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Volunteer Week April 19-25, 2020

360ºkids began over 30 years ago as two separate agencies that were developed to address the needs of the communities of York Region. The Markham Neighbourhood Support Centre was created to respond to the needs of young families with children who sought support and ways to learn about childrearing. Youth Housing Markham provided safe and supportive housing for youth who could no longer live at home. 360ºkids now serves over 3,500 youth, each year from every municipality in York and this number has grown significantly since our move to the Richmond Hill Hub operating the youth hub and offering even more essential services to youth.

360 Kids recognizes Sonny Dhillon. In the five years that Sonny Dhillon has been involved in 360 Kids he has been the guiding force behind a community donation of over 40,000 lbs of food to stock the Youth Pantry at The Hub Drop In Centre in Richmond Hill. Combining his love of sports with his desire to give back, Sonny organizes tournaments where the entry fee is non-perishable food which is donated to 360 Kids.


The Alzheimer Society of York Region has been a leader in actively supporting individuals and families coping with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias since 1985. We serve people with dementia and their caregivers with programs and services that address the disease, provide unique DAY care experiences, and support families with meaningful, practical advice and counsel.  We have a proven record of working collaboratively and in partnership with different agencies within the Region of York.  As a result, the Alzheimer Society of York Region is now connected to all nine cognitively impaired D.A.Y. programs within the Region of York.

The Alzheimer Society thanks Lily Edmunds. In 2013, Lily began volunteering and raising money for the Alzheimer Society of York Region. She was just 10 years old. At 12 years old, she joined the walk committee and has participated in various roles on the committee since then. She has both raised money and got donations for raffle baskets. She is proof that at any age you can make a difference.

Big Brothers of York became incorporated in December 1970 with the mandate of providing boys from absent father homes with mentors by matching them with Big Brothers. Today, Big Brothers Big Sisters of York (BBBSY) provides various mentoring programs and free activities to children and youth throughout York Region and Bradford West Gwillimbury. These positive mentoring programs help children and youth build the confidence to achieve more, assisting them in reaching their full potential and grow into adults who will contribute positively to society.

Shawna Puopolo is being recognized as a difference maker through her contributions as a Go Girls! Mentor. Shawna has worked with Big Brothers Big Sisters York for six years facilitating numerous Go Girls! programs and is being recognized for her dedication, consistency and hard work. She is passionate about volunteering with young women which is evident in her contributions to the program.


Since 1982, Blue Door, a not-for-profit registered charitable agency governed by a volunteer Board of Directors, has been an integral part of our community providing emergency housing for the homeless population of York Region. As the region has grown, so too have the services of our organization. Initiated as a shelter for single men, Blue Door has expanded to include emergency housing programs for families and youth.

Blue Door Shelters celebrated Giuliana Sevareid. Giuliana provides early childhood activities that are developmentally appropriate to preschool children who are residing at Leeder Place, Blue Door’s family emergency housing. With a tremendous vision for supporting the sheltered children and families, Giuliana left her position as a Montessori School teacher to volunteer regularly for Blue Door. Her creation of the Bunny Program alone with generous donation of materials is making a difference.


CAYR* Community Connections was originally founded as the AIDS Committee of York Region in 1993 and formally incorporated as a registered charitable organization in 1996. Our mission and vision is to create safe, confidential, and inclusive spaces and services in York Region where people can access dignified support and meaningfully engage in self-determined pathways to well-being. We envision an informed, healthy, stigma-free and compassionate community.

CAYR thanks Asiatou Barry. Although Asiatou has not been at CAYR Community Connections for a long time the positive impact of her presence has already been felt. Whether it is at her post working at the front desk in reception or setting up tables at community events or assisting with client group events her contributions make a big difference. She is everything you would want in a volunteer.

Launched in 1980, CHATS is a not-for-profit charitable organization that enhances the health, wellness, and independence of more than 8,300 York Region and South Simcoe seniors and caregivers each year. As a not-for-profit charitable organization, CHATS depends on the generosity of valued donors. Although CHATS is partially funded by the Central Local Health Integration Network, Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, and the United Way of Toronto & York Region.

