Buy a toque and help break the cycle of homelessness!

    VANCOUVER, Feb. 1 /CNW/ - February 5th is Toque Tuesday. As Vancouver
commuters head to and from work, they'll be greeted by enthusiastic
toque-selling community volunteers who are supporting Raising the Roof -
Canada's only national charity devoted solely to finding long-term solutions
to homelessness. Raising the Roof's annual national Toque Campaign - its
signature fundraiser - runs from November through the end of February. Toque
Tuesday is the charity's national public awareness day -a day when all
Canadians have the opportunity to come together in support of solutions to
    The stylish, Canadian-made head warmers will sell for a minimum donation
of $10. Eighty percent of proceeds raised in Vancouver will go directly to
support two local homelessness-serving community agencies - BladeRunners
(Vancouver) and the Progressive Housing Society (Burnaby). The remaining
twenty percent will support Raising the Roof's national Youthworks initiative,
focused on breaking the cycle of youth homelessness across Canada. The toques
can also be ordered from Brice Evans, Raising the Roof Toque Campaign Manager,
at 604-338-1658.
    "By buying a toque you are helping homeless Canadians to get the
affordable housing, education and skills training, employment opportunities
and mentoring that they need to succeed," says Garry Jobin, Manager,
VancouverBladeRunners. "One thing is clear we all have a part to play in
solutions to homelessness. Buying a toque is one way to get involved and show
your support."
    As a five-year national Raising the Roof partner, Direct Energy and its
employees have already donated over $1.8 million to Raising the Roof. Direct
Energy employees have been involved in Toque Tuesday activities in many cities
across Canada. This year, the Vancouver office team will join in, selling
toques with other community volunteers at Burrard Street Station and several
New Westminster Skytrain stations. "We are delighted to once again take part
in this annual Toque Tuesday event," says Janice Thomson, Executive
Vice-President, Human Resources and Communications, Direct Energy. "Direct
Energy is proud to have so many employees engaged in and committed to the
well-being of the communities in which we work. We ask everyone to help put a
cap on homelessness in their community by purchasing a toque from one of our
volunteers on Toque Tuesday."
    "Today Raising the Roof is proud to be working with our partners and
supporters throughout the nation raising awareness and funds to solve
homelessness in Canada. By simply buying a toque Canadians are helping
homeless youth in Vancouver and across the country to get the opportunities
they need to succeed and overcome life without a home," says Sean Gadon,
President of Raising the Roof.

    Media Photo and interview opportunities

    We would be pleased to facilitate Interviews with representative of
BladeRunners agency + Raising the Roof President, and a previously homeless
youth (the latter two by telephone). Please call Brice Evans (information
above) or Maureen Deery, Raising the Roof, at (office): 416-489-9531, or
(cell) 416-346-4910 to facilitate.

    6:30 - 9:30 a.m., 11:30 - 1:30 p.m. and 3:00 - 6:00 p.m.
    Over 150 toque-selling volunteers will be stationed at Burrard Street
Station and select New Westminster Skytrain stations.

    Volunteer representatives, Garry Jobin of BladeRunners and Raising the
    Roof spokesperson available for interview
    Please contact Brice Evans (information above).

    Saturday - Tuesday
    Interview with Local Senior BladeRunner and RtR Campaign Manager

    Gerry Green, a previously homeless youth in the BladeRunners program &
    Brice Evans
    Please contact Brice Evans (information above).

For further information:

For further information: Brice Evans, Raising the Roof, Toque Campaign
Manager, Cell: (604) 338-1658; Maureen Deery, Director of National Campaigns,
Raising the Roof, Cell: (416) 346-4910

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