On February 24, 2018, a pair of Grade 6 students from Oak Learners walked in solidarity with thousands of people across Canada to raise money and awareness for the homeless as part of the Coldest Night of the Year.
Amelie and Daniela became very passionate about helping this vulnerable sector of our population last fall when they noticed that the weather was getting colder and many homeless people were poorly dressed and equipped to handle the winter. The girls’ first step was to create a name for their fundraising initiative and begin development on a website and social media outlets for themselves. They are aptly named “DAHH” which stands for “Daniela and Amelie’s Homeless Help”.
Amelie and Daniela worked diligently to organize a Winter Coat Drive in December. They collected over 50 coats, which were then donated to The Haven on the Queensway, who in turn ensured that the coats would be used to provide warmth for local people in need.
This wasn’t enough for these girls, who discovered that the more they learned about this issue, the more they wanted to help. Daniela and Amelie toured the Haven on the Queensway and learned about the other services offered to people who end up homeless as well as food bank services and job-search support for those living on government-supported incomes.
Daniela and Amelie also went to City Hall to interview Luke Robertson, an advisor to Mayor John Tory, on the efforts of City Hall to impact the homeless population. The girls learned that the number of homeless in Toronto has increased significantly during this winter and the city has opened additional shelters and services to help these people stay warm and fed.
What’s next? Daniela and Amelie continue to be dedicated to raising awareness and making a change for the homeless and vulnerable in our city. They have teamed up with Avon to collect personal hygeine and beauty products to be donated to Women’s Habitat and are already looking forward to putting together a bigger team to participate in next year’s “Coldest Night” walk – we couldn’t be more proud!