The Yonge Street Mission Shares the Joy of Christmas with over 6,000 people at Annual Toy and Food Market

TORONTO, Dec. 18, 2013 /CNW/ - All members of the media are welcome to attend our annual Christmas holiday food and toy market held daily until December 24th. 

Yonge Street Mission's Toy Market will take place at 306 Gerrard St. East  

Yonge Street Mission's Food Market will take place at 270 Gerrard St. East  

On December 24th we will have emergency toy and food market for last-minute urgent distribution.

"We serve thousands during the holidays with the help of over 850 volunteers who come with warm hearts and spirits. Our volunteers want to lend a hand and actually find themselves experience personal transformation and moved emotionally," says Ruth Pentinga, Director of Volunteer Resources. 

"Christmas can be a very lonely and depressing time for our community and often reminds them of what they don't have. Being able to provide food and wrapped gifts shows our community that somebody cares," added Janice Rainey, Director of Relief and Support. 

Objective of the Toy and Food Market - To bring hope and joy to over 6,000 marginalized adults, homeless youth and isolated seniors, and struggling families with children.

Demographics served - 74% of the registrants for our Toy and Food Market are from the Regent Park (avg. income $22,977), Moss Park (avg. income $32,236) and St. James Town communities.

Number of people served - We will be serving over 2,000 children at the Toy Market and over 2,000 people at the Food Market.  We also serve over 200 seniors with our senior boxes which include food and gifts delivered to isolated seniors in the community.

Special needs of the community 

  • For teens 13-18: gift cards (clothing retailers, movie, and books)
  • For street youth: back packs, sweatshirts, hygiene items and TTC tokens
  • For seniors: pajamas and slippers, seniors TTC tickets
  • Non-perishable food items: cereal, canned soup and other sources of protein
  • Clothing: new hats, gloves and scarves
  • Cash donations are appreciated so that we can purchase milk and eggs

How can you help? - Only through the generous donations of the community can we provide help and hope this Christmas.

TO GIVE, LEARN, ACT: The easiest and fastest way to volunteer or make a financial donation is to visit www.ysm.ca.  You can mail cheques to: Yonge Street Mission, 306 Gerrard Street East
Toronto, ON M5A 2G7 or call directly Monday to Friday from 9 am - 5pm at 416-929-9614 or 1-800-416-5111  

ABOUT: The Yonge Street Mission has worked on the front lines of poverty in Toronto since 1896, providing free meals, healthcare, clothing, job training and education, counselling, and help to thousands of individuals and families. 

SOURCE Yonge Street Mission

For further information:

CONTACT: Helen Choi, Marketing Coordinator at 416-320-6803 or hchoi@ysm.ca