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GREETINGS AND INTRODUCTIONS Message from the Chair & Regional Director Toronto Regional Council Volunteer awards









MISSION The mission of the Canadian Red Cross is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity in Canada and around the world. VISION The Canadian Red Cross is the leading humanitarian organization through which people voluntarily demonstrate their caring for others in need. FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES Humanity Impartiality Independence Neutrality Unity Universality Voluntary Service

Photo credit for cover image: David Lister


MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR AND REGIONAL DIRECTOR DEAR CANADIAN RED CROSS FAMILY, This past year has been extraordinary for the Red Cross in many ways, and we’re pleased to have an opportunity to share with you some of the highlights and achievements thanks to the commitment of our staff, volunteers and many supporters. The ice storm over the holiday season in December 2013 will certainly live on in the minds of Torontonians for some time to come. At the peak of the storm, more than 600,000 residents in southern Ontario were without power, half of them right here in Toronto. The Red Cross, working in partnership with the City of Toronto, opened warming centres in all of the affected neighbourhoods. While our volunteers and staff had plans of their own for the holiday season, more than 9,000 hours were spent on the response helping people in need, which likely meant a great deal of personal sacrifice. But the Red Cross team pulled together and responded in an extraordinary way. The health and community support service programs also had a very busy year. For the first time, all of these programs across Ontario underwent the extensive process of accreditation.

Accreditation Canada granted us accreditation, and with it, the assurance that we are providing high quality programs to our clients. Quality improvement is an ongoing process, and the lessons learned will guide our staff and volunteers in the future as they grow our programs to meet the needs of our aging population. Around the world, the strength of the Red Cross movement lies in the hearts of volunteers, and the Red Cross in Toronto is no exception. Last year, 663 volunteers contributed almost 30,000 hours of service in order to help the Red Cross deliver its programs and improve the lives of vulnerable people in our communities. This is an extraordinary group of people and we extend our sincere gratitude to each of them. Donors have also played an important role in our success over the past year. Once again, the Red Cross was recognized by MoneySense magazine

for charity efficiency. The Red Cross received an “A+” in every category, including fundraising efficiency, governance, reserve fund size and transparency. We work hard to ensure that all donations are used in way that will make a true difference. We hope you will take a few minutes to reflect on the highlights of the past year and join us in honouring our staff, volunteers and donors – all of whom play a vital role in helping the Red Cross to achieve its mission. Thank you for your continued support.

Amanda Kennedy Chair, Toronto Region Council Tatjana Radovanovic Director, Regional Operations




TORONTO REGIONAL COUNCIL 2013-2014 Chair................................................... Amanda Kennedy Vice Chair............................................ Aun Ali Khokhawala Vice Chair............................................ Rupa Junnarkar Chair, Nominations/Governance.......... Jean Lam Acting Chair, Peel Branch.................... Shirley Mak Youth Advisor...................................... Shanaz Khan Youth Advisor...................................... Julie Zhang Councillor............................................ Vikram De Shmukh Councillor............................................ Ida Hersi Councillor............................................ Rick MacKenzie Councillor............................................ Heather Morton Councillor............................................ Ed Reed Councillor............................................ Jeff Smith Councillor............................................ Tim Steele



THANK YOU TO OUR VOLUNTEERS The time and energy that is so generously given by Red Cross volunteers is how we are able to make a difference in the lives of so many. In Toronto last year, 636 volunteers devoted more than 29,605 hours to improve the lives of people in their communities. We are pleased to recognize the following individuals for their outstanding contributions:


Disaster Management Tara Khiabani Abdul Bafakih Solveiga York Leadership Aun Ali Khokhawala Rupa Junnarkar Rick Mackenzie Ed Reed Jeff Smith Meals on Wheels Claire Bergeron-Kangelis Vera Downey Ann Marie Doyle Denzil Fernandez Helen Gillis Alan Graham Vernice Gumbs Robert Handy Edith Kady Margaret MacDonald Helen Marshall Michael Patterson Jovita Ragnoni Ann Travers Philanthropy Action Committee of Toronto Edward Yu Street Relief Kaichi Wang Robert Purchase Bob Tian Junko Hanaki Transportation Carol Anne Hunt



