SHOWING AND GIVING LOVE FOR 26 HOURS OF KINDNESS
This past Wednesday the NKPR team joined forces to celebrate Valentine’s Day in a meaningful way- by showing and giving love to Toronto communities. This year we really wanted to focus on the homeless population, especially as this winter has been one of the coldest on record! We focused our efforts to volunteer at four amazing organizations: St. Felix Centre, Good Shepherd Ministries, Sistering, and Ve’ahavta. Together, their services work to support individuals who are battling very real issues in Toronto (and all over the world), including homelessness, addiction, malnutrition, mental illness, and so much more.
The FWords Podcast also taped an episode in the St. Felix kitchen during the lunch service, where we talked with Brian Harris, Executive Director of the St. Felix Centre, as well as the Ve’ahavta Outreach Worker, Andre Hermanstyne. Stay tuned for the episode airing next Tuesday, February 20th!
St. Felix Centre | 25 Augusta Ave.
We were welcomed with open arms to help prepare lunch and dinner for visitors of the St. Felix Centre. The first shift covered the 9AM to 1PM lunch service, and from 3PM to 8PM the second team tackled dinner! It was heartwarming to see the gratitude of the staff as well as the individuals who came in from the cold for a warm meal!
Learn more about St. Felix Centre here.
Good Shepherd Ministries | 412 Queen St. East
We lent our support to Good Shepherd with sorting and boxing food for many individuals and families that use their services on a regular basis. Their staff typically serve 1200 meals a day on average! On top of hot meals, they also provide clean clothes and a safe, clean bed for those in need.
Learn more about Good Shepherd Ministries here.
Sistering | 962 Bloor St. West
Sistering offers multiple services in an aim to help at-risk, socially isolated women in Toronto who are homeless or precariously housed. We joined the strong women who dedicate so much of their time to supporting Sistering.
Learn more about Sistering here.
Ve’ahavta | 200 Bridgeland Ave D.
Ve’ahavta (Hebrew for “and you shall love”) works to promote positive change in the lives of people of all faiths who are marginalized by poverty. They offer a hands-on approach to supporting their mission of tikun olam (repairing the world). Even just these translations demonstrate how beautiful it is to help and love others! We offered our support by collecting items for their street outreach team to help make daily essentials more accessible to Toronto communities.
Learn more about Ve’ahavta here.
It was honestly such an incredibly grounding and rewarding experience to give even just some of our time to help these organizations. It also served as an important reminder that there are so many people who desperately need our help on a daily basis. There is an estimated 235,000 people who are homeless in Canada annually, with 35,000 estimated to be homeless on any given night. Those are only two statistics that help shed light on the reality of homelessness in Canada. We’ve pulled a few m0re shown below that help provide an understanding of how this affects so many people. Realistically, these individuals could easily be our peers or friends, and we may just haven’t noticed the signs.
- 150,000: Approximate number of people who access emergency shelters in Canada annually.
- 50,000: Estimated number of people who are “hidden homeless” — defined as those without homes of their own who lean on friends or family for shelter — on any given night.
- 4 million: Number of bednights, defined as nights during which a shelter bed is occupied, each year across Canada.
- $105.3 million: Amount the federal government spends annually on the Homeless Partnering Strategy, which is designed to prevent and reduce homelessness.
- 82,380: People who found more stable housing as a result of the Homeless Partnering Strategy.
We encourage everyone to learn more about these amazing organizations, and how you can lend your support. You can make a big difference even in a small way by just donating your time. Imagine what the world could look like with a little more kindness!
A huge thank you to everyone who came out to join the #NKPR26 team. Checkout our Instagram highlights (@natashankpr) to see more from our third annual 26 Hours of Kindness initiative!