The Gratitude Edition 

Thank you to everyone who has made a significant difference in the lives of CDI's children, youth and families over the past year. We hope you enjoy these six stories of generosity and community investment that warmed our hearts in 2015.

The students and staff at Toronto’s Whitney Junior Public School held two clothing drives, led by parent volunteer Jennifer Steckel. She commented, “It all started with a Halloween costume drive in 2014 as a fun way to engage students in giving to their community, and it grew from there. We believe it is important they understand that those in need benefit from receiving joyful things as well as critical items like warm coats and boots for winter. We love supporting the families at CDI.”

A team of twenty staff from The Canadian Bankers Association, led by Tanya Ziat, spent a day in September beautifying our Euclid Avenue garden. Says Tanya, “We were so inspired, we plan to return this spring with plants and gardening tools to continue the project. These will be purchased through an employee fundraising collection held this winter.”

A team of volunteer staff from Lowe’s York location, led by Brenda Moxey, spent a weekend in August renovating CDI’s SNAP® location. A fresh coat of paint and a new floor, couch, refrigerator and dishwasher transformed the SNAP Youth Leadership lounge. Brenda remarked, “This kind of philanthropic initiative is what makes Lowe’s a community store.”
Former Camp Towhee counsellor Kim McCrory organized the Choose Your Wellness Towhee alumni event in May to raise funds for camp bursaries. Says Kim, “Engaging with the alumni group and planning fundraising initiatives keeps me connected to a place that truly means the world to me.”

Fifty CDI children and family members attended The Nutcracker in December, thanks to donor Ada Slaight who is generously underwriting the National Ballet's Share the Magic program. “The goal of this program is to share the joy and beauty of dance with children and families affected by challenges,” says National Ballet spokesperson Lisa Robinson.
Employees of RBC donated toys, clothing and household goods to 32 CDI families in December, including a family of eight transitioning out of a CDI-partner women’s shelter. RBC staff member Serena Orlow says, "Our Assist-a-Family program with CDI, which I have been personally involved with for over six years, is one of my favourite programs - I look forward to it every year. Being able to provide these families with a wonderful Christmas and helping them create beautiful memories touches all of us on the teams."

We are grateful to the following donors who generously invested $1,000 + to support Child Development Institute programs in 2015.
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