rd Place: $75 U of T Bookstore Credit

Questions and Contact Info

Feel free to reach out to Blankets for T.O. via email or social media for any questions and inquiries about the Tote Bag Competition. Find our contact email and social media details here.

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