Wednesday, Mom, Ella and I went strawberry picking with St. Matthews. We were in charge of the outing, and we went to Cormier’s berry patch on a bus. When we got there, most of us ate a sandwich, and then we went berry picking. The weather was perfect, and the strawberries were delicious. Okay, I’ll admit it, I ate like 20 thousand. But that’s nothing compared to Ella. She ate like 20 million! She was dripping with strawberry juice. Her mouth, her shorts, and her legs. And her shirt! Completely covered! One of the little girls on the outing ran through the strawberry plants. I guess the Cormier berry patch will have lots of jam. Now, we’re back home making smoothies and tarts. We’ll have strawberries for days to come!
Earlier in the year, the University of Winnipeg PACE program held a potluck for WarmToes but the giving didn’t end there. They donated a pizza lunch donated by Pizza Pizza to WarmToes to use at our next event. So in the same spirit in which we received the big lunch we forwarded it onto St Matthew’s to have a Pizza and Socks lunch that happened on April 1st. Enough pizza was provided for over 100 people and, of course, socks for all.
Our crew of young volunteers came out and served up some hot pizza and manned the door to hand out socks to everyone. We love these kind of events because they show our kids the power of giving in helping warm people’s hearts as well as their toes.
Thanks to the your family, especially Aurora, for April Fools Day Pizza. WarmToes shared a prize she had won with the drop in guests: pizza for 100 people from Pizza Pizza. There was enough leftover for lunch on Monday. Aurora and her brother and sister also handed out Warm Toes socks to everyone. Warming feet, tummies and hearts. THANKS THANKS THANKS!
Hi, my name is Julian and what I did this week was I gave 32 pairs of kids socks to Orioles community centre. I also got to play with all the kids. My mom packed grocery’s, made sandwiches and handed out 79 pairs of adult socks. Later we went to Winnipeg harvest to help, but Aurora will talk about that.
It seems just like yesterday that the UofW PACE program was holding a potluck to raise socks for WarmToes and here we are again, almost a year later, getting invited back and we couldn’t be happier. We love the people, the warm hearts, the food, and the generosity of the students at PACE.
For us, it’s a chance to meet some of the greatest supporters we have and to thank them personally. So we invite you all to come out and support our little charity initiative, have an incredible meal (partially provided by you), and meet some of the most wonderful people Winnipeg has to offer. And bring some socks so we can continue to warm hearts by warming toes.
Tuesday February 16th, Noon, Buhler building, room 2BC55.
The best part of WarmToes is that other people step up and help us out. That, that warms our hearts to know that other people want to help their community.
And when Lily of École St. Norbert reached out to her teacher and wanted to help us in December, well, that just about melted our hearts. More than that, they invited us in to give a presentation for the entire school about WarmToes and giving back to the community. This is a perfect example of how elementary school kids can help and be a part of their community too.
Lori Davis, her teacher, knows that the power of small is incredible and together the class and school raised over 300 pairs of socks for WarmToes. I know my kids were pretty jazzed to be the center of a school assembly and I was very excited to meet this wonderful little girl who we expect will be doing great things for her community for many years to come.
From WarmToes, thank you Lori and Lily, for thinking of others.
(UPDATE: The book Lilly and the Paperman played a large part in the beginning of WarmToes, coincidence? Have we found the real Lily the book was based on?)
WarmToes received an email recently from Tanis Clayton, a teacher at Glenlawn Collegiate, who was wanting to connect her students with a charity that they could support through their club’s activities. The Interact Club, a school club, has the purpose of helping a local charity and international charity each year and involving students in their community. With guidance from the local Rotary Club liason, Ed Balcewich, they reach out, become involved, and make a difference.
After a brief meeting with the club members, Hannah Barre (president of Interact Club – Youth Rotary), Tanis Clayton (teacher rep) and Allie Hassin (Vice-Principal), we all decided WarmToes would be a perfect fit for their efforts. So they decorated a sock tree and hung their socks with care in their windows to get the word out. Follow their efforts on twitter at @gciLRSD and at @warmtoesYWG.
