COVID Community Heroes

The COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult and has greatly impacted our community. However, these impacts have not all been negative. The East End has come together in remarkable ways to help those in need, showing strength, resilience and compassion.

Over the 2020/21 winter I put out a call for COVID Community Heroes, asking residents to nominate those who have been making a difference. I received more than 50 nominations of people and groups who have been doing amazing work throughout the pandemic. I want them to know their kindness and generosity has not gone unnoticed.

Over the summer the special Community Hero Awards have been delivered and you can learn more about these heroes and their incredible efforts below. The Award was designed by local East End artist Gerry Withey.

 

Bethany Baptist Church Food Bank

Bethany Baptist Church has been a safe haven for hundreds of East York community members during the COVID-19 pandemic. By transforming their church entrance into a food bank each Thursday, Pastor Jim Parker and food bank volunteers have selflessly taken on the task of providing food for nearly 450 people on a weekly basis. The public’s health and safety are of the utmost importance to Jim and his amazing volunteers. The growing need for food banks during the pandemic has led them to adapt their process to maintain safe and practical service. The Food Bank is committed to providing a hot lunch and a week’s worth of groceries to anyone who needs it. The hard work and dedication of Jim, Carolyn and the volunteers deserves to recognized as they've made these difficult times easier for so many in our community.

 

The Neighbourhood Food Hub

When the pandemic struck, the Neighbourhood Food Hub directed its focus on delivering fresh produce to the Glen Rhodes Food Bank, as well as delivering food baskets and freshly made frozen meals to local vulnerable citizens. The Food Hub’s Project Managers, Madeline Chambers and Daniel Taylor, have seen a tremendous amount of support from community members and local organizations eager to help out in any way they can. They have partnered with organizations such as Food Share Toronto, Building Roots Toronto and Feed it Forward, each having made enormous contributions to the Food Hub’s food delivery service. Many volunteers signed up to help deliver the food baskets and frozen meals to members in our community that need it most. The Neighbourhood Food Hub’s success throughout the pandemic demonstrates just how powerful our East End community can be when we all come together. I'd like to extend a big thanks to Madi and Daniel, as without them this work would not have been possible. If you'd like to donate to the Neighbourhood Food Hub, monetary and goods donations can be made through their website at https://www.neighbourhoodfoodhub.com/. If you are interested in volunteering, please send an email to [email protected].

 

Don’t Mess with the Don

Don’t Mess with the Don is a group that has been working diligently to clean up our green spaces in and around the Don Valley. Every week volunteers have come together to pick up thousands of items that get dumped and they continued this work safely throughout the pandemic. In 2021 they have collected over 40,000 pounds of garbage from the Don Valley. The group also organizes meetups to prevent invasive plant species, such as dog strangling vine, from spreading further throughout the Don Valley. Big thanks to the organizers and volunteers for keeping the area clean and safe. For those interested in getting invovled, visit their website at https://dontmesswiththedon.ca.

 

The Sewing Army

The Sewing Army was created by Toronto Fashion designer Diana Coatsworth in March 2020 to respond to the shortage of PPE for healthcare and essential workers, low-income community members, and non-profit organizations. Over 3,700 volunteers across North America came together to sew and donate free masks, gowns and scrub caps to organizations in need. By the end of 2020, The Sewing Army had collectively donated over 113,000 handmade PPE to organizations with limited supplies. The organization also offers free mask pattern and tutorials on their website for those interested in learning how to make their own masks. I cannot thank The Sewing Army enough for their vital contributions during the pandemic. If you wish to join their efforts, visit https://thesewingarmy.com.

