Donation Centre Project

In the six months between December 2015 and May 2016, in a 900 sqf donated space, 500 plus volunteers were mobilized, hundreds of thousands items donated, sorted, then distributed to 554 families which comprise 2182 refugees (2046 are Syrians). This was CultureLink’s makeshift #RefugeeWelcome Donation Centre.

Without any additional public funding, what the Donation Centre achieved is nothing short of monumental – half of the Syrian refugees who settled in Toronto received services from this centre. Donors and Volunteers were the backbone of this project.  14 volunteers contributed more than 100 hours and Arshiah Ali, the lead volunteer and Social Work placement student from York University, was a tireless engine of our Donation Centre volunteer force.

The following list could not include all our donors and is in no particular order.

The Space for our #RefugeeWelcome Centre is provided courtesy of The Crossways.

Second Cup Co. donated $10,000 to our refugee cause.

Shelving units and rolling racks are donated by:

  • Acme Shelving & Store Fixtures
  • Lowe’s Home Improvement
  • Stephanie Jones’ family
  • The LOFT Kitchen
  • Jillian Bret

Major Clothing and Household Item Drive Organizers:

  • Roncesvalle Refugee Relief
  • Koffler Centre of the Arts
  • TD HR Group in Toronto
  • Markland Wood Homeowners Association
  • Art Gallery of Ontario
  • TD Bank NACCMS
  • Ryerson School of Urban and Regional Planning
  • Ovais Jangda

Major Donors of Personal Care and Baby Care Products

  • Procter & Gamble
  • Arbonne International
  • East-Scarborough
  • Markham/Lawrence Neighborhood Group
  • Marie Pigott and Friends

Major Donors of Brand New Children’s Toys and Clothing/Shoes

  • Rogers Communication
  • Benny Yip and Friends
  • Christine Kim’s family
  • Operation Sock Monkey
  • Crescent School

Donors and Drive Organizers for Brand New Socks & Underwear

  • Victoria’s Secret
  • William Dunbar Public School
  • Elisabeth Rooney and Family

Donors of the #RefugeeWelcome branded boxes

  • Atlantic Packaging (boxes)
  • Premiums Plus (printing)

Coffee and Refreshment for Donation Centre Volunteers

  • Starbucks (Roncesvalles/Dundas Store)

Volunteers who have contributed more than 100 hours to the Centre:

Arshiah Ali, Elizabeth Rooney, Hassan Saeed Almahdi, John Krissilas, Maarit Varkel, Mark Krakowski, Miguela Botuli, Wai Louie, Zahra Saeed Almahdi, Sahereh Monfarednia, Kathy Le, Emma Coulter, Emmanuelle Grignon, Diana Brugos, Cathy Hellyer, Brian Hoang, Lindy King, Mary Pigott

Special Mention: Molly Sullivan sent us hundreds of handmade hats and scarves for Syrian refugees from Brooklyn, New York. We also want to thank Luminato, TD Volunteer Network, Crescent School and Havergal College for helping us recruit a great number of volunteers at a very short notice.

In just three weeks around Christmas holidays in 2015, the Donation Centre has been transformed from a concept to a welcoming place filled with clothing and other living necessities thanks to our generous donors and volunteers. These pictures display the before and after images of the Centre with our proud Donation Centre Volunteer Coordinator Arshiah Ali.