image of a plastic bin full of supplies

Cooperation – Kits for the Future

In 2016 we think our Toronto shelters will help around 400 women and men find their own apartments and move out of our shelters.

That excites us!

But we want to make sure we do as much as we can to ensure that the people we help to house can turn that housing into a home. That’s hard work and takes creativity and intentionality.

It also takes cooperation.

One of the best examples that I’ve seen lately involving cooperation happened just a couple of Saturdays ago. One of the many things we are doing in order to help people settle into their new apartments is to offer them a ‘start-up kit’. These kits contain all the necessities we can think of in order to get started in a new place. They include things like pillows, blankets, sheets and towels, kitchen utensils, cups, plates, toilet tissue and paper towels, toiletries, soap, etc.

Assembling these 400 kits takes enormous effort of partnering and cooperating. There’s $100 worth of supplies in each kit. So if you multiply that by 400, we’re at $40,000. The Public Relations and Development department at Divisional Headquarters helped secure the funding. Thanks to Stacy Gordon, the bins that the supplies go in were donated; a huge expense of close to $10 per bin was saved. A volunteer organized everything to do with purchasing supplies at the most economical rate. The Canadian Bible Society gave us 400 Bibles to add to the kits. Bargain’s Group supplied most of the kit items at very good prices and even showed up to help assemble them. The folks who work at the Oakville Salvation Army warehouse gave us space to pack and store the kits. They picked up the supplies from the supplier, they will deliver them to our shelters when needed and they even showed up on the Saturday of the assembly day to lend a hand and to guide us through what needed to happen. A small army of volunteers showed up on the Saturday of the packing day and formed an assembly line to put one of everything in all 400 bins.

This whole thing defines cooperation. It’s a beautiful thing.

And as a result, we now have 400 start-up kits ready and waiting to be distributed to men and women who wouldn’t ordinarily have the money to purchase the supplies that most of us take for granted.

For that I am truly thankful.

I’m thrilled to be a small part of this team.

So let’s keep working together and striving to be ‘The Hand of God in the Heart of the City’.

Dion Oxford, Director of Mission Integration


A Prayer

Communal God
We pray for a spirit of cooperation and eagerness to contribute to the needs of the whole body, so that our shelters are built not just with sweat, bricks, and mortar but with love, care, and teamwork.
Therefore we go forth in unity and purpose as we do our part in building each other up in the various natural giftings and learned skills You have given us as we strive for unity in our work.

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