GTA/London Item Drive

Date: September 12 from 11-3 PM in Toronto and Etobicoke, and 10-2 PM in London

Toronto address: XYZ Storage, 459 Eastern Ave, Toronto, ON
Etobicoke address: XYZ Storage, 2256 Lake Shore Blvd W, Etobicoke, ON
London address: YMCA Centre Branch, 382 Waterloo St, London, ON

Items Needed:

  • Toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothpaste, hair products)
  • Cleaning products (liquid soap, disinfectants, laundry detergent, all-purpose cleaners, paper towels)
  • Feminine hygiene products (pads, tampons)
  • Non-perishable food items (canned goods, cereal, pasta, rice)
  • Ready-to-eat food items (snack bars, fruit cups, noodle cups)
  • Drinks (coffee, tea, juice boxes)
  • School supplies (backpacks, pencils, notebooks)
  • Baby care items (unopened infant formula, diapers, baby lotion)
  • Kitchen items (brand new and unused items such as mugs, glasses, bowls, cooking utensils)
  • PPE (individual sanitizers, reusable face masks, face masks for children, 3-ply disposable masks)
  • Gift cards (for superstores, grocery stores, cosmetics, etc.)

Why is your help needed and what will the donations be used for?
There has been an increase in violent events during the COVID-19 pandemic. Transition houses and anti-violence organizations have struggled during this time not only because of the increased need, but also a decrease in available resources. The CWI was formed to help support these organizations so that they could adequately help women and those experiencing violence. The items donated through this event will be distributed among the following organizations based on their expressed needs.

GTA shelters benefitting from this item drive include:

  • Peel Salvation Army Women’s Centre
  • Interim Place
  • Women’s Habitat
  • Street Haven
  • Red Door Family Shelter
  • YWCA Toronto
  • Nellie’s Shelter
  • Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter
  • Nisa Homes for Muslim Women
  • Anduhyaun Indigenous Shelter
  • The Redwood
  • Yorktown Family Shelter

London shelters benefitting from this item drive include:

  • SafeSpace London
  • Women’s Rural Resource Centre of Strathroy
  • ANOVA London (previously Women’s Community House and Sexual Assault Centre)
  • My Sister’s Place
  • Atlohsa Family Healing Services

If you wish or prefer to make a monetary contribution to support women’s shelters and transition houses in Ontario, please click below:

We are so thankful for our community partners who have supported us in organizing this event. We would also like to thank the Federation of Medical Women of Canada (FMWC) for their guidance and support!

Solidarity with the Black Community

We would like to express our solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, and the Black community as a whole. As a group, CWI strongly believes that ending gender-based violence cannot happen if BIPOC communities are oppressed by the systems and organizations that are meant to be protecting and aiding them. These organizations must now realize that going above and beyond to support BIPOC people is fundamental. CWI has committed to partnering with organizations that demonstrate an exceptional dedication to supporting women who are members of marginalized communities. We will continue to partner with these organizations, and will seek out more opportunities to provide assistance to these women. If you are helping with, or are aware of, any women’s shelters in Canada advocating for these communities, please contact us so we can connect with them.

We recognize our privilege as medical students, and are committed to continue listening to, learning from, and uplifting members of the Black community. In order to support those who are experts in helping Black women and the Black community, we have made donations to Women’s Health in Women’s Hands, Black Women in Motion, and Black Health Alliance. To our followers who are BIPOC, we are listening and want to hear your voices. Please DM us any suggestions you have for how we can better support you and your community.

Resources that support BIPOC women in Canada: 

National:
  1. Black Health Alliance (http://blackhealthalliance.ca/)
  Toronto:
  1. Women’s Health in Women’s Hands (http://www.whiwh.com/) and
  2. Black Women in Motion (https://blackwomeninmotion.org/)
  London:
  1. African Canadian Federation of London and Area (http://www.acfola.ca/)
  2. London InterCommunity Health Centre (https://lihc.on.ca/)
  Hamilton:
  1. Black Legal Action Centre (https://www.blacklegalactioncentre.ca/)
  2. Hamilton Anti-Racism Resource Centre (http://harrc.ca/resources/)


Ottawa:
  1. City for All Women Initiative (https://www.cawi-ivtf.org/)
  2. Cornerstone Housing for Women (https://www.cornerstonewomen.ca/)
Vancouver:
  1. Support Network for Indigenous Women & Women of Colour (SNIWWOC) (https://www.sniwwoc.ca/)
  2. Kiwassa Neighbourhood House (https://www.kiwassa.ca/)
Calgary:
  1. Calgary Foundation (https://calgaryfoundation.org/black-led-black-serving-organizations-in-our-community/)
  2. SheMeetsYYC (https://shemeets.weebly.com/resources.html)

Item Drives



We have partnered with Conquer COVID-19 to distribute items to Ontario women’s shelters in need. CWI volunteers collected the lists of items that each shelter needed, and then coordinated the pick up and distribution of some of the items that were collected through the Conquer COVID-19 donation drives. Along with generous donations from Conquer COVID-19 item drives, money fundraised through the CWI GoFundMe was used to purchase outstanding items to ensure all of these shelters received the items they requested.

Donations:

  • Masks (2000)
  • Gloves (2000)
  • Face shields (10)
  • Baby formula
  • Feminine hygiene products (hundreds)
  • Disposable underwear (hundreds)
  • Diapers (thousands)
  • Baby wipes (thousands) 

Recipient Shelters:

  • YWCA Toronto
  • The Redwood (Toronto)
  • Mission Services of Hamilton 
  • ANOVA (London)
  • My Sister’s Place (London)

Link to Conquer COVID-19: https://www.conquercovid19.ca/ 


Food Insecurity Drive

 

The Food Insecurity Initiative is an ongoing project run in collaboration with CWI volunteers and the University of Toronto OB/GYN Resident Advocacy Team. During COVID-19, food insecurity is at an all-time high, and many community members are struggling. At baseline, 18.5% of homes in Toronto report food insecurity. In Canada, 1 in 8 households are food insecure, leaving over 4 million Canadians struggling to put food on the table.

The OB/GYN residents have been touched by the outpouring of support from their community as healthcare workers, especially from local restaurants, and planned this project as a way to give back to their community. We are currently fundraising for this initiative to purchase meals for women’s shelters in the GTA, Hamilton, and London. Meals are purchased from local restaurants and delivered directly to women’s shelters on a weekly basis. We have currently provided meals for over 150 women and children in Toronto. 

Donations to the Food Insecurity Initiative can be made here: 


Maternal Mental Health Campaign

With support from Mount Sinai’s Perinatal Psychiatry and Obstetrics departments, the U of T OB/GYN residents advocacy team host weekly online meetings for pregnant persons regarding current policies and expectations surrounding pregnancy and delivery. To support this work, CWI volunteers helped develop an evidence-based maternal mental health tool kit. This tool kit was made into an infographic that was released nationally on May 6. CWI has also worked to advocate for maternal mental health by promoting the Pandemic Pregnancy Guide, an initiative started to offer reliable, current information about pregnancy and delivery in the context of COVID-19. You can read our interview with Dr. Eliane Shore, one of the creators of the Pandemic Pregnancy Guide here.

General Mental Health Resources:

Maternal Mental Health Resources:

Sources: Mount Sinai Hospital, Women’s College Hospital, Mother to Baby