TFC//TWELVE is a community initiative in honour of our 12th man, our fans. This program runs for 12 consecutive days around the GTA and aspires to have a meaningful impact on local nonprofits and their work throughout Toronto; highlight organizations and people making a positive difference; encourage a culture of service and giving back; and to promote Toronto FC - our players, staff and fans who are authentically dedicated to community giving.
Day 12 - Monday, September 30th
As the 2013 edition of TFC//TWELVE comes to an end, the final day brought Toronto FC players Ryan Richter and Justin Braun an opportunity to spend some time getting to know patients of the Hospital for Sick Children.
"SickKids Hospital is Canada's most research-intensive hospital and the largest centre dedicated to improving children's health in the country. As innovators in child health, SickKids improves the health of children by integrating care, research and teaching; overall…unmatched patient care. On hand are staff ranging from all disciplines of health care & research but no matter what, all come together to offer a variety of programs for each child to enjoy, create scientific and clinical advancements, share knowledge and expertise with each other and are continually developing an accessible, comprehensive, and sustainable child health system." (www.sickkids.ca)
Toronto FC would like to send a warm thank you to the patients of SickKids, for allowing us to come in and share this experience with them.
For additional information, please visit www.sickkids.ca to discover how you can get involved, SickKids humanitarian awards, and research being conducted.
Day 11 - Sunday, September 29thTop of Page
DAY 11//TFC TWELVE – Toronto FC was excited to highlight Right To Play, an MLSE Foundation charitable partner and the great work they are doing through their Youth To Youth educational mentorship program. Toronto FC Clinic Crew surprised youth in the program at Flemington Public School with a fun afternoon of soccer.
Youth To Youth is an educational mentorship program that aims to provide enriching educational opportunities for youth in Toronto's inner city schools. The program empowers youth to become change-makers in their own community by harnessing their leadership potential to deliver quality youth-lead programming.
Youth To Youth has steadily grown to 26 programs reaching more than 4,900 youth through programming and Play Days. This is made possible by 545 volunteer student leaders and over 50 parents, teachers and administratorswho have dedicated their time to play, tutoring and mentoring partnerships.
Toronto FC would like to thank Right to Play, their committed volunteers who create and manage wonderful programs like Youth To Youth in order to better serve youth in our community. Special thank you to Flemington Public School!
If you would like more information about Right To Play, please visit www.righttoplay.com.
Day 10 - Saturday, September 28thTop of Page
DAY 10 TFC//TWELVE –Toronto FC had the pleasure of highlighting KidSport Ontario, a long time Toronto FC community parter and charitable partner of the MLSE Foundation.
KidSport is a national not-for-profit organization that provides financial assistance for registration fees and equipment to kids aged 18 and under.
KidSport believes that no kid should be left on the sidelines and all should be given the opportunity to experience the positive benefits of organized sports. KidSport provides support to children in order to remove financial barriers that prevent them from playing organized sport.
By providing kids with an opportunity to participate in sport programs, KidSport helps kids become physically active, improve their self-esteem, learn life-long skills and improve their academic performance.
Toronto FC goalkeeper Stefan Frei is a proud Athlete Ambassador for KidSport Ontario. At the start of the season Stefan purchased four season tickets to donate to KidSport Ontario grant recipients. On Saturday, September 28, Toronto FC was excited to host Stefan's KidSport guests and provide a private field side meet and greet.
Toronto FC extends a huge thank you to KidSport Ontario, their amazing staff and volunteers for all their hard work and dedication to ensure kids have the chance to play sport.
For additional information and to learn how to get involved with KidSport Ontario, please visit www.kidsportcanada.ca .
Day 9 - Friday, September 27thTop of Page
DAY 9 TFC//TWELVE – Sport can be a very powerful tool for bringing people together. WoodGreen Community Services offers a weekly soccer league which aims to reinforce teamwork and cooperation for Toronto newcomers. Toronto FC Defender Ryan Richter paid a visit to the WoodGreen Community Services' Immigrant Youth Soccer Program and enjoyed spending some time with our new friends.
"WoodGreen Community Services is a founding United Way of Toronto member agency and is one of the largest social services agencies celebrating 75 years of success this past year. WoodGreen now spans to 32 locations and serves 37,000 people each year! WoodGreen helps people find safe affordable housing, seniors live independently, internationally-trained professionals entering the job market, parents access childcare, children and youth access after-school programs, newcomers settle into Canadian life, homeless and marginalized people get off the streets and youth find meaningful employment and training. Without the hard work and dedication to the community put forth by WoodGreen, children, parents, and seniors could not have made successful transitions into their respective lifestyle." (www.woodgreen.org)
Toronto FC is thankful for this opportunity to learn more about this great organization and to have been invited out to the Immigrant Youth Soccer Program. Thank you WoodGreen Community Services for your continued and amazing effort to make Toronto a welcoming home for everyone.
