WHAT DO WE DO?
We have to raise money every year to fund our Service work. We depend principally on receipts from Bingo sessions held twice monthly at Ultimate Bingo, Keele and Lawrence Avenue West, Toronto. These are supplemented by sale at Christmas rime of cakes, nuts, shortbread and truffles. We are always looking for more fund-raising projects to boost our revenue and thus expand our services. Our budget for 2010-2011 is $12,800.
WHERE DOES THE MONEY GO?
Our largest annual financial commitment is in support of the Kiwanis Festival of Music and Speech Arts. First launched in 1942, the Festival is held for two weeks every February in over 20 venues across the Greater Toronto Area. Club members and other volunteers work at local sites where competitive and non-competitive classes are adjudicated.
As well as giving financial support, the club provides help where required to the North York Harvest Food Bank during its seasonal food drives. For over 10 years, we have worked at a Loblaws store distributing donor bags to shoppers and encouraging them to make donations of food.
In 1988, we began a partnership with North York General Hospitalto teach parenting skills to teen-aged mothers through a Kiwanis Young Moms and Babes program. This has now been incorporated into the hospital’s expanded children’s services from neonatal to age 18 as Maternal Newborn – Child and Teen. Over that period, our annual donations have totaled $137,125.00. As well, we give a Teddy Bear to children going home at the end of their hospital stay.
For over 10 years, Adventure Place has received our financial support to maintain services to young children with disabilities and their families. Currently, that money helps pay for family outings in the summer.
Another of our partners is Youth Assisting Youth. This organization promotes special friend relationships by matching volunteer youthful mentors with children aged 6 – 15 experiencing emotional, behavioral, cultural or social difficulties. Our members regularly spend time at its annual family picnic in Wilket Creek Park staging a watermelon-eating contest for the youngest. We also support other ad hoc activities when requested.
Every summer, the Easter Seal Society holds Woodeden summer camp near London, Ontario. Our club has established the North York Kiwanis Albert Kokotow Memorial Endowment Fund to buy and furbish musical instruments for the campers.
Since 2008, we have provided funds to Yorkwoods Public School to buy books to be awarded to students who meet personal literacy targets set by their teachers. Every month, two students in each class choose a book from the Kiwanis-sponsored Reading Room to take home and enjoy. Signs displayed in the school acknowledge theKiwanis Reading Awards. In addition, two members spend part of a day each work helping young students with their reading.
Yorkwoods is an elementary school located in the Jane-Finch area of Toronto. A large number of children there come from families whose native tongue is not English. Programs aimed at improving literacy are therefore very important to the school.
Sleeping Children Around the World is another regular recipient of donations from us. Its volunteers personally deliver at their own expense bedding, sleepwear, soap, toothbrushes and the like to needy children in many countries. We also send money overseas through the Kiwanis Foundation of Canada for humanitarian aid in the wake of disasters such as the Tsunami and the Haiti earthquake. We are also joined with Kiwanis clubs throughout the Eastern Canada and Caribbean District raising $1,000,000 to combat AIDS in three Caribbean countries.
THE CLUB WAS A PROUD DONOR OF BRICKS FOR THE JUNO BEACH CENTRE, COURSELLES-SUR-MER IN NORMANDY, FRANCE TO HONOUR IN PERPETUITY CANADA’S MEN AND WOMEN WHO SERVED IN WORLD WAR II. THE CLUB’S NAME IS INSCRIBED ON A PLAQUE THERE.