FirstService Residential: Supporting Deserving Families Through Annual LifeNet4Families Food Drive Donation

We donate to LifeNet4Families every year around Thanksgiving to help those who need it the most. We collect non-perishables or any dollar amount. We will be collecting non-perishables or money donations from  November 1st until the 15th. Please contact Diana Sanchez if you have any questions.

Paul Davis: Joining Together to Support Local Food Pantries through a CANstruction Charity Drive

A friendly contest to build a Can Structure to benefit local food pantries. Once complete, the local offices will submit photos and compete for likes on Facebook page. The photo with the most “likes” and the structure with most cans used each win an office party reimbursed up to $500! This is a great Paul Davis can ban together and support our local communities!

FirstService Residential: Providing Nutritious Meals to Those with Serious Illnesses

Philly-area high-rise associates teamed up with MANNA to provide healthy meals to those suffering from serious illnesses. The team spent the day cooking, preparing and packaging meals and were even joined by residents of other FirstService Residential-managed communities.  

FirstService Residential: Help Southern Nevada Seniors During Our Las Vegas and Reno Food Drive

Established in 2000, Helping Hands of Vegas Valley is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with the mission to provide free, assistive services to senior citizens in Southern Nevada, allowing them to maintain their dignity and independence while improving health and daily living.

Las Vegas and Reno office are getting together to do this Food Drive for the Helping Hands of Vegas Valley.

The Reno Office address is 639 Isbell Road Suite #280 Reno, Nevada 89509

The Las Vegas address is 8290 Arville St, Las Vegas, NV 89139

FirstService Residential: Lending a Hand to Feed My Starving Children

CollegePro: Support our North American Food Drive

This month, College Pro is hosting a food drive across North America from the Full-Time to the Franchisees! Throughout our franchise divisions,we are working to see who can compile the largest non-perishable food donation in their area. We challenge anyone in the FirstService Community to do the same! If you’d like to get involved with us, compile and donate all non-perishable food items to your local food bank, or send them to our London office!

Super Restoration: Helping prepare 124,416 meals for those in need

Super Restoration helped assemble a team of 650 volunteers who spent a weekend preparing an astounding 124,416 meals for hungry children around the world during a recent mobile pack event for Feed My Starving Children. This was the company’s third year participating in this worthwhile event.
 “This was my first year being a part of a Feed My Starving Children event. I took on the role as the event coordinator and began working on this project back in August 2018,” said Jamie O’Camb, executive assistant to Rene Vargas (CEO). “After all the hard work was done and everything was ready to go, I couldn’t believe the event day was finally here. That morning, I made my way to the back to see all the people packing the meals. It truly brought tears to my eyes to see such genuine people and families, taking time out of their weekend to pack meals for starving children. This was something that made a huge impact on me and I will continue to support this cause for a very long time.”
In addition to packing meals, the team also helped raise $30,000 for this worthy cause.

Feed My Starving Children Event Supervisor Louis Hintz acknowledged the team’s hard work by saying, “Thank you so much for an amazing event. Thank you all for having a heart for the precious kids that we feed day in and day out. We had a great time working with you all this weekend and appreciate all the hard work you put into this event! The core team, volunteers and everyone else were all incredible. Thanks again!”

 

FirstService: Providing needed funds to ensure students receive healthy meals

At FirstService’s Toronto office, the Social Responsibility Committee is always looking for ways the team can positively impact its community. Child poverty is a growing problem, and many children do not receive adequate nutrition as a result.  Through a series of “Breakfast Club” fundraisers, the team raised $1,960 to fund Student Nutrition Programs in the Toronto area.  For every $100 raised, 70 children will receive a hot and healthy breakfast. 100% of the donations collected by the team went directly into these programs.
“Food security is something many of us take for granted. For kids, having access to nutritious meals affects their ability to focus and learn in school,” said Erica Foster, senior manager, accounting and part of FirstService’s Social Responsibility Committee. “Toronto Foundation for Student Success’ mission to help students succeed by providing meals is something that resonated to many of us and we wanted to do our part to help ensure no child in Toronto begins the school day hungry.

Pictured with Shannon Quesnelle, Associate Director, Development & Communications, Toronto Foundation for Student Success (third from left): Michael Smith, Deborah Kelley, Ryan Bedrich, Erica Foster and Scott Patterson

 

FirstService Corporation: Harvesting Produce to #FirstServeOthers

August 23, 2018, was back-to-school day for 20 FirstService Corporation employees who visited the Bendale Business Technical Institute (Bendale BTI) campus. But instead of carrying backpacks and laptops, volunteers donned gardening gloves and garden tools. This back-to-school day was different than most. On this day, the team volunteered to tend to the vegetable gardens at Bendale BTI as part of a community service initiative to support FoodShare Toronto, a non-profit organization established in 1985 whose mission is to partner with communities and schools to deliver healthy food and education.