Meals on Wheels Robert Anderson Thomas Bradfield Marjorie Devine Edward Friel Dorothy Hayler Betty MacGregor Ann McElhinney Jean Mosher Adrian Smith Robert Tress Allan Walker William Williams

Disaster Management Jon Glick Ron Groshaw Kristen Hanson Brenda Hind Angelo Hsu Dave Anderson Aaron McAllister Fraser Pennie Jennifer Tomic Shannon Toomey

Transportation William Stephenson

International Humanitarian Law Theresa Turray Danzhao Liu


Street Relief Kathleen Gordon


International Humanitarian Law Dorart Piro Leadership Shanaz Khan Julie Zhang

Leadership Tim Steele

Meals on Wheels Gord Bennett John Boyd Peggy Boyd Susan Campbell Harold Chan Margaret Chan Christine Gude Jane Hay Peter Hay Tzu-I Henry Lin Susan Hillary Dorothy Kieczor Frank Kieczor




...Continued from page 5


Meals on Wheels cont’d Kathy Kitchen Herbert Koring Murray Lang Sheila Lang Gerald Mullin William Orr Evelyn Perry Elio Pighin John Pinkerton Peggy Pinkerton Philomenia Sirur Ivan Storey James Sullivan Kent Symons Mary Trudeau Mobile Food Bank Agnes Rouhaud Robert Wachter Sunnybrook School Philanthropy Action Committee of Toronto Natalie Ha Miguel Camacho Street Relief Adam Orfanakos Jeffery Lam Judy Ayres Ken Fisico Kirsten Cormier Shirley Godwin Fouad Nasim Jerry Ross Transportation Steve Gittins


Meals on Wheels Tom Bradfield Doug Powell


Disaster Management AMiguel Camacho Martha Gutierrez Nada Nesin Natalie Pankova Dwayne Ricketts Florentino Sanya Sylvia Solomon Leadership Shanaz Khan Meals on Wheels Leila Bates Carmela Cobham Joanne Cooper Jacqueline Morency Ethnea Roach Leonard Roach Mobile Food Bank Wendy Pacheco Street Relief Supida Suwarn Alex Basignano

Last year volunteers gave 29,605 hours of service to the Red Cross in Toronto.





Across Canada and around the world, the past year brought many significant weather-related disasters and Toronto was not spared. Severe flooding and winter storms tested the readiness of Torontonians to deal with the unexpected. On December 22, an intense winter storm covered southern Ontario in a thick blanket of ice, bringing down power lines and blocking roads with downed trees. More than 600,000 people lost power, half of them within the City of Toronto. As hydro professionals worked to restore power, the Canadian Red Cross moved quickly to offer assistance to those affected. At the peak of the response, 30 warming centres and shelters were in operation, providing blankets, comfort kits with personal items, meals and a warm, safe place to stay. In spite of the response taking place over the holiday season, when holiday parties and family gatherings were scheduled to happen, more than 380 Red Cross staff and volunteers participated in the response. They gave more than 9,000 hours of their time to help the 4,600 clients who needed help from the Red Cross. Continued...



The Red Cross educates Canadians about the importance of having an emergency preparedness kit and knowing what to do in the event of a disaster.


While the ice storm was certainly the largest emergency in Toronto this past year, the flood in July also tested the capacity of the Red Cross to respond. Heavy rains during a summer storm led to serious flooding in Toronto and Mississauga. Parts of highways and rail lines were closed and an estimated 450,000 residents were left without power. A GO train was evacuated and the Red Cross assisted the stranded commuters. Two respite centres were opened and staffed by Red Cross personnel to provide information, water and relief from the heat and humidity for those without hydro. More than 200 wellness checks were conducted at two senior and social housing complexes, to ensure vulnerable residents were safe and well.

disasters. Last year, disaster management volunteers responded to 29 calls for house fires or evacuations. In many cases, the families affected required assistance finding emergency lodging, as well as clothing, food and personal items.