For further information about the program and how you could get involved with Woodgreen please visit woodgreen.org
Day 8 - Thursday, September 26thTop of Page
DAY 8 TFC//TWELVE – What an impactful and powerful day! Toronto FC Goalkeeper Quillan Roberts stopped by St. Margaret's Public School to help lend a hand to Blessings in a Backpack.
In the fight against hunger, staff from Blessings in a Backpack and St. Margaret's Public School dedicate their time to packing backpacks full of food for elementary school children who are "food insecure" (rely on food banks or other resources).
"Blessings in a Backpack is a unique program designed to support schoolchildren who simply do not have enough to eat on weekends. The program works like this: kids take home a backpack filled with food every Friday and return the backpack empty on Monday, ready to start their week. How does this simple act help? The benefits and impact are immediate: attendance and productivity soar; students report greater attentiveness and improved energy; teachers see improvements in study habits and demeanour; parents feel relief and support for their own family. Above all, communities grow – and lives are changed.
Because Blessings in a Backpack receives discounted food from sponsors, feeding a single child on weekends throughout the school year only costs $100! And 100% of every donation is directed towards the program." (www.blessingsinabackpack.ca)
Toronto FC would like to thank Blessings in a Backpack for identifying this need and for being committed to being part of the solution to help those in our community. Through their hard work and dedication children can concentrate on their school work, rather than worry about hunger.
For more information and ways to get involved, please visit www.blessingsinabackpack.ca
Day 7 - Wednesday, September 25thTop of Page
DAY 7 TFC//TWELVE - For many kids, the opportunity to experience the excitement of a Toronto FC game simply does not exist. However, through the MLSE Foundation's Give-a-Kid-a-Game ticket donation program with Kids Up Front, Season Seat Holders can make this a reality. All donated tickets are distributed to local youth-based charitable organizations by Kids Up Front.
Kids Up Front provides access to arts, sport and recreation for kids who otherwise do not have the opportunity. Since 1999, Kids Up Front has been building on a simple but significant idea; to put kids up front at sports, entertainment and arts events across Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto.
One little ticket, one big lift. Working hand-in-hand with Imagine Canada's Ethical Fundraising and Financial, the experiences Kids Up Front provides foster solid partnerships with devoted agencies whose goal is to enhance children's lives, meaningful relationships with all foundation stakeholders, social inclusion, tolerance (gender, race, sexual orientation), and overall, an enhanced quality of life.
Toronto FC defenders Doneil Henry and Ashtone Morgan paid a visit to youth, who have benefitted from Kids Up Front initiatives to share stories and answer questions. Youth received Toronto FC foam fingers, flags and 400 tickets to the September 28, 2013 match against DC United.
Toronto FC and the MLSE Foundation would like to thank Kids Up Front for all their hard work in the community.
For further information, please visit http://mlsefoundation.org/support-us/give-a-kid-a-game/.
Day 6 - Tuesday, September 24thTop of Page
Day 6 of TFC//TWELVE marked the halfway mark of the 2013 initiative.
Toronto FC, the MLSE Foundation and Kia Canada Inc. teamed up with Toronto Community Housing (TCH) for the second year of KickStart, a free eight-week program for 240 kids aged 6-12 years and the building of Trethewey Pitch.
Today, gave Toronto FC the opportunity to highlight the partnership, work with some amazing young soccer players and their coaches….and provide a few special surprises along the way!
The KickStart program is held in 12 different communities across the Greater Toronto Area and focus on using sport as a tool to engage with youth and their families. It also aims to promote skill-building, community-building and healthy active living.
The MLSE Foundation believes all kids should have the opportunity to experience sport and develop lasting dreams while on the field. With dedicated support by the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors, Toronto Marlies and of course, Toronto FC – the Foundation revitalizes athletic facilities, like the Tretheway Park, and funds charities that support kids through sport and recreational programs.
Toronto FC would love to thank all those involved with KickStart and a special thank you to the KickStart coaches who have dedicated many hours to the betterment of the program and who truly understand the benefits sport has for youth. Toronto FC is excited to have all KickStart coaches and players down to TFC's game this Saturday vs DC United!
Please visit www.mlseteamupfoundation.org for additional information about the MLSE Foundation and the KickStart program.
Day 5 - Monday, September 23rdTop of Page
Day five of TFC//TWELVE offered the opportunity to get involved with an amazing organization called The Stop which is a food community centre that believes healthy food is a basic human right.
The Stop strives to increase access to healthy food in a manner that maintains dignity, builds health and community and challenges inequality. The Stop provides frontline services to our community, including a drop-in, food bank, perinatal program, community action program, bake ovens and markets, community cooking, community advocacy, sustainable food systems education and urban agriculture.