FoodShare’s School Grown is an innovative schoolyard farming project, where fruits and vegetables are grown on school lawns and rooftops to create student employment. Students learn it all – from seeding to weeding, to harvesting produce and running their own farmers markets twice a week in two locations in the City of Toronto, Borden Farmers Market and East Lynn Farmers Market.

School Grown produce is shared with students, sold to the public at local farmers markets and donated to food share programs to support the culinary classes and lunches at Bendale BTI and Eastdale CI.

Bendale BTI launched its garden on a ¼ acre of school lawn in 2010. In addition to learning horticulture, students get to harvest and cook garden-grown produce, helping them to establish healthy eating habits and lifelong skills. The results of the program have been impressive.

  • 30 School Grown youth employed in 2017
  • 37,913 lbs of food harvested from School Grown gardens
  • $203,641 paid out in youth wages to date

During the summer months student employees are off for summer break so volunteers are needed to help tend the gardens. The FirstService team was looking for a teambuilding event which included a community service component as part of its #FirstServeOthers initiative, and that could accommodate 20 volunteers — which can be a challenge to find. FoodShare Toronto was a perfect fit.

Orlando Martin Lopez Gomez, Bendale BTI’s Urban Agriculture Manager, educated participants about the program and the varieties of produce grown on-site. He divided the group into teams who were each tasked with different duties including weeding and tending to the tomato plants. Before long they got to dig in and begin the rewarding task of harvesting fresh produce. Turnips, radishes, tomatoes, and beans were all harvested, cleaned and packed – ready to be taken to the farmers market for sale. Along the way, volunteers got to sample a wide range of organic produce including colorful and sweet tomatoes, kale, peppery arugula, spicy radishes, several varieties of lettuce and even raw okra.

Just some of the organic produce harvested by the FirstService team

A highlight of the day was getting to sample fresh from the farm produce

“When planning our event, we looked at a number of different volunteer opportunities and were intrigued when we learned about FoodShare Toronto,” said Michael Smith, who works as a strategy and corporate development analyst and was part of the event planning team. “Most of us spend our days behind desks working on computers so to have the opportunity to get outdoors, roll up our sleeves and dig in was a great change of pace. Because students were off for the summer, the gardens needed some TLC and we were able to make an immediate impact, which was extremely rewarding.”

This was an eye-opening experience for many who had no idea such urban farms existed in the city, and certainly not on school grounds. For more information about the wide array of programs offered by FoodShare Toronto please visit www.foodshare.net.

20 volunteers from FirstService ready to #FirstServeOthers at FoodShare Toronto

 

FirstService Corporation: Distributes food, supplies and companionship with Ve’ahavta in Toronto

This past week, 3 members of FirstService Corporation teamed up with Ve’ahavta to distribute food, drinks, supplies and most importantly companionship for 6 hours on a brisk February evening. This night is 1 of 3 planned over the next several months for FirstService to get involved. Some Statistics:
  • Over 235,000 Canadians experience homelessness in a year, including over 5,000 in Toronto alone (Toronto has the 2nd highest homeless population of any Canadian city).
  • Approximately 1,350 chronically homeless people die each year in Canada, with an average life expectancy of 39.
Ve’ahavta’s Theory of Change
  • by providing health supports, referrals to shelters, and essential supplies, we can meet the basic physical needs of homeless or under-housed individuals, and we can ensure their safety.
  • by providing consistent, frequent, and compassionate service, we can decrease social isolation, and build trusting relationships that provide the emotional support needed to create change.
  • by engaging and educating volunteers, we can raise consciousness about homelessness, reduce the stigmatization of the homeless, and inspire people to seek solutions to end homelessness.
Waj H. (Analyst, Risk and Compliance) describes his experience as “eye-opening”. “It made me recognize how fortunate I am to have everything I need, and perhaps I shouldn’t complain about the small inconveniences in my life. I could go on and on, but overall I’m thankful I had the opportunity to give back, connect and appreciate how fortunate I really am. Thank you to Ryan B. (Director, Finance) for organizing.”
If anybody in the Toronto area ever wants to get involved with this great program, feel free to learn more here.