 

Glen Rhodes Food Bank

The Glen Rhodes Food Bank has helped hundreds of community members put food on their tables during the pandemic. This food bank has been an essential service in our community since the early 1980s and even more so over the past year. Since the pandemic struck, the organizers along with more than 30 volunteers have been keeping the Glen Rhodes Food Bank up and running, serving upwards of 100 community members each Wednesday. The Food Bank has taken extra precautions to ensure the health and safety of its clients and volunteers. Donations are welcome and can be made in person on Wednesdays from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. For more information on the Glen Rhodes Food Bank and how you can help support it, please go to https://eastendunited.ca/food-bank-community-dinner. I am so grateful to our Community Heroes at Glen Rhodes for all of the incredible work they’ve done and continue to do.

 

Ruth Woodley

Before the pandemic, Ruth Woodley was a coordinator for the Glen Rhodes Food Bank. As food insecurity continued to rise in our community as a result of the pandemic, Ruth took on even more responsibility and assumed the role of Food Bank Shift Supervisor. She became the main contact for all deliveries in addition to taking charge of building the food hampers that were delivered to local vulnerable citizens across the East End. Ruth went from putting in about 16-18 hours a week at the Food Bank prior to the pandemic, to regularly working 28-30 hours a week. I want to extend a huge thanks to Ruth for all that she’s done to support our community’s most vulnerable and for exemplifying all of the qualities that we look for in a Community Hero.

 

Clarisse Tatro

East Toronto has been home to local resident, Clarisse Tatro, since the late 1970s. Clarisse had been a volunteer at the Glen Rhodes Food Bank for 25 years up until her recent retirement in May of 2021. Part of her volunteer work at the Food Bank included acting as a de facto manager for several years. Over the past year, keeping the Food Bank up and running has been an enormous challenge for Clarisse and her team – they served more than 1,000 clients per month during the pandemic. Clarisse is known in the East End for her compassion and hard work which have touched the hearts of so many during her 25 years at the Food Bank. During her retirement ceremony on May 26th, Clarisse received a special scroll from the City of Toronto for years of tireless dedication to helping others. She has been a Community Hero for decades and I wish her all the best on her next chapter!

 

Club Sandwich (formerly Sandwich Sisters)

Food insecurity has risen drastically for many residents since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020. Toronto’s Sandwich Sisters have tackled this crisis head-on, having opened more than a dozen "pods" across Toronto to help vulnerable residents. Our local North Riverdale pod has grown rapidly as many residents were eager to help out by making and delivering sandwiches to those in need. With the help of over 130 volunteers from our community, the number of sandwiches made and delivered weekly grew from a few dozen to 750. The new Club Sandwich supports nine East Toronto charities, including Good Shepherd Ministries, St. John the Compassionate Mission, Danforth Church, Fontbonne Mustard Seed, St. Luke’s, Bethany Baptist Church, South Riverdale Community Centre, Eastview Neighbourhood Community Centre and community fridges. I want to give a special shout out to organizers Darryl Nielsen and Carolyn Quigley for their amazing efforts and also thank all those involved. Club Sandwich now has a contactless drop-off bin at the Metropolitan Community Church, located in the laneway off Howland Road on the south side of 115 Simpson Ave. Drop-offs can be made anytime Wednesday until 8 pm or Thursday before noon. If you're interested in becoming more involved, join the Club Sandwich Facebook group.

 

Withrow Park Farmers' Market

The Withrow Park Farmers' Market has faced many challenges this past year as a result of pandemic lockdown restrictions. This year, the market is celebrating 15 years and they did not let the pandemic get in the way. During 2020, the Farmers' Market continued to support our local economy and created a safe space for community development whilst adhering to public health guidelines. The market earned $267,000 for local vendors, authorized 700 volunteer hours, and received upwards of 12,000 customer visits. The Market’s success depended on the hard work of each local vendor, volunteer and customer coming together to support one another through a year of unprecedented challenges. I'd like to give special thanks to the Market's Board Chair, Estelle Taylor, as well as everyone involved who helped keep our community connected to fresh local food.