Audrey Gibson (age 85) and Phyllis Tyrie (age 79), have been volunteers at CHATS for 40 years and were original Meals on Wheels program Volunteer Captains for the Markham/Stouffville area.  They have been delivering healthy meals weekly to the homes of seniors. Over the years, they have also volunteered for various wellness programs in the community and act as the Annual Hosts of the CHATS’ Seniors Tea Room at the Markham Fair each year. These women are incredible.

Hospice Georgina strives toward the standard of excellence in the practice of community hospice palliative care by demonstrating empathy and compassion for Georgina residents struggling with terminal illness and bereavement. We measure our results in positive client outcomes, continued service improvement, and supported family satisfaction. Hospice Georgina’s vision is to support an individual’s quality of life, and dignity at death, in their place of choice by sharing the caring.

Hospice Georgina thanks Angela Young. Angela has dedicated 6+ years to volunteering on the Board of Directors. She started out as a Board member, then moved into the position of Board Secretary, and most recently has moved into the position of Board Chair. Angela has contributed to fundraising, community outreach, accreditation, and many other undertakings over the years. She is a community leader and a tireless advocate for Hospice Georgina.

Devoted to helping our residents live fully until they die, Hospice Vaughan is opening the door to a better future. We are building a state of the art facilty that will include a 10-bed residential hospice, family support and bereavement services, visiting hospice services and facilities to conduct research and educate health care professionals on palliative care best practices.

Hospice Vaughan salutes volunteer Louie Chiaino. Louie is the Current Secretary of the Board of Directors, Co-Chair of the Fundraising Committee, Co-Chair of the Gala Committee, and member of the Capital Campaign Committee. For 4 years Louie has given of his time, expertise and energies to make sure Hospice Vaughan continues to grow and provide an invaluable role in its community.

Inn From The Cold meets the needs of people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. We work with the community and collaborate with our partners in supporting those with basic to complex needs in York Region.

Inn from the Cold is pleased to showcase Betty Dykstra. Betty has contributed to Inn from the Cold in Newmarket for 5 years as a Volunteer Shift Leader. She not only volunteers weekly but she can be also counted on to assist with special events. Whether she is preparing a Christmas meal for clients or raising funds, Betty can be counted on to give to her community.

Each and every year, thousands of Canadians are killed or injured in impaired driving crashes. Driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs is a terrible crime that touches all our lives. It is an irresponsible, dangerous and intolerable act. MADD Canada strives to offers support services to victims/survivors, heighten awareness about the dangers of alcohol and/or drug-impaired driving, and to save lives and prevent injuries on our roads. At the heart of MADD Canada are our volunteers; they include not only mothers, but fathers, friends, business professionals, experts in the anti-impaired driving field and concerned citizens who want to make a difference in the fight against impaired driving.

MADD York Region thanks Karen Hodge. Karen has assisted MADD in supporting victims and creating greater awareness. She assisted with the annual golf tournament and has made herself available to be part of the team whenever she is required. During the Christmas Season last year, Karen with the help of her family, created a huge light up red ribbon to be used in Santa Claus parades and outdoor events providing MADD York Region with more visibility.

Shine Through The Rain does many things but all in the service of one goal. That goal is to help those who are affected by life threatening illnesses. Whether it’s through services or funds, we provide guidance, support, and financial aid to those in need. We help adults, children, and families find the silver lining. When things seem gloomy and you’re being rained on, we’re here to help you shine through it.

Shine through the Rain thanks Joann Isahac. Jo helps look after just about everything, from donor thank you cards, preparing outgoing mail to patients and donors, helping to create promotional material, to researching new ways to spread awareness of the foundation. She keeps clients, donors and volunteers informed. Jo brings such a fun and positive attitude to the Shine office and her energy and drive to make a positive impact in the lives of our patients is inspiring.

York Support Services Network is a community-based agency that offers a range of case management and community crisis services, to support individuals with a developmental disability and/or a serious mental illness. YSSN also provides services within the Children’s Services Sector, offering Children’s Case Coordination.

York Support Services Network recognizes nine individuals- the Up Hub Committee. This group has steered the direction of, a new online collection of peer-led tools and resources created in collaboration with community partners. Launched in 2018, is designed to uplift York Region residents who are seeking services or need support to live meaningful lives. The nine volunteers who make up the Up Hub Peer Advisory Committee are people in York Region with lived mental health and addictions experience who have demonstrated a commitment to creating community.