NEWSLETTER #2 - FIRST INTERFAITH OUT OF THE COLD PROGRAM  2012 -2013


We hope this finds you all well and looking forward to a happy holiday season.   The program has gotten off to a successful start and we’re in full swing.   We very much appreciate your on-going support and participation.  This second newsletter is filled with important information so please take just a few minutes to give it a read.
CHRISTMAS TREES FOR SALE
Every year our volunteer, Sonny, sells Christmas tress to the public and then generoulsy donates some of the proceeds to our program and to other Out of the Cold programs.  When buying your tree, please consider buying from Sonny.  You’ll get a beautiful tree to grace your home and help provide warmth and comfort to our guests at the same time. You’ll find Sonny’s trees at the following four locations. The lots are open from Nov 30th to Dec 23rd from 10 am to 8 pm :
  • Behind St Peter’s Church on Markham St just north of Bloor – supporting our prorgram
  • The No Frills lot on Alberta Ave. north of St Clair, east of Oakwood – supporting our program
  • Eastminister Church at Danforth and Jackman – supporting Eastminiser OOTC
  • Dairy Queen  - on Danforth Road near Danforth Avenue – suppoorting Northern Mosaic OOTC
DONATIONS NEEDED
·         Our supply of gently-used clothes has dwindled and the Clothing Boutique is in urgent need of more offerings.  With the weather turning cold, we need clothes that will keep our guests warm in the coming months.  Specifcally, we need:
  • men’s and women’swinter coats, sweaters, sweatshirts and hoodies, sweatpants, long-sleeved Tshirts, hats, gloves and mitts.  Please do not bring any business attire like dress pants or dress shirts, as they’re not at all useful to our guests.
  • we have a special request for men’s winter boots or hiking boots in size 11½, for a guest who has a badly healed broken ankle.
We also need:
  • mini-sized toiletries, such as soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, deodorant and also toothbrushes.
  • any extra holiday baking or treats.  They’ll add some extra cheer for our guests at this time of year.
  • extra Christmas cards would also be appreciated, as we assist those guests who’d like to connect with their families and friends.
PLAYING CARD PICK-UP NEEDED
Card playing is a popular socialization activity at Out of the Cold and our supply was been exhausted. We’ve been offered a gross of 144 decks (only a small box!) from Casino Rama but we need someone to pick them up.  If you can do that, please contact Sharna or Mary at volinterfaith.outofthecold@gmail.com and we’ll give you the directions you’ll need.
VOLUNTEER COVERAGE
We’ve had good coverage for the Dinner shift so it’s best to make arrangements ahead of time with Sharna or Mary (see contact details above) if you’re planning to bring along any extra friends.
Volunteers are needed for the following shifts. Please contact Sharna or Mary if you’re able to help out.
  • Socialization shift from 8:00 – 10:00
  • Late Ktichen from 10:00 p.m.- midnight
  • Reception, on an on-call basis.
The program will operate in the week between Christmas and New Year’s and many volunteers will be away but the guests will be here.  Please let us know at the Volunteer Desk when you arrive in the coming weeks whether you’ll be attending on Dec. 27th.  Your participation will be very much needed.
MAINTAINING OUR HEALTH
It’s cold and flu season, so please make sure to wash your hands before and after coming to the program. Consider getting a flu shot. Many pharmacies offer the shot and the City of Toronto Public Health schedule can be found at www.toronto.ca/flu shots. There’s no cost for the shot.  For some comic relief, check out Rick Mercer’s rant at http://www.rickmercer.com/Rick-s-Rant.aspx.  If you’re not well, it’s best to stay home and take care of yourself and not spread the illness to our vulnerable guests.
THANK YOU
Our program is almost run entirely by volunteers and supported by generous donations of time and money.  This month, we offer our thanks and appreciation to
  • All of you for coming out each week.
  • Greg, who has done a most amazing job fundraising for the program. Greg has been responsible for bringing in $4,450 in donations  so far this year -through organizing a carwash at Loblaws at Yonge and Yonge Blvd.and a firefighters boot drive, soliciting a sizable donation from a neighbour and the FireFighters Association and getting gift cards from Loblaws, not to mention supplying the food and cooking two dinners!  Greg brings his enthusiatic, “can-do” attitude to the task and the program is the grateful beneficiary of his efforts.
  • Janos Csepreghi , Executive Member of Toronto Fire Fighters Association Local 3888 and the recruit class, who put our their boots at Loblaws on St. Clair W. and raised $1800.
  • Pain Perdu, World Class Bakery and Brazil Bakery for providing bread and pastries every week.
  • The November cooking teams – the Portuguese Prayer Group who cooked two dinners, Sharna with friends and family, a Men’s Division International affiliated group with Phil and crew.
  • Stan at White House Meats, 2978 Bloor St. W., for providing a deep discount on the meat for Phil’s meal.

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Important Dates 2014-2015

Orientation for New Volunteers Thursday October 23, 2014
7:30 pm. St. Matthew's United Church (no pre-registration required)

Thursday November 6, 2014
Program starts

Thursday December 25, 2014
Christmas at Out of the Cold

Thursday January 1, 2015
New Year's at Out of the Cold – volunteers especially needed

Thursday March 26, 2015
Program ends for season

Donors & Supporters

Click the link below to see the many organizations, businesses and individuals that have graciously provided their support!

Please contact us if you'd like to donate and support the program. Every contribution, big or small, has a significant impact on the service we can offer our guests.

List of Donors & Supporters >>

An Invitation To Donate >>

Here is a short documentary on the importance of clean dry socks for the homeless. A donation of socks goes a long way to providing much needed warmth and comfort to our guests.

Socks for the Homeless >>

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