The Kickoff Event
The first event, on December 16th, at the Explosion of Awesomeness assembly in Glenlawn’s gym, students and staff (numbering more than 1300 people!) will gather together to hear of the plethora of leadership and extracurricular opportunities available at GCI.
As their other events come up we’ll let you know the details, but for now, here’s their first informational poster and a big thank you from WarmToes for letting us be involved with such a great bunch of Winnipeg youth.
From our new Toronto helpers, a story of a Friday night, and their efforts to help those they find on the streets.
It’s another typical Friday night downtown Toronto. Rush hour has just begun when Pete and I get off the GO train at Union station. Pedestrian traffic is thick, hurried and confused. A guy at the corner is passing out pamphlets with “public importancies.” I have 40 pairs of socks in my military duffel donated by Julee Lalonde Prince. Within minutes, Pete and I hand out ten pairs to the homeless who make a living at the corner of Front and Bay.
We make our way to Winner’s on Front where Pete purchases 20 pairs each of winter socks, underwear and gloves – the three things deemed most important by the homeless we met last weekend while passing out socks the first time.
Pete’s quest to provide these things was inspired by his friend’s little girl, whose family started WarmToes, and has supplied almost 10,000 pairs of socks to the homeless in that city over the past 5 years. I am more than happy to carry the 50 lbs of gear in my duffel as we wander through downtown meeting and greeting the destitute of Toronto.
One of the first people we meet tells us that he’s not homeless – he’s just down on his luck – laid off and run out of unemployment benefits. So he’s panning change to pay the rent for his family.
The stories of these people are widely varied. Some really are homeless, some are alcoholic, drug addicted or just unlucky.
Just before Queen St., walking up Yonge, we meet Jerry who tells us “This is just one of my manifestations. I’m global. My other manifestations are all over the world. We’re preparing to rise up and make global change. If you meet any of my others, I’m sure they’d like socks too.”
“We’ll surely give them some if we see them Jerry,”
As we walk further, we come across Jesse, an elderly man in a wheelchair panning outside a variety store.
“HEY! The sock guys!”
Two Friday nights out on the streets and we’re already known. We don’t do this for self-aggrandizement but it’s definitely a great thing to be recognized and appreciated.
We chat with Jesse for a bit before continuing on. He’s having a good week with the weather still being in plus temperatures in mid-December.
A little further on we’re talking to a guy in a sleeping bag at Sherbourne and King. He doesn’t want anything from us. A young guy – maybe 20 – stops and inquires about what we’re doing. When we tell him he gives us five bucks which Pete promptly puts in the homeless guy’s bag.
Looking closely at this side of life changes a person. Many of us are only a few steps from being on the street. Helping those already there is “noblesse oblige.” It’s a choice to help these people which cannot be prejudiced by whatever reason they’re out there.
We have a good friend who has wandered around Canada the last few years, and has recently set down some roots back in Toronto. He’s always been a supporter of WarmToes and our children but in a recent conversation with Peter where I was telling about some of the wonderful things that have happened to us I challenged him to buy a pair of socks and hand them out to someone who needs them in downtown Toronto.
Knowing Peter, I should have realized that he would take up this challenge and go big with it – he did. He bought 50 pairs of socks, grabbed a friend who owed him a favour, and went wandering the streets looking for people who would need socks.
These are some of the great people they gave socks to in their wanderings.
Can I say I’m really proud of Peter? I knew he was an incredible guy but I didn’t know he was an incredibly caring soul too. And get this, he’s going back out again next weekend with more socks with his girlfriend (who was quite disappointed she wasn’t asked to go out the first time).
Keep us posted to your giving, Mr. Pete, we think this is the start of something incredible.
Bowl your socks off!
The wonderful people at Academy Lanes are running a promotion all December long that’s right up our alley (see what I did there?). Bring in a new pair of socks to get $2 off your hour of bowling or get free shoe rentals! Continue reading “#BoxOfSox – Bowl your Way to Helping the Community”
WarmToes hands out knitted mitts, socks and scarfs at Agape Table and West End Commons drop in just in time for the colder weather. Aurora enjoyed organizing while Ella and Julian shared their smile with the many women, men and children attending morning breakfast and afternoon lunch. Special thanks to academy lanes, family knitters and PACE students who donated the items!