• Events

    New clothing for homeless youth!

    An estimated 1,500 – 2,000 youth in Toronto are homeless on any given night.  When children enter the shelter system, they are provided with a set of clothing and a few basic personal hygiene products. In many cases, the used clothing they receive is not always in the best shape. After years of conversing with young people experiencing homelessness, I learned that many have the shared experience of digging through garbage bags of donations in search of good items to wear. This did not sit right with me and I knew that something had to change. For the past several years, I have worked closely with shelters and community centres…

  • 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…

  • Events

    Ramadan Mubarak!

    Ramadan Mubarak / Happy Ramadan to all those who celebrate! 🌙 ⭐️ I hope this month gives us all time to self-reflect, practice patience, learn peace and show gratitude. It is such a blessing to be a part of a community that devotes so much time to giving back and helping others. Using what we have been blessed us with to serve others is a beautiful thing and surely the best part of being human 😊 Swipe to read a few pointers about fasting and Areej’s suggestions on how to support your muslim friends this month! Also: Our friends at @smilecanada announced an incredible theme for Ramadan this year: #RamadanRoots.…

  • Events

    Rising Youth Community Service

    Join the movement! Visit risingyouth.ca Through meeting with thousands of individuals in need over the past seven years, I have learned just how important good clothing items are for one’s self confidence. But many individuals at the local homeless shelters we serve have expressed the embarrassment they have felt in the past digging through garbage bags in search of adequate clothing items to wear.  We wash, repair, sort, iron, fold and pack each clothing item and placed them into a recycled cardboard boxes to then be picked up by families in need.   After receiving this grant, we created a form online where individuals with items to donate and those in…

  • By youth

    Youth Spotlight: Meet Sadia

    Tell us about the work you do:  I am a youth mental health advocate based in Toronto, ON. I worked with youth across Canada to start conversations about mental health and discuss the role it plays in our lives. I am especially passionate about discussing mental health education, in both our schools and communities. I strongly believe that everyone should grow up having the basic education they need to take proper care of themselves.  What inspires you? I am inspired by the youth I talk to through my work. I love hearing their stories and different lived experiences. It helps open by eyes to the unique experiences youth are dealing…

  • By youth

    Youth Spotlight: Meet Bianca & Maliha

    Tell us about the work you do? Stay Woke is a youth non-profit organization striving to promote a culture of social awareness through creativity. Ultimately, our goal is to amplify youth voices and build a community of youth change-makers. We do so through various projects and events, including an annual open-mic + gallery event, Framed: a digital arts magazine, the Get out of My Head podcast, Stay Aware: a multimedia discussion circle, and #StayWokeSundays (informative graphics surrounding social issues).  What inspires you?  Our inspiration stems from our personal passions for both creativity and social change. Initially, our desire to advocate for important social issues, especially through creative mediums such as…

  • Donations

    Make a bear hug box!

    We repurpose & distribute tens of thousands of items each year. Volunteers are encouraged to engage in and share their repurposing efforts each month by: Connecting with the needs of homeless shelters & community centres in their area Filling shoe boxes (or other small boxes) with gently used items from around their home and making them like new for families in need Tag us in your bear hug box photos @aizastbf with the hashtag #bearhugs! 

  • 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