Toronto is home, and I love it like no other city in the world. While my city has never been immune to gun violence, it feels like there have been more shootings in recent memory than ever before. In fact, in 2018 alone we’ve already had 228 shootings. That needs to change, and it needs to change now. And one Toronto organization is taking action to do just that.
Leave out Violence (LOVE) is a Canadian not for profit organization dedicated to helping young people who have been affected by violence or who are at risk of becoming in conflict with the law. LOVE creates and facilitates programs across the country to build stronger and communities. In 2017 LOVE worked with 1506 young people in 14 communities and 21 schools through programs dedicated to education and the arts, encouraging self-expression, and building leadership and employment-related skills. By encouraging positive behavior and helping kids become stronger and more resilient, LOVE programs help young people navigate around the risks they encounter, instead giving them the tools to grow, thrive, and succeed.
The recent violent events in our city are a reminder that the work of organizations like LOVE is so important. But that work can’t be done without all of our support. We’ve all been using the #Torontostrong hashtag. Now it’s time to put our money where our keyboards are.
LOVE has started a Gofundme campaign to raise funds so they can not only continue to do the important outreach work they do, but so that they can reach even more kids who are at risk of falling into the cycle of violence. By reaching young people today, we can prevent the violence of tomorrow. With additional funding, LOVE can reach 1500 more kids in the 2018-2019 school year in 25 schools across the greater Toronto area.
Kerry Riordan, LOVE’s Development Manager, tells us that if LOVE can reach their $90,000 goal, they’ll be able to provide kids access to:
– Violence prevention education
– Leadership opportunities
– Positive mentors
– Safe spaces
– Employment Experiences
– Creative outlets – media arts equipment and materials to share their stories and ideas
– Healthy snacks and refreshments
– Safe transportation to programs
To be, this is a no-brainer: these things should be available to all kids, no matter who they are, and where they come from. But since the world doesn’t work that way, we’ve got to do a little something extra to help out. So join me in donating to LOVE’s Gofundme campaign, and help stop violence in our city and our country.
For more information on LOVE, check out their website. To donate to their Gofundme campaign, click here.