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Ask not what your city can do for you…

Happy New Year Ward 32!

Each year brings fresh beginnings, new ideas and a chance to start anew. It’s an opportunity to reflect on old habits and past actions and accomplishments while keeping a keen eye on the future.

Many of us have seen and learned in life that ‘You Get What You Give’. We have many volunteers in our community but there is always room for more. I want to empower Ward 32 residents to help a neighbourhood group, community crusade or city wide initiative in 2013. The choices are endless!

Applegrove Community Centre –  operates out of Duke of Connaught PS and provides phenomenal services to families, children, teens and seniors, as well as putting on many great events like Applicious. (www.applegrovecc.ca)

Beach Garden Society – meets monthly in Adam Beck PS to educate people about gardening, and plan their garden projects at the Beach library and Malvern CI, as well as their annual plant sale during the Victoria Day weekend. (www.gardenontario.org)

Beaches Lions Club – has been serving our community since 1935! They host great events such as our Easter Parade, the cheerleading section for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Christmas In The Park (the tree lighting in Kew Gardens), and other events. (www.beacheslions.com)

Beach Rotary Club – meets weekly for breakfast at the Balmy Beach Club to plan great fundraising events like Mothers’ Day Tea at the Gardener’s Cottage, so they can sponsor local groups and projects. (www.torontobeachrotary.org)

Community Centre 55 – is an integral part of the Beach community. There is a diverse array of programs ranging from the Santa Claus parade to a Graffiti removal program to their famous summer camps. Great opportunities for all ages to volunteer! (www.centre55.com)

East Lynn Park Farmers’ Market – is the hub of the Danforth community every Thursday, from 3 to 7 p.m., June through October. Help out with Ontario farmers, children’s craft and activity table, set up and clean up, etc. (www.my-market.ca)
East Toronto Climate Action Group – is a hard-working group of local East End environmentalists who focus primarily on air quality initiatives, education and advocacy. (www.etcag.org)

Friends of Parks Groups – are stewardship groups forming to plan events and beautification projects for our local parks. Movie nights, pumpkin walks, art shows, campfires – you name it – they do it! Contact councillor_mcmahon@toronto.ca 416-392-1376 for the list of local groups.

Greening Ward 32 – is a fun ward-wide environmental group involved with many terrific initiatives including green home fairs, planting and beautification projects. (www.greeningward32.wordpress.com)

Leslieville Farmers’ Market – is another fantastic source for Ontario produce in our community! Visit them Sundays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. from June to October at Jonathan Ashbridge Park, and help out with their great team. (www.leslievillemarket.com)

Neighbourhood Link – is another wonderful asset to our area. Neighbours helping neighbours is their mantra, which is modeled in the incredible amount of programming offered for East End seniors, children, youth, and newcomers. (www.neighbourhoodlink.org)

Ward 32 Historical Society – is interested in organizing events that activate our historical buildings and public spaces as well as hosting informative historical walks and talks. (councillor_mcmahon@toronto.ca or 416-392-1376)

Ward 32 Spokes - our lively local cycling group meets monthly at Feathers Pub on Kingston Road to plan biking events, and promote education and advocacy for cycling.  (councillor_mcmahon@toronto.ca or 416-392-1376)

Getting your whole family involved can be a valuable learning experience, and a lot of fun! My parents were addicted to volunteering, which they somehow squeezed into their busy days of working full-time and raising four children. We were always out delivering Meals on Wheels, helping at the hospital gift shop, hosting Japanese visitors from Collingwood’s Sister City, etc. My brothers and I dragged our feet initially but ended up being bitten by the volunteer bug and really enjoyed it.
Many of our Ward 32 families already help out tremendously. A great example is the Hamper’s Share A Christmas program at Community Centre 55, which provided boxes of food to 800 local families. I saw the smiles on the faces of the volunteers this year and knew they were feeling exhilarated!

I shall pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.
– Mahatma Gandhi

May you experience the JOY of volunteering in 2013. Help us make our community and city a better place to live!

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