The #TorontoStrong Fund has distributed $3.5 million to the 26 victims and families of the April 23 van attack on Yonge Street, following months of generous donations from residents, businesses and community groups.
The fund, a partnership between the City of Toronto and Toronto Foundation, was established following the April incident. The fund has also opened a separate fund account for the victims of the July 22 shooting on the Danforth.
The fund administrator, former Toronto mayor Barbara Hall, met with bereaved families, survivors, medical and social service personnel, reviewed best practices from around the world and received guidance from the #TorontoStrong Steering Committee to create a framework for allocating the funds raised. The goal was to ensure the donated funds would be designated to those affected in a meaningful, accountable and transparent way.
“Allocating these funds has involved many difficult discussions and decisions,” said Hall. “There is no perfect way to understand all the long-term impacts these families and survivors will face. Meeting with them and other key stakeholders helped us develop a framework to disburse all the funds to survivors and families in a way that we believe will support their recovery and healing.”
In developing the disbursement framework, the review process took into account the short- and long-term physical and psychological injuries sustained by survivors, as well as the impact of loss of life on families left behind. The final disbursement formula was based on allocating 25 per cent of all gifts received to the 26 victims of the van attack equally, and the remaining 75 per cent contributed based on severity of impact and other mental and physical care needs.
Recipients of the fund were also offered an option to re-direct funding to those families and survivors with more traumatic injuries or who were more severely impacted by the tragedy. Almost one quarter of recipients generously chose that option.
#TorontoStrong Danforth Fund Update
Since the event on the Danforth in July, community groups, residents and businesses have come together to express their grief, compassion and to show their support to the 15 victims and families of the shooting.
A number of noteworthy fundraising initiatives have helped raise more than $550,000 for the victims of this event: fundraising efforts were led by the LCBO, which raised $255,000 thanks to the generosity of customers and staff; Billy Talent and Friends’ TOronto TOgether benefit concert raised more than $60,000; neighbours and friends in the Danforth community raised $75,000 through a fund organized by Keiley Routledge; a LaunchGood campaign co-organized by Islamic Relief Canada and DawaNet raised $31,000; and select Loblaws, No Frills, valu-mart and Zehrs stores raised $29,000.
“In the wake of this tragic event, the community has come together in solidarity to help provide support to those most directly affected,” said Sharon Avery, President and CEO of Toronto Foundation. “No amount of financial support can replace what was lost or the significant injuries sustained, but acts of giving provide a sense of community, a sense of action and a sense of comfort, while providing some financial relief.”
The #TorontoStrong Danforth Fund will continue to accept donations for the victims and families until October 18. All financial contributions received will be allocated in their entirety to the 15 victims and families through a process and disbursement framework similar to the one established following the April 23 van attack. Final disbursements to the Danforth victims and families will be made in November. The #TorontoStrong Steering Committee will meet in late November to make recommendations regarding the role of the fund. To make a donation visit https://torontofoundation.ca/torontostrong.
About Toronto Foundation
Established in 1981, Toronto Foundation is one of the top 191 community foundations in Canada. It pools philanthropic dollars and facilitates charitable donations for maximum community impact. Its individual, family and organizational funds number more than 500 and it administers more than $400 million in assets. Through the Vital Toronto Fund it engages in city building, mobilizing people and resources to increase the quality of life in Toronto. To learn more, visit http://www.torontofoundation.ca.
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