 

East End Arts

East End Arts is a non-profit community arts organization in the East End that provides inclusive arts programming and events. Their mission is to unite, inspire, and enhance our community with the transformative power of the arts. They quickly shifted their programs and events during the pandemic to different formats to continue engaging with community members while keeping everyone safe. Through programs such as #EastEndLove 2.0, Doorstop Diaries, BYOBeads Online Beading Circle, and several beautiful new murals, East End Arts has continued to serve our community and bring us fantastic public art. In a time when we were unable to meet in person, they made sure that our streets were animated with illustrations of the diversity, inclusivity and beauty that the East End represents. You can learn more at https://eastendarts.ca/.

 

Wanda Georgis (Danforth Covid Emergency Food Response Initiative)

The Danforth Covid Emergency Food Response Initiative was started to increase food access for low income residents living along the Danforth between Broadview and Woodbine. With limited time to respond to the increased demands of food insecurity caused by the pandemic, organizers of this initiative got to work immediately. Hosted out of the Danforth Church, organizers and volunteers provided more than 2,500 meals and food hampers over a 16-week period to individuals in need. I want to give a special thanks to Wanda Georgis for her unparalleled efforts and contributions to the success of this initiative.

 

Broadview-Danforth BIA

The Broadview-Danforth BIA has been providing local businesses with the information and support they need to help them overcome the impacts of the pandemic. The BIA took the lead on several city-wide surveys and projects to support small businesses and advocated strongly for a commercial eviction moratorium in 2020. The BIA went above and beyond to not only support their members, but to support small businesses across Toronto. Special thanks to Susan Puff, Albert Stortchak and Philip Kocev.

 

Hubert Dmello of Udupi Palace

Hubert Dmello is the owner of Udupi Palace, a popular vegetarian restaurant in the heart of Toronto's Little India neighbourhood. Hubert is also a Board member of the Gerrard India Bazaar BIA and is known for his involvement in providing delicious treats to many East End community events. Throughout the pandemic, Hubert noticed the heavy burden placed upon Toronto's frontline healthcare workers. In an effort to help, Hubert and his team at Udupi Palace cooked and donated food to frontline staff at Michael Garron Hospital. Keeping our frontline workers fed with nutritious meals while they cared for patients during the pandemic was his main concern. Thank you for donating your fantastic food and for all you do for our community!

 

Kam Babulal

The East York Seniors Christmas Dinner has been a holiday tradition since the 1980s. Every year, seniors are welcomed to the East York Community Centre to attend this long-standing tradition and enjoy a warm meal. Kam Babulal began volunteering at the Christmas Dinner 12 years ago and it would not be possible without her. Due to the pandemic and the public health measures that were implemented, the 2020 Christmas Dinner could not include a large in person gathering. Instead, seniors were given the choice of picking up a warm meal or having one delivered to their home by volunteers on Christmas Day. Kam had noticed that the pandemic created a new form of isolation for many seniors, so she put in the extra effort to ensure that the 2020 Christmas Dinner would bring a feeling of community and warmth. The Christmas Dinner was a huge success thanks to the hard work of Kam and the amazing volunteers. I hope we can get together in person for the 2021 East York Seniors Christmas Dinner.

 

Twelve

Twelve is an organization that provides free menstrual products to homeless shelters, food banks, community fridges, and other organizations in the GTA. Products like pads, tampons, cups, and menstrual underwear are an absolute necessity for people who experience menstruation. The challenge of accessing these products was heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic. Twelve has donated nearly 10,000 menstrual products within the past 15 months to organizations in need. We thank everyone at Twelve for igniting the conversation about menstrual health and restoring dignity to marginalized folks in our community who deserve to have proper access to safe and adequate menstrual products.

 

St. John’s the Compassionate Mission

St. John the Compassionate Mission has been an essential service in Toronto's East End since it was established in 1987. Their mission is to provide a stable and nurturing environment with free meals, programs, and resources to promote and assist in personal development. During the pandemic, St. John the Compassionate Mission continued to provide these essential services to our community's most vulnerable. Breakfast is served weekly at the Broadview location from Tuesday to Saturday. Takeout dinner is also available on Wednesdays. Thank you to everyone at St. John's for making a difference in our community.

