• Events,  Reflections

    Happy National Volunteer Week!

    Happy National Volunteer Week! I first stumbled upon the non-profit world in elementary school. At the time, I had just witnessed the generational effects of poverty in Pakistan and needed to channel my energy and emotions into some form of humanitarian outreach.  But I was only 7-years old and had access to very limited resources. Upon spending the next several years volunteering at local homeless shelters and food banks, I discovered that community service was so much more than that.  It was a way to focus on the things I did have and use them to answer someone’s prayers.  Something that I was dedicated to helping my Youth Advisory Board…

  • Reflections

    Filming with CBC Toronto

    Thank you to Natalie from CBC Toronto for choosing to share our story! I spent the day filming with Mark and picked up a number of valuable public speaking skills like  Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart to feel grounded  Projecting your voice using your diaphragm Interlocking fingers together to keep anxiety in your hands Journalling as a way to process ideas and emotions Making a mental note of key points rather than trying to memorize an entire speech

  • Reflections

    What would bring you happiness?

    I asked a a mom in need what would bring her happiness during this time. Despite her financial and other challenges, she is certain that a teddy bear for her kids is all she needs to lift her spirits.   Her message: I am a single mother of 3 disabled children with autism and global development delay. The pandemic has made things difficult. I have trouble going out because they are still in diapers and everything is expensive. My greatest goal right now is to make my kids happy. They are all under 8 years old and I know a teddy bear would make them feel so loved.   Note: Posted with permission

  • Reflections

    Mental health matters

    Are we prepared? I think about this post often because it perfectly encapsulates how necessary it is to match our words with our actions. 1 in 4 people in the world will struggle with their mental health at some point in their lives. Despite this, stigmas and discrimination are ever prevalent. This post reminds me to1️⃣ Reflect on internalized biases and examine my thinking2️⃣ Educate myself on mental illnesses and substance use disorders3️⃣ Be conscious of my words and behaviours4️⃣ Focus on the positives and offer support & encouragement5️⃣ Support transformative organizations like @hopefortheday@cmhanational@youthmentalhealth@kidshelpphone@justiceforsoli@mentalhealthcoalition

  • Reflections

    What is your why?

    I was 7 years old when I first witnessed the generational effects of poverty. Children, no older than I was at the time were lined up outside of a hotel waiting to retrieve stale bread as it was being disposed of. This didn’t sit right with me. Why would anyone be deprived of good food? I knew that I had to channel this energy into creating something special. In 2013, I founded Aiza’s Teddybear Foundation in an effort to make life easier for children in need. Each year, we repurpose and distribute over 40,000 items to serve families in need. We send school supplies and warm sweaters to students at…

  • Reflections

    What difference can a teddy bear make?

    Aiza’s Teddybear Foundation was founded on the belief that all children deserve not only unrestricted access to their fundamental human rights, but also an understanding of what these rights are and what they should look like in their own lives. What we have learned through working with tens of thousands of children over the past 6 years is that children are not only being relentlessly deprived of their rights, many do not know that being forced to sacrifice one for another is not the norm. Once we have ensured the physical needs of a child (food, water, safety), the emotional needs must be met. Children are not meant to face…