Category Archives: Progress

Day 15 – Reaching out to other Toronto Haitian Volunteers

Our cooperative has just turned two weeks old, and we got brand new clothes to celebrate the occasion. As you can see, our team of dedicated designers have unveiled new branding for Toronto Works For Haiti. Huge thanks to our favourite uncles for giving us a new set of clothes! The uncles’ labour of love, the new head banner tells a lot about us – please take a moment to look at it.

We’d like to highlight a book that Elliot has been reading to help him lead Toronto Works For Haiti. In Change by Design, Tim Brown, CEO and President of IDEO, shares a few tips on how to curate the emotional ride of nurturing new projects based on his experience with his own design firm. Have a look at the graph below. Certainly during the first week of TW4H, we were charged with mountain-high hope. Then, came the second week where we were in the negative yet insightful stage.

Credit: Tim Brown

It’s important that we go on to the next, confidence stage and do not become stagnant. To do this, we should turn to the insights that have been picked up along the way, and improve our processes so as to better serve our clients and manage service offers. We’re doing this to ultimately help the people in Haiti to rebuild their community.

We’d also like to build our own community here in Toronto. We believe that together with other local volunteer groups, we can offer much better assistance to the people in Haiti. HaiHaiTO is holding their fundraising event on February 11, and Toronto Help Haiti!’s One Love For Haiti is happening on February 6. These are just some of the events that will send out messages of encouragement to those who survived the ordeal. Thinking about what we have been and will be doing as a community here in Toronto makes us feel hopeful.

More good news on the business front to share with you. We were approached by a local artist who would like to donate his artwork for Toronto Works For Haiti. We will post the images of his artwork on our site later this week for all to see. And of course, we are pleased with the RSVPs for tomorrow’s event. It will be an amazing gathering for sure. Looking forward to seeing you all there!

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Day 14 – Accounting Services, Art Direction, Personal Coaching Services Added

It’s cold in Toronto but it’s hovering around 30C in Port-au-Prince, and sunny. What this means is that the weather’s right for getting work done, both here and in Haiti. Looking at the week ahead, we have our work cut out for us.

Today, we have Francois Phaboriboun on board, offering accounting and bookkeeping services. We have also updated Kim and Jennifer‘s Personal Coaching Services and a local art director on our service offering page. So let’s make our focus for this upcoming week the matching of volunteers to volunteer seekers. We are definitely continuing to encourage our friends and co-workers to check out the blog and sign up. But our special task this week is to see how many links we can make between the services provided and services required. If you spot a potential connection, please email us and let us know!

It’s been two weeks since the earthquake, and instead of just reporting about what’s happening in Haiti now, a lot of the weekend newspapers have asked reporters and commentators to make their remarks and suggestions for what they see as things that need to be done to help Haitians deal not only with the immediate aftermath, but also to help build a better and stronger Haiti.

Day 13 – Human trafficking in Haiti

Happy Saturday, everyone! Hopefully by now you’ve gotten the invite to the Toronto Works For Haiti meet-and-greet event on Tuesday, February 2 at Hemingway’s starting at 6pm for all TW4H volunteers and volunteer-seekers. This is a great opportunity to meet the people involved with TW4H, sign up with TW4H and find the volunteer/volunteer-seeker that you’d to work with. It’s cold outside, so what better time to get together in a cozy location to brainstorm, network, and charge up the batteries to donate to the Haiti relief efforts!

If anyone saw the Toronto Star’s Saturday edition today, they may have read about the concern that children orphaned by the earthquake in Haiti may fall prey to human trafficking: http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/758051–haitian-children-kidnapped-and-sold-aid-workers-fear This is an unfortunate fall-out of the natural disaster. It makes you wonder about how bad situations can bring out the best and the worst in people.

Day 12 – Congrats Mark!

How was your day team? Felt TGIF every second at the office? Wondered where the time went after realizing coming Monday is the start of a new month? Well, we hope today had brought you a chance to soak up the most brilliant sunlight shining through the gusty wind. We hope today helped you dream summer while waiting for a streetcar in a -500 degree weather.

Great news to start the weekend. Mark has sold another condo and we’re adding $367 to our donations to date! Excellent work, Mark! You are an inspiration to all of us. We have a feeling more good news are on the way, so stay tuned.

On the HQ front, Kathy did a beautiful job re-organizing the volunteer list. Thanks Kathy! We are now in a better position to plan the meet and greet next week as well as to take stock of where we are and where to move forward. We can tell you that there are quite a bit of structural improvements, adjustments and changes going on behind the scenes. Things will unfold gradually, so again, stay tuned!

