2016 Branch Events:
Sock Drive for Seaton House 2016
For the last two years OASW Central Branch has partnered with a discount wholesaler to provide socks to those who need them most. In addition, The Bargains Group generously committed to matching our donation: for every case of socks that we purchased, they donated a case of personal care products (soap, shampoo, etc.) to residents of Seaton House.
2016 Pride Parade
This year's Pride Parade was dedicated to the victims of the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
"We are shocked and saddened by this horrible act," said Aaron Glyn Williams, Co-Chair of Pride Toronto's Board of Directors. "By dedicating the pinnacle of Toronto's Pride Month celebration to our brothers and sisters in Orlando, we are telling the world that we will not be silenced or intimidated. We will not respond to hate with hate. We will mourn and hold these beautiful family members in our hearts, as we continue to fight violence and discrimination against our community."
On Sunday, July 3 at 2PM, the Pride Parade will began with a moment of silence and a reading of the names of the 49 people killed and the 53 people injured in Orlando by a gunman at a popular gay club in the early hours of June 12.
"Pride has always been about creating a safe place where everyone can come together and be themselves," said Mathieu Chantelois, Executive Director of Pride Toronto. "Now, we are so painfully aware of the importance of standing up to hate with love and celebrating the beauty, diversity and strength of our community."
Canada's first-ever Pride Month launched on June 1, 2016, and will culminate in the much-anticipated annual Pride Parade on July 3. Uniting and empowering people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions, the annual Pride Toronto festival has become a major Canadian arts and cultural event and the largest Pride celebration in North America.
The OASW Central Ontario Branch has been participating in the Parade for close to 20 years. Our involvement originally began as a tribute to a former Branch Board member who was killed in a gay-bashing incident just blocks from the OASW office. We continue to march to support, celebrate, and advocate for equality and human rights for our LGBTQ members, clients, and the community at large.
The OASW Central Ontario Branch Board of Directors and staff invite you to join us as we march, along with the Mayor of Toronto, the Premier of Ontario, and the Prime Minister of Canada, in the 2016 Pride Parade on Sunday, July 3rd. This year's theme is "You Can Sit With Us." We hope that you will also stand with us.
Soup Sisters & Broth Brothers
On November 16, 2015, 30 members of OASW Central Ontario Branch, staff, and members of both the Branch and Provincial Board of Directors participated in an evening of soup-making through the Soup Sisters & Broth Brothers organization. Approximately 200 litres of five different types of soup were made, packaged, labeled with ingredients and our names, and delivered to Eva's Initiatives to feed local youth. The group also enjoyed a light meal after all of their work, along with a glass of wine to celebrate a job well done.
The evening was a success, and members suggested that we make it an annual event. We have booked another session for November 2016, and information will be sent out in early October, when registration opens. Consider joining us this year!
Soup Sisters and Broth Brothers is a non-profit charitable social enterprise dedicated to providing comfort to women, children, and youth through the making, sharing, and donating of soup. It is 100% volunteer-driven, and operates in 22 cities across Canada. The concept is simple. Each participant pays a $55 registration fee to join in a soup-making event at a local professional kitchen under the guidance of a chef facilitator. This fee covers the costs of the ingredients, venue, equipment, supervision, and facilitation, as well as a light dinner.