While large-scale responses are widely reported and remembered, the Red Cross also responds to personal

In the coming months, the Toronto disaster management team will be working closely with their partners

When these emergencies happen, individuals and families who have prepared ahead of time fare much better than those who haven’t. The Red Cross played an important role in educating Canadians about the importance of having an emergency preparedness kit and knowing what to do in the event of a disaster. More than 440 residents in the Toronto region received personal preparedness training last year ensuring they are ready to deal with future emergencies.


in emergency management and preparedness to build response capacity for helping during disasters. To ensure the team will be able to handle a higher call volume, a new PDA station was recently created in the Toronto Red Cross office. This new station will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, giving volunteers a place to stay on their shifts so that they can respond more quickly when they are needed. When disasters strike abroad or there is conflict or other humanitarian crises, families can easily become separated. The Red Cross helps these families to re-establish contact through the Restoring Family Links program. Liaising with the network of 188 Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies around the world, Red Cross officials worked with 488 individuals this past year.

The Red Cross provided assistance to hundreds of Torontonians following the ice storm in December. Many families, including their beloved pets, spent the holidays in warming centres.


Teri Truscott was one of the many Torontonians who had to leave her home during the ice storm in December. Her apartment building lost power and as the temperature dropped in her home, Teri became increasingly worried about where she was going to go to stay warm. Luckily, Teri was able to get to a warming centre and was greeted by friendly Red Cross faces. A cot, comfort kit with personal items and blanket were a welcoming sight to Teri who was able to stay comfortably for the next three nights up to and including Christmas Day. “It was the best Christmas I’ve ever had,” remarked Teri. “The volunteers worked tirelessly, especially when they were up all night on Christmas Eve getting presents ready for the young children.” Teri is now retired, but her career as a PSW helped her stay busy while at the shelter. She was always asking Red Cross volunteers what she could do to help. “It was the least I could do; they were so good to me.” Volunteers drove Teri back and forth from her apartment, near Victoria Park and the Danforth, so that she could attend to her cats who remained home. Not all her pets remained at home though. Teri’s beloved Shih Tzu, “Mr. Marty,” stayed with her at the shelter and volunteers took turns walking the dog. This was a huge relief to Teri who relies on a scooter to get around. “I was amazed and overjoyed at the services I received. The people were wonderful to me and it was a real joy to be there despite the circumstances.”




HEALTH The past year was a busy one for volunteers and staff of the health programs offered by the Canadian Red Cross in Ontario. Last fall, the Canadian Red Cross received accredited status from Accreditation Canada for its Community Support Services. In Toronto, this includes Meals on Wheels, Transportation, Home Equipment Loans, Attendant Outreach and the Mobile Food Bank. Accreditation is an inclusive process that organizations use to regularly and consistently examine and improve the quality of their services. All of the surveyors from Accreditation Canada were unanimous in expressing how well the Red Cross is engaged with its communities, aware of the needs of its communities and working hard to meet those needs with innovative programs. A key component of a healthy lifestyle is nutrition and the Red Cross works hard to help vulnerable people access nutritious and affordable meals. In the Toronto region, Meals on Wheels is offered in Etobicoke and delivers both hot and frozen meals to people who are unable to prepare their own. Last year, more than 57,000 meals were delivered to 555 clients. In many instances, these services enable people to continue living independently in their homes. The Meals on Wheels program garnered a lot of attention this year when it was featured in a four-part series by the Toronto Sun and in a CBC documentary.


To celebrate the importance of Meals on Wheels in the community, the Honourable Charles Sousa, MPP Mississauga South, participated in the annual “Champions Week” event in March. The event raises awareness about the importance of this service by having community partners from across the province deliver meals for a day. The Red Cross also runs a mobile food bank, the only service of its kind in Toronto. Every two weeks, a food hamper is delivered to clients who are not able to access their local walk-in food banks due to mobility issues. The Mobile Food Bank is a member agency of the Daily Bread Food Bank, and has recently formed a new partnership with North York Harvest, a central distribution hub for community food banks in North York. When the Mobile Food Bank began as a pilot project in 2002, it served 70 households. This past year, more than 11,000 food hampers were delivered to 578 clients. Staff and volunteers of the program have been working diligently to improve efficiencies this past year, including the centralization of the intake process for new clients. In addition to the work of its regular volunteers, the Mobile Food Bank also engaged summer students and 47 different corporate volunteer groups throughout the year, to ensure clients always received their anticipated deliveries.

