ToastyToes Ottawa teams up with Stittsville’s Pumpkin Fest

In 2020, Rebecca Fitzgerald launched ToastyToes in Ottawa. She realized the need of socks for people experiencing or were at risk of facing homelessness was a necessity. Emulating the work of the ToastyToes Kitchener-Waterloo and Guelph campaigns, Rebecca set out to collect socks with ToastyToes Ottawa.

ToastyToes Ottawa launched its 2021 Annual Campaign on Sunday, October 10th. The campaign raises funds for agencies to buy new socks for people experiencing or are at risk of homelessness in our Region. The campaign runs until December 10, 2021, and with your help spreading the word about this initiative we can ensure everyone has ToastyToes this winter”, said Rebecca.

2020 posed challenges for the physical collection of socks. Due to these obstacles, ToastyToes Ottawa partnered with the Ottawa Community Foundation to collect funds in addition to the socks. Grants were provided to local organizations to allow them to purchase socks for the community members served. Last year, $1,100 was raised and 1,250 pairs of new warm socks were distributed to those in need. The following groups received both socks and funds in Ottawa in 2020: Shepherds of Good Hope, Minwaashin Lodge and Chrysalis House.

Socks are one of the most requested items in shelters. Never underestimate the difference you can make with a pair of warm, dry socks,” Rebecca told Stittsville Central. “Socks deliver warmth, dignity, health, caring and comfort. Please consider donating the cost of a pair of socks or more.”

Rebecca would like to see our Stittsville community organizations and schools get involved with their own campaigns and events to collect socks and funds. An Ottawa high school last year held a successful sock drive, calling it ‘Socktober’ and she looks forward to other schools getting involved this year. If you wish to hold an event at your school or organization, get in touch with Rebecca at ToastyToesOttawa@gmail.com.

Rebecca told us that, “this year ToastyToes has partnered with Trevor, the organizer of the Stittsville Pumpkin Parade, where I will be setting up bins for people to drop off their donations of new socks when they attend the event. I am looking forward to collecting the needed socks at events such as this throughout the campaign”.

The ToastyToes campaign began in October 2013 when Sharon Gilroy-Dreher, of Kitchener, made her first ask for socks on a Facebook post. It was a happy way to remember her mother and mark what should have been her 80th birthday. Since that first campaign, ToastyToes has expanded to 3 Regions and distributed more than 130,000 pairs of new socks. Due to the pandemic the campaign pivoted in 2020 from collecting physical socks, to collecting funds.

With a target to reach $10,000 this year, reach out to ToastyToes Ottawa with your ideas or donations by emailing Rebecca or making at financial donation at https://www.canadahelps.org/en/pages/toastytoes-ottawa/.


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