By: Helen Choi
While Easter can be a time of celebration for family and friends, the holiday can also be a sad and isolating time for many people. Members of The Yonge Street Mission’s (YSM) low-income community in Toronto often have limited resources, nowhere to go, and no one to spend the time with during the Easter season. However, people who are underprivileged or alone can find hope thanks to the generosity of community volunteers, donors and YSM.
Dedicated volunteers serve meals, spend time with people in the community followed by a special banquet thanks to generous donors. This does not include the fact that YSM-wide has over 100 programs and services, providing hundreds of meals per service areas. This means, for a high need season like Easter, thousands of meals will be shared. However, this may sound like a lot of food, in reality the demand is greater than supply.
Annually, over 140,000 meals are served and donations are accepted year round. People interested in volunteering their time to help make a difference or donating a meal to a deserving person should visit www.ysm.ca. The fastest and easiest way to donate is with a click of a button here. For $3.11 you can provide a meal, or you can feed an entire table of 10 people for $31.10.
Since 1896, The Yonge Street Mission’s meal has symbolized a new beginning for hungry and hurting people. For homeless youth, the meal means taking a positive step towards a new life as they are introduced to health and counselling, housing supports and job training. For seniors, coming out of their small, crowded, isolated apartments and reconnecting with friends is critically important. And for new immigrants, a meal can be a chance to build new and rewarding friendships.
Above all, it’s heartbreaking to see children or anyone in our community hungry and hurting. It’s amazing how a simple meal can touch a life, and you can help today!