Dundee Realty and Fred Victor staff stack up the shoeboxes
On December 20th, 2012, the Shoebox Box brigade, an ad-hoc voluntary team of staff from Dundee Realty and Fred Victor stacked and hauled shoeboxes filled with gifts for women who use Fred Victor’s women’s shelter, affordable housing and women’s day program.
Michelle Taylor, Manager of Fred Victor Women’s Day Program: “Our women were all surprised, happy and very thankful. We were amazed and impressed by the thoughtfulness of the givers. These boxes were practical and really made to order. We were also able to deliver boxes to program participants and Fred Victor community members who were ill at home or in the hospital via other members.
“So, on behalf of the 90 women who received the shoe boxes filled with things women enjoy but wouldn’t be able to afford during difficult times, THANK YOU!”
Cynthia Shahani, Marketing Specialist Dundee Realty : “We and our associates feel strongly about letting the women in these shelters know they are not forgotten. We are proud to be associated with The Shoebox Project, which benefits shelters across Canada during the holiday season.”
Founded in 2011 by sisters-in-law Caroline Mulroney Lapham and Jessica, Vanessa and Katy Mulroney, The Shoebox Project collects and distributes gifts of shoeboxes, each filled with items valued at a total of $50 – things women enjoy but would not splurge on during difficult times.
Home Depot helps Fred Victor tenants create home
You know someone is your friend when they're there for you year after year. That's Home Depot in its third year of extending their hand in friendship and support to Fred Victor Housing. A team of handsome and good-hearted Home Depoters served a wonderful dinner prepared by Golden Griddle manager Sashi Thadathil on December 20th, 2012. Tenants showed up shyly but keen for the turkey, gravy and roasted potatoes.
GE Capital Canada serves brunch at Fred Victor
So many chef's hats lit up Friends Restaurant on July 17th
What a great day Fred Victor community and the 12 person team from GE Capital Canada had on Tuesday, July 17th. 180 people from Fred Victor Housing and programs, and folks from Moss Park and local shelters surged into Friends Restaurant for an up-beat community-boosting GE Capital Canada hosted brunch.
It was a record-breaking 38 degrees that day but everyone who responded to the invitation to the free brunch was in a positive mood. Friends Restaurant was decorated with balloons and flowers and there was a flurry of activity: breakfast specialities (chicken wings, fresh fruit and omelets) prepared and served, people welcomed and brunch eaten, tours and talks given and finally thank yous and a parting gift of spicy Friends Catering samosas. Fred Victor’s community members were given a treat of not only a fabulous brunch, but hours to enjoy conversation in an air conditioned restaurant on one of the most uncomfortably steamy days this summer.
The brunch idea came from Tanya Taggart who is the Sales Leader for Corporate Finance at GE Capital Canada along with Jennifer Guerard who is both the new Fred Victor Chair of the Board and Senior Counsel at GE Capital Canada, a financial services firm. Tanya Taggart said: “It was a great experience hosting brunch at Fred Victor with our GE Capital Team. We learned so much about working in a kitchen, met some wonderful people and learned first-hand about the work Fred Victor does with homeless and low income people. I would recommend volunteering in the Restaurant to other groups wanting to make a difference!”
We look forward to welcoming the gang from GE Capital again at Fred Victor as they tell us they are committed to giving back to people who need their help in downtown Toronto.
So many chef’s hats lighting up Friends Restaurant
to help serve the homeless community!
They did it again!
Home Depot Managers Give (December 2011)
Relationships create relationships and when they are committed and kind, it’s a wonderful thing!
Harvey Stubbert works at Fred Victor Housing five mornings a week. As a Registered Practical Nurse of 13 years, he’s been doing community-based nursing for people in their own homes for that many years. Over the past two-and-a-half years, he has been attending to the healthcare needs of some of our tenants. A lot of his work is with senior people who have diabetes, who need wound care, injections and medications. He’s the smiling guy in the red sweater in the photo. And he is much-loved at Fred Victor.
Harvey’s partner is Ray Gorel (to his right in the photo). Ray has been a manager at Home Depot for the past 10 years. So in fall 2010, Harvey said to Ray, “Let me speak to Robin (Robin Masterson is Fred Victor Housing Senior Manager) and you take it from there.”