For Torontonians living with disabilities, the Red Cross offers several programs to help increase their mobility and independence. Last year, the transportation program provided more than 20,500 rides to medical appointments, day programs, shopping and social events for people who are unable to use public transit due to disabilities. To ensure safe journeys, staff and volunteers involved with the program completed a defensive driving course last year. In addition to transportation, sometimes health equipment is what’s needed to increase a person’s independence and safety. The Health Equipment Loan Program provides access to a wide range of health equipment, including mobility devices and wheelchairs, toileting equipment and other assistive devices. More than 1,400 pieces of equipment were loaned from the Red Cross last year. The Red Cross is the largest non-profit provider of this service in Toronto. For those requiring the use of assistive devices for only a short period of time, the program alleviates the financial burden that often comes along with injury or illness by offering rental of equipment for only the time they will need it, avoiding an often costly purchase. This past year, a contribution from Green Shield Canada was used to purchase a Hubscrub, which enables staff and volunteers to process equipment at a much faster pace –

Meals on Wheels client George Leigh (right) received more than just a meal when his lunch was delivered by the Honourable Charles Sousa during Champions Week. Also pictured here are Tara Monks-Canfield, Community Services Coordinator, and Red Cross volunteer Vince Di Marco.

In 2013, the Red Cross transportation program provided more than 20,500 rides to medical appointments, day programs, shopping and social events for people who are unable to use public transit due to disabilities.



approximately 50 pieces of equipment can be cleaned and sterilized each day. Due to its strong foundation of quality sevice in health equipment loans, the Red Cross was chosen by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s Assistive Devices Program to operate a Wheelchair Recycling Program. This program encourages people to donate their assistive devices to the Red Cross when they are no longer needed. The devices are assessed by the Red Cross and either broken down for recycling or cleaned, sterilized and repaired in order to be rented to clients

for a nominal fee. The program not only helps to reduce the number of items sent to landfill sites, but also provides affordable assistive devices to clients who need them. The Toronto Red Cross office is the Centralized Donation Location for all of the GTA. The rigorous safety standards and highly skilled staff and volunteers working in the program are able to refurbish and repair equipment that otherwise wouldn’t have been reused. They also have in-depth knowledge that allows them to ensure every part of each device is recycled appropriately.


Attendant outreach is another way the Red Cross helps Torontonians live independently. Clients with physical disabilities are able to schedule an attendant to come to their home and assist them with activities of daily living. Eighty-four clients currently rely on this program for assistance with bathing, dressing, meal preparation and other help around the home. Plans are underway to expand this program in the future. Emotional well-being is an important aspect of a person’s health. For the youth of today, one common threat to their emotional well-being is bullying. The violence and

ONE FAMILY’S LESSON IN THE IMPORTANCE OF KNOWING CPR People in the Toronto area may remember the story of 10-month old Jesse who, in May 2012, nearly drowned in his grandparents’ backyard pond. It only took a brief moment to change the life of this little boy and his family forever.

Jesse’s mom, Kristin, never thought she would have to perform CPR on her own son.

