TORONTO, Dec. 4, 2014 /CNW/ - As temperatures drop in Toronto and the holidays near, Good Shepherd is raising awareness for the people that brave our cold streets all winter long. Beginning Saturday, black Christmas trees dawn high traffic areas on King and Queen Sts., where people commonly ignore the homeless. Ornaments and adjacent sidewalk stenciling promote sharing of the "homeless trees" and jarring facts via social media with the hashtag #HomelessChristmas.
Attention-grabbing ornaments add to the impact of the out-of-place trees, with messages that include "Let's hope it's only the tree that dies on the street" and "The homeless can't eat a tree. Please give or at least share." The sidewalk stenciling that accompanies the Christmas trees asks people to help by donating at GoodShepherd.ca. The #HomelessChristmas campaign is a follow up to Good Shepherd's 2013 #HomelessTurkey campaign, where 11,000 tweets resulted in 110 turkey's being donated to the shelter's Thanksgiving dinner that year.
"People have become desensitized to Toronto's homeless," said Brother David Lynch, Executive Director of Good Shepherd. "The sad reality is more people will pay attention to these trees than they will the people who sleep on the street every night. If this makes one person think about that and help us help the homeless, we've done our job."
Good Shepherd serves more than 1300 hot meals to the homeless every day, more than any other organization in Toronto. Well known on the streets of Toronto as a place to get a hot meal, clean clothes and a safe, clean bed for the night, Good Shepherd is a leading provider of comprehensive services to homeless, disadvantaged and marginalized people in the city.
About Good Shepherd Ministries
Good Shepherd Ministries is a charity located in downtown Toronto. They have been providing food, shelter, clothing and other vital services for homeless and vulnerable people since 1963. Good Shepherd Ministries strives to promote and protect human dignity. Learn more at goodshepherd.ca
Image with caption: "Good Shepherd Ministries (CNW Group/Good Shepherd Ministries)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20141204_C6542_PHOTO_EN_9020.jpg
SOURCE: Good Shepherd Ministries