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What's Happening @ FYFB

Seasons Greetings from FYFB

As we go through our Decade One holiday season, I want to thank our growing number of supporters - both our volunteers and our donors - for their ongoing commitment to build a caring organization in the heart of downtown Toronto. We are grateful for your dedication and hard work in supporting the most vulnerable in our community.

Each year of the past decade has had its own unique challenges as we have grown into a strong and vibrant organization that serves as a hub for the thousands of people who need our programs. Over the past two years alone we have witnessed a 50 percent increase in the demand for our services and, thanks to you, we have continued to be there for these families and individuals.

On behalf of the entire FYFB family, I thank you for your continued support and wish you a safe, happy and healthy holiday season and a peaceful new year.

Ravi Sreedharan
FYFB Board Chair

Support the Decade One Holiday Fund Appeal

FYFB Decade One Fund AppealFor more than a decade, FYFB has been there meet the needs of our neighbours who are living in poverty during the holiday season. But with a 50 percent growth in demand for our services over the past two years, our ability to meet the need within our community is being stretched to the limits of our capacity.

For the first time in our decade of serving our community we may be unable to distribute the special holiday hampers that make a difference in the homes of our neighbours in need. We urgently need you to support the Decade One Holiday Fund so we can continue to be a special part our clients' lives during the holiday season.

With over 400 children relying on FYFB each month for basic food supplies, the stress on families who want to create positive memories for their kids at this special time of year is enormous. Your support is needed to help create positive holiday memories for these families during the holidays.

You can make a difference in our community this Holiday Season by donating securely online through the Canada Helps website here or by mailing or dropping off your donation at:

Fort York Food Bank
797 Dundas Street West
Toronto, Ontario
M6J 1V2

Decade One Holiday Open House

This year's Decade One Holiday Open House was a special evening for clients and board members to thank and recognize the dedication and support of the many volunteers and donors who are at the heart of making FYFB a caring place in our community. Once again guests were delighted to dine on a traditional Indian buffet prepared by kitchen volunteer Farida Majoo.

Farida Majoo receives her volunteer award from Ken Lem. FYFB Open House and Volunteer Recognition Night. November 2008.

Farida Majoo receives her volunteer award from Ken Lem.
FYFB Open House and Volunteer Recognition Night. November 2008.

A highlight of the evening was the presentation of Community Service Awards from FYFB and Deputy Mayor Joe Pantalone to 38 volunteers for their exemplary dedication in helping FYFB reconnect people with our community.

Click here to read more about this year's Community Services Award recipients.

Click here to view the photo gallery from the event.

Corporate Partners Helping Fight Hunger

FYFB partners with leading companies to help fight hunger in downtown Toronto. Coordinated by volunteer extraordinaire Margaret Cantwell, our corporate partnering program helps make a difference in the lives of our clients with organizations volunteering their time, donating food and providing critical financial support for our programs.

Here are two of the companies who are helping to build a caring community this holiday season:

Franklin Templeton Investments

Franklin Templeton Investments Support FYFB. December 2008.Franklin Templeton Investments pride themselves on reliability and their ongoing support of FYFB during the holiday season is a testament to their commitment. FYFB has benefited for many years from the support of Franklin Templeton Investments and this year is no exception with 25 Franklin Templeton employees and family members volunteering their time, providing food supplies and donating $1,500 towards our Holiday Fund Appeal. On behalf of our clients, we thank everyone at Franklin Templeton for making a difference in our community.

Read more about Franklin Templeton and view a photo gallery of the Franklin Templeton Team.

Margaret Cantwell and the team from Satov ConsultingMargaret Cantwell and the team from Satov Consulting

Satov Consultants

New corporate partner Satov Consultants brought in 11 members of the Satov team to work side-by-side with FYFB volunteers packaging food and serving clients. The Satov team donated enough groceries to create more than 50 food hampers. FYFB thanks Andres Martinez, Eric Ng, Grant Markewitz, Kuba Soltysiak, Lauren Hulme, Mark Satov, Marlena Neves, Sam Puchala, Tim Seddon, Tony Copperthwaite and Julie Johnstone for their enthusiasm and support and we look forward to welcoming the Satov team back again in the near future.

Read more about Satov Consultants and view photos of their team.

We thank all the companies and organizations helping FYFB this holiday season. Look for an expanded holiday season wrap up with photos and thanks for all our partners in the January issue of Connects.

Ashley Mikitzel and Chen Che from Ryerson University School of Social WorkAshley Mikitzel and Chen Che from Ryerson University School of Social Work

Ryerson University School of Social Work Students

The important partnership between FYFB and the Ryerson University School of Social Work continues to grow with two new placement students learning and leading in FYFB's Counselling & Advocacy Program. Chen Che and Ashley Mikitzel joined FYFB in September and will be volunteering at FYFB until April. The Ryerson School of Social Work requires two intensive field placements as part of the undergraduate program and Chen and Ashley have chosen FYFB to complete their field placement.

How Your Donation Makes a Difference

Many donors ask about the personal stories of the people helped by FYFB. We asked Ashley Mikitzel, one of our placement students from the Ryerson University School of Social Work to share her experience working with our clients:

At FYFB, the advocacy volunteers are like gatekeepers; we are able to provide the information people need in order to do whatever it is they want. I had a man come to me and tell me that he needed help with employment. As we talked, he told me that he didn't care what kind of work he was doing because he just needed money right now. If this man did not have the support of FYFB he may have turned somewhere else. There are lots of ways to get quick money on the street, but they are not always the safest or most effective in the long-term. He talked to me on a Wednesday. On Friday, I heard my name as I walked home. I looked and saw him working on a construction site. He said he had worked 2 days and that he now had money to buy food as well as save for his next month's rent. He came in again the next week and I gave him some other employment agency numbers. I haven't seen him in almost a month. It may seem strange, but I consider not seeing a client again as being a success.
~ Ashley Mikitzel

FYFB in the News

watch Marci Ien interview FYFB board director Jennifer Wasley on CTV Newsnet. December 2008.With the Ontario Association of Food Banks releasing a new report on November 25th highlighting the "alarming increase" in the number of Ontarians using food banks, FYFB was on the frontlines speaking with the national and local news media on how our clients and community are being adversely impacted by the current economic conditions.

Click here to watch Marci Ien interview FYFB board director Jennifer Wasley on CTV Newsnet.

Give the Gift of FYFB

FYFB is the perfect gift for family, friends, clients and colleagues this Holiday Season. You can donate securely online and send a virtual holiday greeting card sharing the news that you've made a holiday gift to FYFB on their behalf.

You can make a difference in a person's life this Holiday Season by clicking here for the gift that gives back.

FYFB Connects thanks Ken "the cook" Lem, William Shane and Margaret Cantwell for their help providing photos used in the stories for this issue of the newsletter.

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