Project Engagement is a volunteer based, not-for-profit organization that was co-founded in 2004 by Toronto City Councillor, Michael Thompson and Toronto businessman, Vincent Gasparro.
In 2004, Councillor Thompson asked Vincent to join him in creating an organization that would provide food, clothing and other household necessities to families in need across Toronto and the GTA.
In Project Engagement’s first year we assisted roughly 40 families in need by providing them with a warm meal, a gift of a few toys, and a visit from Santa. This year Project Engagement is looking to help approximately 400 families in need by providing them with a ‘Holiday Hamper’ filled with roughly a month’s worth of food and other household necessities.
Project Engagement looks to alleviate short term poverty and attempts to address the structural issues surrounding long term poverty within Toronto.
We partner with local social service agencies and charities as well as Toronto Police, Toronto Fire, and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to identify families in need across Toronto and the GTA and provide those families with food and other basic household necessities. Our ability to joint venture with other organizations allows Project Engagement to maximize resources in order to help as many families in need as we can each year.
As a volunteer based, not-for-profit organization, we are not burdened by excessive overhead costs. This allows Project Engagement to allocate a vast majority of our donations directly to the families in need. Each year, we hold a series of events to raise funds and awareness for Project Engagement. Proceeds from each event go directly toward helping local families in need.
There are unfortunately too many reasons why we do what we do.
Over the last 11 years the level of need has unfortunately increased dramatically.
According to an April 2009 study published in the Canadian Journal of Public Health which measured the depth of poverty in Toronto, 22 per cent of the families surveyed required the use of a food bank in the previous 12 month period. The study also confirmed that 50 per cent of those families also had to delay paying bills when faced with food shortages.
Project Engagement’s co-founders, volunteers, and partners all have a stake in improving the lives of the less fortunate in the city we live in and love.