Luckily, Jesse’s mom Kristin knew CPR. It was her quick actions, along with those of a neighbour (an off-duty police officer) that saved Jesse’s life. They were able to perform CPR until paramedics arrived and rushed Jesse to the nearest hospital. Weeks later, doctors feared that Jesse would succumb to his injuries after having his breathing tube removed, but this little fighter prevailed and after

a three-month hospital stay and two months at a children’s rehabilitation centre, Jesse had progressed enough to go home. Now, Jesse is able to crawl, gives ‘high fives’, has an infectious laugh and is a very happy and loved little boy. Unquestionably, without Kristin and her neighbour performing CPR on Jesse, he wouldn’t have survived. Recent polling commissioned by the Canadian Red Cross reveals that one in three children who drown were not expected to be in the water and that four in 10 children drown in water that is less than one metre deep. It is important to prepare yourself because instances, such as Jesse’s, can happen to anyone at anytime.


abuse prevention programs offered by the Canadian Red Cross are aimed at creating safe environments, free of violence – bullying, abuse, exploitation – through prevention, education and response. Teaching youth and adults about the various types of abuse, ways to cope, where to get help and prevention strategies has shown to be effective in ending the cycle of violence. In Toronto, the Red Cross has been working to increase the reach of “Beyond the Hurt” bullying prevention training by partnering with the Toronto District School Board, the Toronto Catholic District School Board and several private schools. Keeping Canadians healthy by preventing injuries before they happen is something the Red Cross has been doing for 50 years. Recently, the Red Cross became the number one provider of first aid training in Canada. In Toronto, the Red Cross has had continued success in providing first aid training for the University of Toronto, Centennial College, the Technical Standards and Safety Authority and the Granite Club. The Red Cross is also the training provider for the Toronto Transit Commission through to 2017. The Red Cross maintains high quality instruction by training first aid and CPR instructors. In the last year, 20 new individuals became instructors and will now be able to teach first aid and CPR courses on behalf of the Red Cross.

Rose Ma’s family donated her assistive devices to the Red Cross.


In November 2013 representatives from the Canadian Red Cross helped celebrate in Toronto as an award was presented for the Wheelchair Recycling Program - a joint initiative with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s Assistive Devices Program (ADP) and the Canadian Red Cross. The ACE Award (Achievement, Commitment, and Excellence) is a Ministry designated award that recognizes and celebrates innovation and excellence. In 2012 and 2013, the ADP concluded a two-year pilot project to recycle manual wheelchairs in partnership with the Red Cross. The goal was to refurbish and recycle wheelchairs that were no longer needed so that others could reuse them. As a result of this partnership, more than 1,270 wheelchairs have been donated in Ontario to date. Almost 20 per cent of those donations were refurbished and made available for others; the remaining chairs were either used for parts or responsibly recycled. The success of the pilot project led to the program being offered on a permanent basis. When Suzanne Peet’s mother, Rose Ma, passed away in 2011, the family was left with an array of health care equipment including three wheelchairs, a wheeled walker, a bath bench, commode and shower chair. As busy professionals, Suzanne and her siblings had pondered for some time what to do with these devices. “None of us had the time to try to sell these privately, and the thought of throwing these things in the garbage just seemed like such a waste,” said Suzanne. “I contacted the Red Cross to see if they had any ideas on what we could do and that is when I learned about the program. I know my mother would have been happy that these devices were passed on to other people who will benefit from them the way she did.”





Working towards the mission of the Red Cross simply isn’t possible without community engagement. Recruiting volunteers to help offer our services, developing relationships with potential and current donors and sharing the message about the work of the Red Cross all involves working within our communities. Several programs offered by the Red Cross in the Toronto region focus on building relationships with some of the more vulnerable members of our neighbourhoods. The Scarborough Drop-In Centre and the Street Relief program are two examples.


Street Relief improves the quality of life for people struggling with poverty in Toronto by providing a food program with a strong focus on health and nutrition.

This past year, the Scarborough Drop-In Centre reopened in a new location on Markham Road. The Centre, which addresses various needs for homeless or marginally housed individuals, has been providing services in Scarborough for more than 10 years and approximately 20,000 client visits are made annually. It brings outreach workers on-site, making it easier for participants to access housing services, nursing and foot care, harm reduction and addiction treatments, legal services and counselling. A food bank is also available, providing clients with stable and consistent access to food. In addition, the Centre offers opportunities for socialization, including monthly birthday celebrations, movie days and other activities to foster relationships and community spirit. The new location will provide a comfortable, friendly environment in which participants can speak with staff and meet with each other in a social atmosphere.

