HOPE worldwide Canada

Giving A helping hand in Toronto

Our Toronto Chapter has recently rolled out a care program to help members of their community experiencing homelessness.

Volunteers from the chapter gave out personal care packages on Sunday at Allan Gardens in downtown Toronto. Each package had a selection of essential personal hygiene products, safely packed and sanitized.

Thank you to all the supporters who donated items and the volunteers who came out to serve while practising strict social distancing habits.

 

If you wish to donate personal hygiene products for the next distribution in a few week’s time, please call (647) 328 2192 or email drphil.osagie@hopewwcanada.org. Items that are desperately needed include toothpaste, toothbrushes, hand/body lotion, soap, face towel, shampoo, and face masks.Thank you in advance!

Spreading Kindness to those Experiencing Homelessness During A Crisis

 

As the Coronavirus pandemic is spreading its impact all across Canada, HOPE worldwide Canada is also spreading acts of kindness, especially to the needy and most vulnerable.

The Toronto Central, East and West chapters   had a special Easter outreach at St Stephens Community House, located in downtown Toronto, and Dixon Hall located at Danforth Avenue. Between them, they served over 400 people experiencing homelessness daily.

We handed over 55 handmade mats, 200 special hygiene products, 100 single use medical gloves  and 100 pairs of outdoor socks.

The idea was to distribute items that were needed the most by homeless persons and also tie it to Easter as a special show of love and offer them a ray of hope.

Milk bag mats offer people without beds, an invaluable, durable and washable alternative to sleeping on the often cold and damp ground. They have also been used by health-care professionals as a make-ready substitute for an operating bed/table where resources are scarce.

The mattress mats are made of recycled milk bags. Each mattress is made of approximately 420 milk bags, with a lifespan of approximately 25 years. They are also waterproof, bug-proof and can be easily cleaned and dried.  The  initiative was originally championed by Angela Kesthely and her Milk Bags Unlimited organization.

The making of the mats is truly a labor of love. The mats are made by cleaning and flattening the milk bags, cutting them into strips, looping them into a chain formation and then weaving them onto a loom. Each handmade mat can take as much as four hours or more to complete.

One teenager Tyannah Brown, made three mats from her home.

The mats for this initiative were made in 6 households in Durham and also sourced from another milk mat weaver in the GTA. Looms and milk bags were dropped off at the various locations to ensure social distancing.

Barb Panter, Manager, Housing and Drop-in and Homelessness Services and Francine Freeman, Director of Development for Community Services  at St. Stephen’s Community House, were deeply appreciative of the Easter show of love by Hope worldwide Canada.

The next outreach and distribution of essential items for the poor is being planned at Good Shepherd.

If you are in downtown Toronto, Mississauga, Oshawa, Ajax or Pickering and would like to volunteer with one of our chapters, please send an email to communications@hopewwcanada.org

Toronto volunteers bring joy to the homeless on their national day of service

Some of the volunteers from the Toronto chapter who came to bring joy, and gifts, to the homeless.

It’s never too late. Although our National Day of Service was officially in June, the Toronto Central chapter held their event last Saturday, July 14.  It was a huge success.

The dedicated volunteers in Toronto went out and touched the poor and homeless in downtown Toronto in a very special way.  They started preparing sandwiches and packing personal hygiene items like toothpaste and soap early in the morning. 

Its never too early to show kindness and give practical help.

The personal care hygiene packages and sandwiches and water were given to the poor and homeless in Moss Park, downtown Toronto, and surrounding areas. This area has a high concentration of homeless people who spend the day in the park from nearby shelters. 

People with mental health challenges, addiction issues, the homeless and people living in extreme poverty at times cannot afford to buy basic hygiene items that most Canadians take for granted.

Our volunteers not only handed out the items, they engaged in meaningful conversations with the poor and the homeless. It was not just a “give and go” program. The volunteers felt the need to engage the poor, share their love, and touch their hearts.

Ekua Kariuki, one of the volunteers, commented; “Things like deodorant, proper toothbrush, toothpaste, body lotion and shampoo that the rest of us take for granted are considered luxury items for people living on the streets or in extreme poverty.”  

 

The homeless in Moss Park and surrounding neighborhood who received the packages expressed gratitude to the volunteers for their generosity and thoughtfulness.

The National Day of Service is held once a year as a day set aside to raise awareness for the poor and give back to the community in a special way.

Please Donate Coats, Gloves and Food for Toronto Winter Drive 2017

 

It’s that time of the year again, when we collect donations for the poor and homeless.  Here is a special message from the Chapter Director for the Toronto Central chapter, Phil Osagie;

“To help homeless people in Toronto get out of the cold this winter , HOPE worldwide Canada is planning a special drive on Sunday December 17th, for gloves, winter parkas and non perishable packaged foods.

