Giving back to the less fortunate is a year-long effort for the residents of 9 Boardwalk Dr. in the Beach.
For several years now, those living in the five-storey, 99-unit condominium near Lake Shore Boulevard East and Woodbine Avenue have raised more than $2,000 annually for a number of charitable organizations and worthy causes.
“There’s a great charitable spirit in the building and a great sense of community here,” said Don Quinlan, who has lived at 9 Boardwalk Dr. for eight of the 30 years he’s called the Beach home.
Quinlan is the chair of the building’s charity fundraising committee, which meets about six times a year to discuss the various ways it can raise funds as well as take part in events or campaigns that help improve people’s lives.
Residents are always welcome to suggest charities and causes they feel the committee should support. The group, which was initially created to raise money for building improvements, shifted its focus to raising money for charitable causes about five years ago.
This year, the residents of 9 Boardwalk Dr. have donated funds to three designated groups: the Red Door Family Shelter, the Out of the Cold program at St. Aidan’s Anglican Church in the Beach and Good Shephard Ministries.
From Day 1, the Red Door has been and continues to be the main benefactor of the funds raised by those at the local condominium.
“We really believe in the work they do with women and children,” Quinlan said.
Those funds were recently distributed at the building’s annual Christmas party, which took place Dec. 5. The residents’ year-round fundraising efforts are multi-faceted. One way they raise money is by collecting and returning empty beer, wine and liquor bottles to The Beer Store.
Members of a book club in the building also donate loonies and toonies each time they meet. Funds are also collected at a number of social events like movie nights and 50/50 draws. Aside from cash, residents of all ages at 9 Boardwalk Dr. donate non-perishable food and toys for the Daily Bread Food Bank each Christmas. Donations are then brought over to the nearby Fire Hall 227.
“We’re hoping to collect four or five boxes this season,” Quinlan said.
Each May, many in the building also contribute items to a large Yard Sale for the Cure event, which raises funds for breast cancer research and treatment. One of the most notable charitable efforts at 9 Boardwalk Dr. is its knitting club, a group of about six to eight residents who meet weekly to knit caps and vests that are shipped abroad to poor children.
The group’s members, some of whom also knit at home on their own time, also craft handmade knitted bunny toys, which are donated to children at Sick Kids Hospital, as well as baby blankets and other useful items for children at the Red Door Family Shelter and various hospitals.
“These ladies are amazing. It’s a labour of love,” Quinlan said.