Another program offered by the Red Cross in Toronto for the purpose of improving the lives of vulnerable residents is Street Relief. This program improves the quality of life for people struggling with poverty by providing a food program with a strong focus on health and nutrition. Clients of all ages access the service, which involves a weekly breakfast and dinner service. Lunches are provided on the weekends during the winter months. Street Relief is offered in a central location and also provides clients with access to clothing, food banks and shelter referrals. One of the highlights of the year for Street Relief staff, volunteers and clients alike is the annual summer barbeque. With food provided by Absolutely Famished, a private catering company, and Second Harvest, more than 260 members of the community had the opportunity to enjoy delicious food and camaraderie. In addition to staff, Red Cross volunteers are an important component of the Street

Relief program. Both groups came together last fall to receive training on dealing with clients who have a ‘dual diagnosis’, those who have a developmental disability as well as emotional, behavioural or psychiatric challenges. This training will help staff and volunteers better understand and support clients with a dual diagnosis who rely on the Street Relief program. One of the other ways the Canadian Red Cross engages our communities is by providing education on humanitarian issues. A conference on cyber warfare was held in Toronto last fall to demonstrate how international humanitarian law is applied to modern warfare such as cyber warfare. The conference was well attended by students, professors and other members of the legal community. In combination with other conferences and presentations, a total of almost 5,600 Torontonians were educated on humanitarian issues last year.



Joallore Alon (middle) was presented with an award for using social media to encourage people to learn first aid.

AWARDS PRESENTED FOR “SOCIAL” ENGAGEMENTS The Injury Prevention Award recognizes best practices put into place by branches, Training Partners and other organizations in response to community and organizational prevention needs. Winners demonstrate innovative and creative ways to further injury prevention with measurable results. These efforts support the mission statement of the Red Cross and can be adapted to suit the needs of other communities. This year, two Social Ambassadors with the Canadian Red Cross from Toronto were recognized for their contributions: Joallore Alon and Amber MacArthur. For the last two years, Joallore has helped share important updates through Twitter on emergencies the Red Cross is responding to. He has also hosted “CPR tweet-ups.” Twitter users were invited to learn CPR as part of CPR awareness month. Classes were organized in several cities across the country in communities with an active Twitter user population. These tweet-ups allowed participants to become certified in CPR and tweet while they were at it, raising awareness among thousands of Twitter users. Joallore has more than 10,000 followers on Twitter and was an active part of last year’s Emergency Preparedness Week “Save Your Fanny” campaign. Amber is a Canadian television and netcasting personality and currently co-hosts the Business News Network’s show App Central. With more than 95,000 followers on Twitter, Amber used her presence in social media to reach tens of thousands of Canadians to advocate the importance of first aid and water safety. Amber also worked with the Red Cross to create a special water safety video, and has served as a special guest blogger on our Red Cross blog Red Cross Talks.


Engaging members of the community is an important part of the work of the Red Cross.




Last year, this is how the Red Cross made a difference in Toronto:


people assisted by Red Cross disaster management


disaster responses


active disaster management volunteers in Toronto


Torontonians received Red Cross personal preparedness training

were served to 13,968 meals homeless and under-

housed members of the community through the Street Relief Program


pieces of health equipment loaned


members of the community with disabilities received Attendant Outreach support


people received Red Cross first aid/CPR training


refugee claimants received assistance through the First Contact program


people were helped to locate or restore contact with family members through the Restoring Family Links program

youth reached through 95,090 Toronto RespectED workshops were made to the 12,224 visits Scarborough Drop-In Centre by members of the community needing assistance


Torontonians educated on international humanitarian issues

delivered by 191 57,527 meals Red Cross volunteers

through Meals on Wheels

rides 20,574 transportation provided to clients hampers were 11,151 food delivered to 578 clients of the Mobile Food Bank


Red Cross volunteers in Toronto donated more than 29,605 hours of their time


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Canadian Red Cross - Toronto Annual Review 2013-2014  
Canadian Red Cross - Toronto Annual Review 2013-2014  

Annual review for 2013-2014 - Toronto Region Canadian Red Cross