Giving Back to Our Community: Be a Secret Santa
When I started my real estate business, I decided to donate a portion of my service fee to a charitable organization in the community where the house was located. Over the years I donated to community gardens, a local church, women’s shelters in Halton and York regions, the AIDS Committee of Durham, St. Joseph’s Hospital, among others.
In 2020, I decided to donate bicycles to the Toronto Firefighters Toy Drive at Christmas. This is a personal donation for me. I remember vividly coming down on Christmas morning to bicycles under the tree. There was a bluish-green tricycle, a blue two-wheeler with training wheels, a cool purple racer with butterfly handlebars and a “banana seat”, and a red almost adult-size bike that served me for several years of delivering papers in my neighbourhood. I enjoy cycling and have done several rides of 100 miles or more, like the Durham Circle Century, Niagara Falls, Boston to Philadelphia, and San Francisco to Los Angeles.
My father and grandfather were volunteer firemen, my grandfather being a fire chief when my Dad was born. An appreciation for firefighters and what they do for our community was imprinted on me at an early age.
One day a light bulb went on and I decided to focus my donations to the Toronto Firefighters Toy Drive. I donated in 2020, despite it being a lackluster year in real estate due to Covid-19. I remember saying last year, “I hope it can be more in 2021”. This year I had the privilege of helping many more buyers and sellers with the biggest purchase or sale of their lifetime.
Because of my clients, I was able to donate 25 bicycles to the Toronto Firefighters Toy Drive. I am hoping that number can be even bigger in 2022.
The Toronto Firefighters Toy Drive is not just a Christmas event. They operate year-round, because sadly families experience fires all year and children lose their toys. This is a great way to give back or pay it forward and put smiles on children’s faces.
If you would like to donate, go to www.torontofirefighterstoydrive.org/ or call (416) 338-3339. They accept toys or cash donations.