 

Sheilah Currie

Sheilah Currie is the founder of ReadUp, a volunteer-driven literacy program that helps at-risk children advance their reading skills. The program involves assessing each child's individual reading skill level and lending them a book that matches their ability to practice reading over the course of a week. During some of the hardest days of the province-wide lockdowns, when schools closed and parents were scrambling to make do, Sheilah restarted her ReadUp program and ran it out of her own driveway. Children in our community were able to receive hands-on learning experience while maintaining social bonds with other children and volunteers. Sheilah and the volunteers at ReadUp have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to remove barriers to literacy and ensure kids have access to books.

 

Shelley Letofsky (Kanitz)

During the pandemic, Shelley spent countless hours in her home kitchen cooking free meals for marginalized and low-income residents. Shelley has arranged socially distanced pick-ups from her front porch at Donlands and Mortimer where anyone experiencing food insecurity can stop by and grab a free, delicious, homemade meal. She encourages local community members ordering restaurant takeout to save, wash, and drop-off their containers at her porch for re-use. Thank you Shelley for your amazing efforts and commitment to our community.

 

Mustard Seed

Mustard Seed is a well-known community space in the Riverside neighbourhood that provides a safe and welcoming environment. They offer several programs including basic computer training, gardening, meditation and sewing and more. Due to public health restrictions, Mustard Seed had to suspend most of their in person programs in 2020. They began a takeout lunch program for community members experiencing food insecurity and also started the Good Food Market. I am so appreciative of Mustard Seed for playing an essential role in caring for our community's most vulnerable. You can learn more and make a donation at fontbonneministries.ca.

 

AnnMarie Marcolin

AnnMarie is the Director of Community Programs and Partnerships at Fontbonne Ministries. She played a significant role in Mustard Seed's lunch program, working with a team of dedicated staff and volunteers to ensure community members had access to food and other necessities. AnnMarie has also been a strong advocate for improved access to basic sanitation facilities, which became an even more important issue during the pandemic. Thank you for all that you do AnnMarie!

 

Eastview Neighbourhood Community Centre Food Bank

The Eastview Neighbourhood Community Centre Food Bank has provided an essential service to our community for nearly 50 years. When the pandemic began, the staff and volunteers at the worked diligently to adapt their site to maintain safe and ongoing service. The food bank along with the after school and P.A. day programs remained operational, as Eastview staff recognized the critical importance of these programs. The food bank is now located at the East Gym Door at Howard Kempton Park and runs between 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday afternoons. Food hampers and produce bags are distributed to community members in need on a weekly basis. I want to extend my gratitude to all of the incredible staff and volunteers for continuing to support our community – thank you!

 

Neeka Allison

Neeka has been volunteering with the Eastview Neighbourhood Community Centre for several years. In 2010, Neeka won the Ontario Medal for Young Volunteers on the basis of his excessive volunteer work with children and event coordination at Eastview. During the pandemic, new safety protocols meant that Neeka was unable to volunteer inside the building as he normally would have. So he helped out in different ways – cleaning and setting up, delivering meals to seniors and lending a hand wherever he could. Neeka's efforts have proven to be a key element of Eastview's COVID-19 meal program, as he offers his time each Friday to deliver fresh sandwiches to seniors and people with disabilities who cannot commute to the Eastview Food Bank. Thank you Neeka for your dedication and incredible efforts!

 

Mona Guitard

Mona has been actively involved with the Eastview Neighbourhood Community Centre for almost 20 years. She began her journey as a volunteer and worked her way up to her current position as a part-time staff member. During the pandemic, Mona dedicated a great deal of her time to bagging and sorting produce for the Eastview Food Bank. Mona noticed that her colleagues were experiencing exhaustion from having to work much harder than usual to meet critical need, so she assumed the role of Personal Cook for all staff working with her at the food bank. She used her own money to purchase groceries and spent her downtime cooking meals for staff to make sure they felt cared for too. Thank you Mona for looking after your comrades and for your commitment to Eastview!  