Throughout the day, TFC had the privilege of meeting many inspiring employees and volunteers at The Stop who generously allowed us to assist with numerous of their daily tasks. Organizing the incoming food shipments in the food bank and preparing and serving a delicious Mexican style lunch were a few of the memory gem moments for TFC members. Over 100 guests were treated to this delicious five part Mexican style lunch, freshly baked bread, watermelon slices, raspberry vinaigrette salad, beans/rice and soup.
Toronto FC would like to thank The Stop staff and volunteers for their commitment and service and for helping to make a difference in the lives of Torontonians. We appreciate you allowing us to participate in giving back to our community and look forward to working with you again in the future.
For more information and ways to get involved please visit www.thestop.org.
Day 4 - Sunday, September 22ndTop of Page
There was plenty of excitement going into day 4 of TFC//TWELVE and by no means did it disappoint.
Toronto FC front office staff along with Toronto FC Goalkeeper Quillan Roberts, Midfielder Jeremy Hall Defenders Ryan Richter and Doneil Henry all had the opportunity to tour the facility, play with kittens, prepare tasty dog treats and walk dogs who are awaiting adoption.
"The Toronto Humane Society's mission statement is to promote the humane care and protection of all animals and to prevent cruelty and suffering. The Society provides a desperately needed adoption facility and haven for injured and abandoned animals in the City of Toronto. The injured receive veterinary care, and abandoned animals are given a safe haven 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Immature and/or injured animals are placed in foster care until they are old enough and strong enough to be placed for adoption."
Within North America the Toronto Humane Society acts as "a voice" and resource centre for the abandoned or feral animals. The organization is run as an independent not-for-profit organization with no government funding, therefore relies on community and member donors.
Toronto FC extends a huge thank you to the Toronto Humane Society for another tremendous experience and for all the work they do for our community.
Please visit torontohumanesociety.com for more information on the Toronto Humane Society or to learn about volunteer opportunities.
Day 3 - Saturday, September 21stTop of Page
DAY 3 TFC//TWELVE - Highlighted one of Toronto FC's longest standing community partners - Second Kicks. During Toronto FC's home game on Saturday, September 21st 2013, Toronto FC and Kia Canada continued their support for the Play It Forward uniform drive in support of Second Kicks. Fans were encouraged to bring gently used soccer uniforms and equipment to the gates of BMO Field.
"Founded in 2004, Second Kicks is a non-profit charitable sports organization with a mission to collect and distribute used soccer uniforms and equipment to needy communities in Canada and around the world. Since its inception, Second Kicks has donated over 8,000 uniforms to hundreds of teams in Canada and over a dozen countries worldwide."
Second Kicks has been an amazing charitable organization to work with over the years and we would like to thank them and their volunteers for all their effort to grow and nurture the game of soccer.
For more information about Second Kicks or ways to get involved, please visit http://secondkicks.wordpress.com/
Day 2 - Friday, September 20thTop of Page
Day 2 of TFC//TWELVE- Involved a heart-warming experience where a handful of Toronto FC front office staff visited Youth Without Shelter bright and early to cook a warm breakfast for the youth and staff of the shelter. The breakfast included scrambled eggs, bacon, plain & chocolate chip pancakes, croissants, variety of fruits, bagels and other goodies for everyone to enjoy.
Located in Etobicoke, Youth Without Shelter (YWS) was established in 1986 by teachers and guidance counselors in response to the “lack of safe, emergency housing and support programs for their students. Youth without Shelter has helped more than 14,000 homeless youth to build their confidence and life-skills and to find long-term stable housing and jobs. Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, they are dedicated to providing shelter and support programs in a safeenvironment, with the goal of getting youth off the streets permanently.”
Toronto FC extends a huge thank you to Youth Without Shelter for allowing us to volunteer and be a part of the great work they do to improve the lives around them.
Please visit www.yws.on.ca for more information or to learn how to get involved with Youth Without Shelter.
Day 1 - Thursday, September 19thTop of Page
Thursday, September 19th marked the start of TFC//TWELVE, a community initiative named in honour of our 12th man (our fans). This program runs for 12 consecutive days around the GTA and aspires to have a meaningful impact on local nonprofits and their work throughout Toronto by; highlighting organizations and people making a positive difference; encouraging a culture of giving back; and to promote our fans, players, and staff who are authentically dedicated to community giving.
We kicked it all off with a special visit to the First Responders of Toronto. Toronto FC Goalkeeper Quillan Roberts, Defender Gale Agbossoumonde, and Defender Ryan Richter had the chance to interact with the Toronto Fire Fighters and Toronto Emergency Medical Services.
While visiting the Toronto Fire and EMS Academy, Agbossoumonde, Roberts and Richter had the opportunity to participate in various firefightingand EMS skills training as well learn a little bit about the incredibly difficult tasks these individuals endure every day in order to keep Torontonians safe.
To top off and conclude the day, all divisions of First Responders were given Toronto FC tickets and a "TFC 12" jersey to commemorate the great day.
Toronto FC would like to thank our First Responders for their dedication and commitment to our community and for making Toronto such an amazing place to live.