Community events at Fred Victor are important because they build relationships, honour lives and special occasions, and they include everyone as a single community. Celebrations are a great way to build community.
Fred Victor Women’s Hostel warmly welcomed
special guests to help them celebrate the Hostel’s 15th anniversary. The hostel that was and still is supported by the kind and generous fundraising efforts of United Church Women is an emergency shelter for homeless and low income women in the City's downtown core. This year, for the second year in a row, a garden was planted by City Employees from Local 416, and it was dedicated with a plaque to Mary Sheffield. Mary was the devout and perseverant woman who started a mission in 1886 which evolved into today’s mulit-service organization, Fred Victor.
The event took place at the Hostel on a baking hot Friday, June 15th. Ward 28 City Councillor Pam McConnell attended as did the Honourable Glen Murray MPP. Staff and residents were busy with the garden, creating a firey and delicious meal from barbecues and chatting to Joe Fiorito, columnist from the Toronto Star, who showed up to write about the hostel and two of the women who were well served by the Hostel.
Here’s the link to Joe’s story from the Star published on June 26, 2012.
Annual General Meeting 2012
It’s a celebration, a party even, but it’s also got a serious side.
It’s the 118th Fred Victor Annual General Meeting. On Thursday, June 21, 2012, the Fred Victor Board of Directors accepted the past year’s audited financial statement, thanked outgoing Board Members and received new ones. Staff prepared a presentation on how our organization addresses the issue of food security for its program participants and tenants. Then we ate and talked and listened to music and generally had a great time. The meeting is always a highlight of Fred Victor’s year.
Board Treasurer David Black (left) delivered the financial report and the good news that Fred Victor has balanced its books exceedingly well this year.
Chair of the Board Pam Bryant (above) spoke about Fred Victor’s achievements, the ways we have been able to improve our services and how we are working to improve our governance as an organization. This is Pam's last year as chair. Jennifer Guerard is the new chair for 2012 -2013.
Pam paid tribute to outgoing Board Member Terry Rumsey (right). Terry served as Vice-Chair of the Board from 2009 to 2012. When he joined the Board in 2006, he worked on fund development and researched how to rebuild Fred Victor’s website. Warm-hearted and always generous with his time, Terry gave many hours to meeting with people to help strengthen the fundraising program at Fred Victor. He brought together knowledgeable people from the corporate sector and Fred Victor staff and volunteers. These information-sharing and planning meetings made it possible for Fred Victor to change and develop and meet the needs of our growing organization. …with gratitude and with respect, thank you Terry!
Thanks too, to Deanna Blanshard-Rumsey (left middle). Before Terry joined the Board, Deanna was like a firefly full of new ideas for fundraising at Fred Victor. One of her great ideas turned into a Fred Victor annual campaign known as the turkey drive. It has been a Fun Flap for the past eight years. Thank you so much, Deanna!
Four new people joined the Board at the Annual General Meeting: Phillip Dufresne is a Board Member of Houselink Community Homes and a member of The Dream Team; Campbell Thomson is the Senior Vice President of Aimia Proprietary Loyalty Canada Inc.; Wangari Muriuki is an Account Manager with the Diversity Business Network; and Venecia Zuniga is a Supervisor with Working for Change at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.
Executive Director Mark Aston spoke about poverty, unemployment, mental health and homelessness and how Fred Victor responds to these issues in our City. He closed his remarks by thanking partners, funders, donors, volunteers, staff – particularly those who do important work that does not garner much recognition -, Board Members and Board Committees and the Fred Victor volunteers who benefit from Fred Victor services and give back to the organization through the gift of their time.
Open House Drop-in Worker Gomo George (left) kicked off the staff presenation on food security. Staff from various program areas talked about how people on fixed and limited incomes worry about where their next meal will come from. They showed how Fred Victor’s food programs play a positive role in giving people secure access to food. A short video about Fred Victor’s Friends Catering Company, our social purpose enterprise, was shown too.
Fred Victor is a community. That is a strong claim. Because, if you are a community you attend to the members of your community. You focus on relationships, and give value to them, as well as the delivery of programs and services that meet members’ needs.
People who have experienced homelessness and poverty say that food and shelter were necessary, but in the end, it was a human relationship that changed their life.
Communities share food, help one another, laugh together and honour the lives of the individuals in them.