 

Mahala and Kim English

Mahala and Kim are two local residents who sprang into action as soon as the pandemic began.  They started a neighbourhood-wide appeal for health and hygiene products, including toothbrushes, body wash, and toilet paper, for Eastview's Food Bank. The staff of Eastview are grateful for their contributions and commitment. Thank you both!

 

Nikki and Lynda Byrne

The Byrne Family consists of three generations of outstanding women who dedicated much of their time to keeping the Eastview Community Garden up and running during the pandemic. Grandmother Linda Byrne, mother Nikki Byrne, and two of Nikki's young daughters helped staff weed, plant, water, and grow fresh produce that went straight from the garden to the Eastview Food Bank. Nikki also assisted in delivering food hampers to local families in need every Wednesday. Thank you for your extraordinary efforts and compassion!

 

Phyllis Baker

As a young mother in the 80s, Phyllis Baker would bring her sons to the Eastview Neighbourhood Community Centre for games and activities. Now, almost 40 years later, Phyllis brings her grandchildren to Eastview and has become a fixture both at the centre and in our community. Many years ago, Phyllis and two other women set up the Eastview Food Bank where she volunteers to this day. If you ask anyone at Eastview, they'll tell you that Phyllis' positive energy is contagious and she is loved not only by her Eastview colleagues, but by all of our neighbours who have benefitted from decades of her community service. There is no question that Phyllis is a Community Hero!

 

Bridget Marzin

Bridget Marzin is a valuable staff member at Eastview Neighbourhood Community Centre. As Manager of Daily Operations at the Eastview Food Bank, Bridget had to quickly pivot duing the pandemic. Every Tuesday afternoon she orchestrates food bank operations and oversees more than 20 volunteers. She also provides counselling, resources and referrals to all food bank clients. Eastview is extremely lucky to have a Community Hero like Bridget on their team, and we are just as lucky to have someone as thoughtful and caring in our East End community.

 

Jan Som

Jan Som is being recognized for their amazing volunteer work with the Eastview Neighbourhood Community Centre during the pandemic. Jan is described by staff at Eastview as a keen gardener who tended to the community garden and supported the food bank. Jan would also often connect Eastview staff with other community members and organizations in the East End to help facilitate donations, such as fresh produce and cutlery. Jan is considered by local residents as an all-around Good Samaritan with an eagerness to help others. Thank you Jan!

 

Jesse Cohoon, Writers Collective Canada

Jesse Cohoon is the Director of Programming at Writers Collective of Canada (formerly Toronto Writers Collective), a nonprofit organization that provides free creative writing workshops specifically targeted towards marginalized populations and individuals whose voices are too often ignored. Currently, WCC is partnered with over 100 shelters and community centres across Canada with whom they have provided virtual workshops facilitated by trained volunteers throughout the pandemic. Their workshops serve the homeless, at-risk youth, abused women, the 2SLGBTQIAP community, the Indigenous community, those in conflict with the law and people with mental illnesses and brain health challenges. WCC uses their unique exploratory writing workshop method to empower voices and bring them back to life while fostering creativity and enhancing valuable literary skills. During the pandemic they shifted to virtual workshops and continued to help lift voices. Thank you Jesse and those involved at WCC!

 

Nectaria Kladitis

Nectaria Kladitis is an East End resident who created "East for East," a grassroots community effort to recruit volunteers and connect them with vulnerable individuals in East Toronto who needed help during the pandemic. East for East provided assistance to seniors, those with compromised immune systems and disabilities, and anyone who required help. Volunteers helped with picking up and dropping off groceries and medications, cleaning, taking dogs for walks, and running other errands. Nectaria received an abundance of support from the East End community and many volunteers eager to lend a hand. Neighbours helping neighbours is how we do it in the East End, and Nectaria is a well-deserving Community Hero!  