It is being reported that humanitarian workers on the ground in Haiti are facing a shortage of basic supplies and medicine like painkillers and anesthetics. There are lots of events happening around town raising money to help the people in Haiti. We encourage you to keep this issue alive over the weekend as well. Have a good one guys!How was your day team? Felt TGIF every second at the office? Wondered where the time went after realizing coming Monday is the start of a new month? Well, we hope today had brought you a chance to soak up the most brilliant sunlight shining through the gusty wind. We hope today helped you dream summer while waiting for a streetcar in a -500 degree weather.

Great news to start the weekend. Mark has sold a condo and we’re adding $367 to our donations to date! Excellent work, Mark! You are an inspiration to all of us. We have a feeling more good news are on the way, so stay tuned.

Late this evening, we have just signed up with an accountant. Details to come.

On the HQ front, Kat did a beautiful job re-organizing the volunteer database. Thanks Kat! We are now in a better position to plan the meet and greet next week as well as to take stock of where we are and where to move forward. We can tell you that there are quite a bit of structural improvements, adjustments and changes going on behind the scenes. Things will unfold gradually, so again, stay tuned!

It is being reported that humanitarian workers on the ground in Haiti are facing a shortage of basic supplies and medicine like painkillers and anaesthetics. There are lots of events happening around town raising money to help the people in Haiti. We encourage you to keep this issue alive over the weekend as well. Have a good one guys!

Day 11 – Reflection

It was a cold day in Toronto with snow squalls that were from out of this world. February is just around the corner and we cannot believe how far we have come. TW4H is now 23-volunteer strong, taking shape more and more day by day. Clients are signing up, comments on our blog are being posted, and emails enquiring about us are trickling in. While being grateful for our day jobs, we constantly think about what we can do to improve this organization. It is simply wonderful that we are here now, at Day 11.

So our networking night is happening next Tuesday! Please clear your schedule that evening. As mentioned earlier, details on the venue and time will be emailed out, but we want you to be there. We know that some of you are coming for sure, and this meet and greet is going to be an important step for our group. We’re looking forward to the energy you will bring.

And lastly, Tomoe joins us as a new volunteer today! She will be providing Japanese translation and interpretation service. With her experience in teaching Japanese language courses to university students and writing articles in both English and Japanese for major newspapers and academic journals, she will be the problem-solver for all your Japanese language needs.

So TGIF everyone!

Day 10 – A Lot of Hearts Touched Our Soul Today

A lot of hearts touched our soul today. First, Globe and Mail reported another miracle in Port-au-Prince — A 16-year old rescued 15 days after quake. Then we got introduced to Vaden, one of the co-founders of Absolute Leadership Development in Hamilton, Ontario. We were absolutely moved after we saw his video clip from Port-Au-Prince updating us on the relief efforts in Haiti. We also ran into Spencer’s website. After hearing about the earthquake, Spencer, a high school senior, started a campaign to provide tents for the displaced In Haiti.

We think there is hope, and the hope will come from Toronto’s small business community. Let’s make it happen. Let’s do this for Haiti. It’s time to huddle closely together with our arms around each other’s shoulders. The Guardian reported today that Canadians have given the most towards the Haiti relief effort.

Business-wise, today was a day of matchmaking. First we matched up our new client, Jon Sowerby, a Toronto mortgage broker with a local graphic designer. Jon will get a fresh set of direct mail marketing materials and signage artwork for his new location. Then, thanks to Sophie Bifield, we got connected to @BrynaJones, a local Communications Specialist at Engine Communications. She wrote a beautiful article about why businesses should join TW4H. We encourage you to take a look and let us know what you think about what we’ve been doing so far.

And it’s time for some face time! We are planning our first Happy Hour Meet and Greet next Tuesday in the downtown core. It will be a great chance for the volunteers to network with each other and we will all get to meet our core team. Details to come soon! Hope to see you guys there.

Day 9 – Making deals

A great news from TW4H HQ! Our new volunteer Yolanda just hired Elliot as a photographer for her website! This is great because it means we have helped our group members’ expand their network and also move one step closer to reaching our goal of $5,000. Thanks to Katherine for working tirelessly behind the scenes as well!

Our new website is taking shape more day by day and hour by hour. It’s a labourious process and we can’t wait to share the finished product with you soon. We’re almost there! Huge thanks to Mark and Elliot for all your hard work. You guys are doing an awesome job.

It feels unreal to have arrived at Day 9. We know that it’s your support and interest that keep us growing. So thank you. Thank you for standing in solidarity with Haitians and holding onto the dream of Haiti being filled with joyous, hopeful stories of human strength and compassion. With that, let’s keep going.

We are looking for a local blogger in Port-Au-Prince to guest blog for TW4H.

Thanks Autoshare for promoting TW4H on Twitter.