The #TorontoStrong Fund will open a designated account for donations to the victims of the July 22 shooting on the Danforth. This fund will ensure that the generous outpouring of philanthropic support is collected and distributed to those affected in an accountable and transparent manner. The entirety of these donated funds will be distributed to the victims through a process established following the April 23 van attack on Yonge Street and informed by models and best practices from around the world.
The #TorontoStrong Fund is a partnership between the City of Toronto and Toronto Foundation, advised by a volunteer steering committee. Following the van attack, the fund raised approximately $3.5 million to help support the 26 killed and injured. This account is still actively accepting donations until August 31.
Mayor John Tory announced the new philanthropic effort with Danforth councillors Mary Fragedakis (Ward 29 Toronto-Danforth) and Paula Fletcher (Ward 30 Toronto-Danforth), along with former Mayor Barbara Hall, who is acting as the pro bono #TorontoStrong Fund Administrator and who will stay on to allocate and distribute philanthropic donations to the victims of the shooting on the Danforth.
The fund will also be co-ordinating with existing community-led fundraising initiatives and GoFundMe to look for opportunities to collaborate and unite in an effort to provide city-wide support for victims.
In addition to co-ordinating the collection and distribution of donations, the #TorontoStrong Fund is working to aggregate existing support mechanisms for victims of major violent events, and identify gaps and make recommendations for future efforts to combat violence and support local communities.
"No city should have to experience the grief and tragedy that Toronto has faced in these two incidents," said Mayor Tory. "The #TorontoStrong Fund was established to ensure that people have a transparent, accountable way to express their support for those killed and injured, and to learn from these events so we can provide help to those who need it."
"The #TorontoStrong Fund has developed a model to help support the victims of senseless tragedy through philanthropic action," said Hall. "This fund will provide some much needed support to those who have lost loved ones, sustained life-altering injuries and heartbreaking loss in a thoughtful, impactful and accountable manner."
"Tragedies like this unite our neighbourhood and our city in grief," said Councillor Fletcher. "The community is committed to coming together in the face of violence and to support these victims and their families."
"The support that this community has already received is truly incredible," said Councillor Fragedakis. “The Danforth neighbourhood is heartbroken, but coming together as a community to support these victims in this difficult time is essential.”
Those interested in supporting the #TorontoStrong Danforth Fund can donate online at http://www.torontofoundation.ca/torontostrong or by cheque. Donations can also be made using the Rogers-initiated cross-carrier text-to-donate campaign through the Mobile Giving Foundation Canada. Text TORONTO to 80100 donate $5, $10, $20 or $25. After texting 80100, donors will receive a text asking them to indicate the amount they wish to donate, as well as a confirmation text.
The fund will be partnering with Islamic Relief Canada and DawaNet to ensure that the funds raised through their joint effort, which involves more than 50 Muslim organizations across Canada, will flow directly to this co-ordinated campaign to support the victims.
To learn more about the #TorontoStrong fund and to contribute, visit http://www.torontofoundation.ca/torontostrong/.
About Toronto Foundation
Established in 1981, Toronto Foundation is a registered charity and one of 191 Community Foundations in Canada. We pool philanthropic dollars and facilitate charitable donations for maximum community impact. Our individual, family and organizational Funds number more than 500 and we administer more than $400 million in assets. Through strategic granting, thought leadership and convening, we engage in city building to strengthen quality of life in Toronto. To learn more, visit http://www.torontofoundation.ca.