The collection will be at the Toronto Centre for the Arts,  5040 Yonge St, North York, ON M2N 6R8 (Yonge and Sheppard), on Sunday December 17 starting at 10:0 am.  All the clothing and food items received will be taken straight to the local Out of The Cold Program location and other homeless shelters in the city of Toronto.

Our supporters have always responded positively to this call, including members and visitors of the Toronto  Church, which meets at the same venue every Sunday.  Last year, over 5000 items were collected. Given the increasing number of homeless people in Toronto, another enthusiastic response is expected again this year.”

The program coordinator, Mark Johnson pointed out that the “gloves and heavy duty winter jackets will go a long way in helping homeless people survive the bitter cold this winter.”

For more information please contact Mark Johnson at (647) 637 – 8330.

The Toronto chapter of HOPE worldwide Canada remains committed to bringing hope and changing lives in Toronto at every opportunity.

Special Presentation of Home Kits for residents of Adams House

Toronto Chapter present Home kits to residents of Adams House who are leaving

Members of our Toronto chapter paid a visit to Adam House , a temporary home for new refugees in Toronto, to share stories, pray and worship with the residents. They also brought special “home kits” for those who were leaving the house to start their new lives in Canada in their own apartments.

The evening started with great interaction and a time of fellowship with residents of the home. The discussion for the evening was centred around the the inspiring life stories of Mother Theresa, Alfred Nobel, founder of the Nobel Peace Prize and Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace. The residents were fascinated by the story of Alfred Nobel who invented the dynamite bomb. However in his quest to be known for what stood for the opposite of destruction, he devoted his estate to funding the Nobel Peace Prize.

After that our volunteers made a formal presentation of special new home packs to 10 refugees moving out from Adam House, to further support them and help them settle down in their new homes.

Lucy Chaimiti, Adam’s House executive director, with our Toronto Chapter Director Phil Osagie (Centre) and James

Adam House Executive Director, Lucy Chaimiti commended our volunteers for their consistency, generosity and thoughtfulness. She stated that, “HOPE worldwide Canada provides tremendous material and moral support to Adam House.”

The final part of the evening was a wonderful time of serving dinner and sharing with almost 50 refugees in the home. We would like to thank Carral Peter, who prepared all the food.

It is gratifying that our HOPE worldwide Canada volunteers offered hope and support to the refugees at Adam House.

The Toronto Central Team At The 2016 Ride for Refuge

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On October 1 over 50 volunteers from the Toronto Central Chapter defied the rains and came out to the Ride for Refuge by the beaches in Toronto.  Many walked, some biked, a few jogged. What every participant did and gave was walk all the way, with all of their hearts.

As they strolled down the walk deck and Ride path, most of the conversations and thoughts were around the needs of the poor in our affluent city.

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The Ride organizers applauded the Toronto Central team from HOPE worldwide of Canada, not just for having one of the largest teams, but also for their zeal and such willingness to help.

All the volunteers gave their best. Julie Grant who reported to the venue as early as 6.30am, just couldn’t stop giving. Energetic teenager Kristha Daley also stood out and supervised the lunch desk almost single handedly.

Captain J J Dorotheo, the spokesman and team motivator lived up to his name!upload-meghan

Let’s not also forget the youngest walker in the Refuge Ride, 5 year old Meghan Abrokwah. She walked all the way- both on her feet…and on a few backs!

The team raised nearly $6 500. 

Funds raised by the team will be used to raise awareness and funds for displaced, homeless and vulnerable people in Toronto and around the world.

 

 

More pictures are available at our Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/HOPEwwCanada/posts/1410330895647083

The Milk Bag To Mats Project Is Growing

Volunteers from the East Region chapter displaying their mats
Volunteers from Toronto East chapter displaying their mats

The Milk Bags Project, started in our Toronto East chapter, has now spread to the Toronto West chapter and Kingston Chapter.  Through the enthusiasm of our volunteers, the project continues to grow bigger and better, making an impact throughout the world.

In March and April,  events were held in the West in Mississauga and the East at Milestones Christian Ministries in Ajax.

In Toronto East 33 volunteers attended. They completed seven mats and taught volunteers from another small church  how to start this initiative at their own church. The atmosphere was great as usual everyone came with the one purpose in mind, to get as many mats finished as quickly as possible.

In the West, the mat making event was held at Glen Forest Secondary School in Mississauga.  20 volunteers turned up and and were able to complete seven mats.

These milk bags, which would otherwise be garbage, are transformed into sleeping mats, pillows, and purses. They are washable and quick to dry, and provide an alternative to sleeping on the damp, hard ground.

These mats are sent to the less fortunate around the world, including Haiti and Philippines.

 

Toronto West Chapter volunteers
Toronto West Chapter volunteers

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Since the project started HOPE worldwide of Canada has made 101 mats.  You can see more pictures from the two events at our Facebook page