After Robin and Ray talked, they figured out what furniture and appliances were most needed in the redesigned and rebuilt Fred Victor Housing apartments at 145 Queen Street. At that time, apart from beds in the bedrooms, there was no furniture in the common living and kitchen/dining areas in the apartments. Fred Victor Housing is for people with very little income and people who are trying to deal with mental health and addictions, so without such donations, the apartments would be very sparse.
Home Depot has a strong corporate giving policy and strong-hearted people to exercise that policy. So, last year at this time, Home Depot managers from Toronto district spent the better part of December 21st assembling thousands of dollars of donated Home Depot furniture, and placing it in the apartments.
They said, for them it was a management team-building exercise. For Fred Victor it meant shelves, tables and kitchen chairs popped up and transformed each apartment into a home. And this year, in the same spirit, on December 16th, the same Home Depot group donated 37 leather chairs, storage containers and toaster ovens.
Now this is the really great part of the story. Harvey mused how the experience affected the generous Home Depot managers: “I think this was a real eye-opener. One man choked up talking to others about his experience afterward. They saw people in wheelchairs, others using walkers, people that looked just like them, and people who didn’t. Some of them met transgendered people for the first time. I think we generally try to ignore people on the street in the politest possible way. But, here, they met people in a different way. They also noticed the warm relationship between tenants and staff.”
So that’s a good story for this time of year… One of giving and receiving and of lives touched and changed because they were open to being affected by each other. Kind relationships, create kind relationships. And that’s a good thing. Jolly Solstice. Merry Christmas. Happy Chanukah. Joyous Kwanzaa.
Googlers give: August 11th, 2011 community day
Back in the spring, Jane Truemner, Fred Victor’s communications and fundraising director, received a phonecall from Jeremy Butteriss. Jeremy is the director of partnerships for Google Canada. He knew about Fred Victor because a few years ago he had been a volunteer when he was employed at a different company. He had such a positive experience volunteering and he felt so strongly about the work Fred Victor does in the community, he wanted to get his employees at Google connected to Fred Victor.
That was the starting point. A total of 20 Google employees, or “Googlers” as they sometimes call themselves, participated in the Google Serve Community Day on August 11th. Lots of preparation went into two workshops – a social media and website workshop for Fred Victor communications and fundraising staff and volunteers, PLUS a workshop that shared information on best practices when interviewing people for jobs.
A special, free lunch at Friends Restaurant was prepared and hosted by Google, too. More than 200 Fred Victor tenants and program participants attended.
Staff learned about free Google products on-line. These tools will help us reach out to the larger community to tell them about our work. A special thanks to Googlers who took leadership in preparing the workshops, and to Chris O’Neill, Google Canada’s country director, who supported the day, and even donned a chef's hat and enthusiastically served our happy community members!
Telus Volunteers brighten Fred Victor Women's Hostel (May 28, 2011)
Fred Victor Women’s Hostel looks brighter today. On Saturday, May 28th, 20 Telus employees painted the Hostel’s front entry-way as part of their “Day of Giving”, a day Telus has earmarked for volunteering in the community. The corporation’s community-minded motto is: We Give Where We Live. The result of their gift of time is the transformation of the Hostel’s darkened gold walls into a rich cream colour. It looks unbelievably better.
A Telus Director of Marketing, Melanie Fleming, and Jennifer Kirner, a Telus Senior Community Investment Manager, spearheaded the day. Melanie is a long-standing, dedicated and gifted Fred Victor volunteer from gala days. She gracefully oversaw the successful planning and launching of many galas in past years. In addition to facilitating the painting of the Hostel, Jennifer recommended Telus cover the cost of the paint and supplies. She was also the main Telus contact for Fred Victor’s recent successful application for funding of two computer work stations for the children at the Dawes and Mortimer housing sites.
Before the Hostel painting day, emails flew back and forth between Fred Victor staff, Jennifer and Melanie, ironing out the wrinkles to make sure the day was a success from every angle. On the day of giving, volunteers sported fresh green tee-shirts and cheerful smiles. It was a happy and upbeat day for everyone. A lunchtime hamburger barbecue for staff and hostel residents took in the great summer weather and picked up on the spirit of family and neighbourhood the day rested on. Thank you Telus!