Toronto BLIA-YAD and the English Subchapter jointly organized the annual “Out of the Cold” project to collect socks & toiletries for homeless people in Toronto from November 19th through December 11th. On the morning of December 17th, Venerable Miao Rang, Toronto BLIA-YAD, and English Subchapter members packed and delivered 23 boxes of socks and toiletries in addition to other donated and purchased winter wear, scarves, sleeping bags, and more to University Settlement, Toronto. The donations had a monetary donation value of more than $1000.
This year, Toronto BLIA recorded that cash donations and goods received in kind almost doubled those of last year. This is a marked improvement and shows that we have potential as a source of collection for “Out of the Cold” in the future, and that our contribution to the local community will continue to grow.
These contributions do not take into account the similar charity work also performed by the University of Waterloo Buddha's Light Community Club (UWBLCC), whose donations were contributed to Young Women's Christian Association Kitchener-Waterloo (YWCAKW).
On an average night in Toronto, there are over 5,000 homeless individuals and over 400 sleeping on the streets. Both of these numbers continue to grow.
University Settlement, founded in 1910, is a non-profit and registered charity. It currently has 85 beds to offer emergency based shelter to those in need. Additional services offered include meals, accommodations, a clothing bank, shower facilities during program hours, a social worker to provide counseling, and referrals to other services including medical and housing.