 

Lisa Cruikshanks

Lisa has been actively involved in a number of initiatives in her Chester Hill neighbourhood. She cares deeply for her community and has been taking care of the plants in the large planters at the Chester Hill Lookout each season. She has also taken the lead on safety issues on Chester Hill Road, which many people use to get to the Lookout. She started the petition to get a CCTV camera installed at the Lookout and also advocated for speed humps on the street. Thanks for all that you do Lisa!

The Duke Live

George Politis and Donna Riddell of The Duke Live organized the 12th Annual Stuff the Bus Toy Drive in December of 2020 despite the challenges of the pandemic. Stuff the Bus is an annual initiative where people are encouraged to drop off unwrapped Christmas gifts at The Duke on Queen St. East. Toys and gifts are "stuffed" inside a TTC bus and donated to Abuse Hurts – a charitable organization that services smaller outreach centres in the GTA and provides support to victims of abuse. George and Donna were committed to making sure Stuff the Bus took place last year, even though they couldn't host indoor festivities as they have done in past years. They set up a drive-thru and curbside drop-off in The Duke's parking lot where volunteers with full PPE collected donations and loaded them onto the bus. Thank you for your ongoing commitment and I hope to see you at The Duke in person this year.

 

Janet McLeod and the Greenwood Towers Tenants Association

Janet McLeod has been a devoted tenant advocate for many years. As the Chair of the Greenwood Towers Tenants Association, Janet has tackled several issues to make sure her neighbours are safe, healthy and treated fairly. She has been organizing tenants to ensure they know their rights and have access to the resources they need. Her leadership and dedication make her a Community Hero and I know her neighbours are so very appreciative of her efforts. I'd also like to send a special thanks to the other members of the Greenwood Towers Tenants Association for their ongoing advocacy.

 

Hilary Gray

Hilary is a local resident who has been recognized by friends, neighbours, and colleagues as an all-around Good Samaritan. One of Hilary's more recent acts of kindness took place during the 2020 school year at Earl Haig Public School, where she was working as a substitute teacher. Hilary went the extra mile to help a visually impaired elementary grade student, regularly checking-in to ensure that they felt comfortable in class and supported. Hilary also took the initiative to look after the gardens at Earl Haig and at her local park, regularly weeding and watering the plants to keep them alive throughout the pandemic. Hilary cares deeply for her community and I'm delighted to acknowledge her as a Community Hero.

Jane Will

Jane Will is receiving a Community Hero Award for the incredible initiative she took to sew free PPE for community members in need during the peak months of the pandemic. After hearing about the shortage of PPE at hospitals, Jane began sewing dozens of masks to donate to frontline healthcare workers at Michael Garron Hospital. She kept sewing masks for weeks on end, handing them out to pedestrians along the street in front of her house. Neighbours watched as Jane set up a table on her front lawn with a sign that read, "If you need a mask, come and take one!" These small acts of kindness go a long way in times of uncertainty. Thank you Jane!

 

Norm and Peter Oliver

Norm and Peter are East Toronto residents and owners of the Canadian Tire at 1025 Lakeshore Blvd East. They were responsible for carrying out the mission of the Canadian Tire COVID-19 Response Fund in our community. They provided personal protective equipment and essential products to frontline healthcare workers. Canadian Tire has also been supporting the Canadian Red Cross, Good Neighbors Canada, Sick Kids and The Salvation Army throughout the pandemic. Thanks for your dedication to our community!

 

Jennifer Lay, Riverside BIA

Jennifer is the Executive Director of the Riverside BIA and was nominated by a few local business owners for going above and beyond. Jennifer's efforts to support small businesses during the pandemic have not gone unnoticed. She organized weekly virtual meetings for business owners, ensured BIA members had the resources they needed, and advocated for more supports for small business. She also made sure CafeTO and other programs were successful within the BIA. Thank you for your dedication to Riverside Jennifer!

