Ride for Refuge Logo

YSM is excited to be a part of Ride for Refuge 2020!

Our goal is to raise $24,000, and, together, we can make that happen!

You can choose to walk, bike or do a fundraising activity you love – is up to you. Whatever you do and wherever you do it, you will help YSM continue to serve our vulnerable neighbours.

Summer is here and with lots of free time, Ride for Refuge is a great opportunity to do your favourite fun activity and help families in need, street-involved youth and adults experiencing chronic poverty move from surviving to thriving.

Although we are social distancing, we can still transform Toronto together and end chronic poverty in our city.

Show us what moves you with #RideForRefugeYSM

Three Easy Ways to Register!

Do you want to be a team captain and bring together your family and friends to make a difference this fall?

Start by selecting Toronto Downtown or Ride Anywhere, then select Create a Team, choose Yonge Street Mission as your charity. 

Are you looking to join a team?

Register by choosing Toronto Downtown or Ride Anywhere and search for the team or team captain’s name.

Not sure if you want to create or join a team.

Register as an individual and join a team later.

Or we invite you to join our Friends of YSM team using the button below.

walked at ride for refuge

How to participate:

  1. Register and join or create a team in support of YSM with three or more friend
  2. Select one of 15 RIDE Freestyle fundraising activities like walking, baking cookies or reading books. You can do the same thing all together, or mix and match within your team. Do what you can, wherever you can. Remember No bike is required.
  3. Pick a date between August 1 and October 3, national event day, to start or end your activity.
  4. If you are walking or biking, map out some safe walking or biking routes.
  5. Fundraise and share!


For many of us fundraising can be intimidating, as we all dread the prospect of hearing “NO”.  But it’s not as daunting as you might fear, especially if you remember the three S’s: Some will, Some won’t, Someone is waiting to say “YES!”

Following are a few tips that will help you put the FUN in FUNdraising:

Donors are just like you

Many people give to events like Ride for Refuge, so when asked, they likely are neither surprised nor annoyed – especially when they know the person asking. Understand that most people you ask have supported other friends, and will likely give to you too. Don’t be nervous to ask.

Make it personal

Always address your emails to the recipient, and include a personal greeting. Make it easy for them to know what you’re doing, why you’re doing it and when. Also tell them your fundraising goal! It’s important to include your page link so they can respond easily in the moment.

Donate to yourself first

It shows your commitment, and serves as an example to those you’re asking.

Use social media . . . lots!

Share what you’re doing and include the link to your donation page. We have Twitter and Facebook headers you can use. Also consider employing videos and pictures to garner attention.

Share your story

Share why our cause matters to you. Be authentic and transparent – readers will find it refreshing and compelling. Share your story, because in the end, people give to people.

Start today!

What you’re doing is great! You’re riding 50km, or walking 100km, maybe you’re doing a game challenge. Whatever it is, you’re doing something fun for a great cause. Wow! Now start talking about it and let people know how they can get involved.

Freestyle Events and Fundraising Ideas

Words fundraiser

Read a certain number of books within a specified time, for example 50 books in 75 days. Read a classic aloud, like War and Peace, for example. Set up times and dates to read virtually, invite friends to donate a specific amount to gain access to the link to your virtual reading event. You could also do a reading time for children – parents will likely appreciate a few daily 30 minute breaks.

Write something – a certain number of poems in 30 days. Friends and family can donate a specific amount to have you write a poem on a topic of their choosing. For example, my puppy Fluffy. Discover the power of the pen!

Games fundraiser

Take your love of gaming to the next level by collecting pledges for doing it!  Get to a certain level, during a certain period of time and ask friends to pledge their support.

Organize an online game competition! Players donate to be given the link to enter. Imagine Family Feud, or similar, with friends and relatives you don’t see so often!

Food fundraiser

Why not work your way through a whole cookbook in 8 weeks? Even invite friends and family to an online cooking class for one of your delectable dishes. Ask them to donate in order to participate.

Host a BBQ, while adhering to social distancing guidelines of course!

Style fundraiser

Shave your head or dye your hair orange / purple once you’ve successfully fundraised a certain amount!

Wear a winter coat on a hot summer day or wear your shirt/blouse backwards.

If you’re a skilled seamstress, create a one of a kind outfit for the person who donates the most. Or what about making PPE masks to order, in exchange for donations?

Wonder fundraiser

This is a perfect opportunity to show your juggling, or other, skills. Invite friends and family to donate a specific amount to enjoy your online ‘Talent Show!’

Key Facts:

Since the beginning of COVID-19, YSM has served over 11,000 people.

The demand for YSM food bank has increased more than 210% since March 19,2020.

Toronto is the child poverty capital of Canada 1 in 4 of our city’s children live in poverty.

500,000 Toronto residents struggle with poverty:  37% are female single parents, 46% are recent immigrants.

On average a low income family has less than $10/day for basic needs, such as food, after rent.