 

The Pocket Community Association

The Pocket Community Association (PCA) is a local group made up of committed residents of the Pocket neighbourhood. At the beginning of the pandemic the PCA formed a COVID-19 Committee and set up a COVID-19 helpline. Volunteers assisted neighbours by delivering groceries and running errands, and they also checked in on one another. The PCA organized special physically distanced events like home decorating, scavenger hunts and the Pocket Pride Celebration. Thank you to our Community Heroes in the PCA for finding safe and innovative ways for community members to stay active and engaged. You can learn more at https://www.thepocket.ca.

 

Cosburn Park Lawn Bowling Club

The Cosburn Park Lawn Bowling Club is now in its 91st year and has grown to almost 200 members. Located at 525 Cosburn Ave, it is home to some of the best greens in the city. The CPLBC implemented health and safety protocols throughout the pandemic so members could stay active, engaged and enjoy lawn bowling. Keeping members safe has been the Club's top priority. The members are very appreciative of the Club's efforts, especially during a difficult period where people have been isolated. Thank you to the Club President, Sandy Johnson, and the fantastic Board of Management.

Lesley Lidster

Lesley Lidster is a Personal Support Worker (PSW) and East Toronto resident. As a local PSW, Lesley acts as frontline care provider in our community, playing a vital role during the pandemic. Lesley is known by her clients, neighbours and loved ones as someone with tremendous compassion for others and an inherent drive to provide support for anyone who needs it. As an essential worker, Lesley was on the frontlines providing her clients with the best care she possibly could while keeping them safe. She also volunteered any extra time she had to caring for a number of the senior residents in her building. Thank you Lesley for all that you do!

 

Vasha Zindros and Tony Pethakas, Mezes Restaurant

When COVID first hit, our local food banks were faced with a great deal of new challenges. The owners of Mezes Restaurant, Vasha Zindros and Tony Pethakas, saw the need for donations and donated as much of their restaurant’s surplus food to the Eastview Food Bank. Eastview staff were blown away by their support, especially since restaurants were also hit hard during the pandemic. Being a Community Hero means putting the needs of your community first, and despite their personal hardships, Vasha and Tony did just that. Thank you for supporting Eastview and our community!

 

Justin Go and Alison Broverman, Borrel

Justin and Alison are the co-owners of Borrel, a Dutch eatery on the Danforth. During the province-wide shutdowns, Justin and Alison knew that they needed to find ways to support their restaurant staff in addition to keeping themselves afloat. Their unique strategy involved selling off their fridge inventory on a pay-what-you-can basis, knowing that the pandemic had impacted many people's income. Justin and Alison also got in touch with the staff at Eastview Neighbourhood Community Centre to offer non-perishable food donations to the Eastview Food Bank. Even during the most trying periods of the pandemic, they made sure to spread their resources to help as many community members and organizations as they possibly could. Thank you Justin and Alison for helping those in need during such a difficult time.

 

Lyle Burns

Lyle Burns is a local East Toronto resident who made a difference in his neighbourhood. Lyle's neighbours are seniors and he knew it was important they stayed home as much as possible. With no hesitation, he volunteered to bring them groceries during the height of the pandemic and during lockdowns. His neighbours are very appreciative of his efforts and his generosity. A well-deserving Community Hero, thank you Lyle!

 

Clare Messenger

Clare is being recognized for her community spirit, compassion and generosity. Whenever she noticed that a community member was feeling depleted by the circumstances of the pandemic, Clare went out of her way to check-up on them and also made sandwiches for those who needed food. This became a routine for Clare, as she could see that her small acts of kindness were making a difference. Clare also cleaned up littler in her neighbourhood and helped ensure her community was taken care of. Thank you Clare!

 

L and A Pharmacy

East End residents have expressed their gratitude for the support they have received from the staff at L and A Pharmacy during the pandemic. Pharmacist Larry Wong and his team of dedicated staff have played a vital role in the fight against COVID-19. They were always open to help however possible and have provided encouragement and support to residents during a difficult period. Thank you for stepping up and taking care of our community.

 

 

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