A project that was brought to the Beach by two people just a few years ago now has 25 families taking part and hundreds following along or participating.
DailyFlag for DailyBread aims at raising money and gathering food for those in need over the holiday season. Over the last three years more than $40,000 has been raised – the equivalent of more than 2,000 days’ worth of groceries for people in need.
Each year residents of Leuty and Violet Avenue in the Beach make and fly one flag outside their homes between Dec. 1 and 25. The flags are unveiled daily and then auctioned to the highest bidder on the project’s website.
Co-founders Benedict Hilliard and Michelynn Laflèche have been running the event for four years. They brought the idea with them from the UK.
“Our local community there did something similar but not to raise money, just to focus on the community building aspect,” Hilliard said.
They wanted to replicate this idea when they came to Canada and so began flying numbered flags on their lawn. Flags counted up like a advent calendar until Dec. 25.
The project raised interest on their Facebook pages and friends and family around the world followed along each day.
There were then offers to purchase the flags. The first year they sold about half of them, raising $600.
The following year they asked 24 other households on their street to get involved, so that a new flag would be presented each day by a different family.
Last year they raised more than $18,000 and this year have set their goal at beating $18,500.
“It is more than just a fundraiser. It is also about building awareness to the issues of hunger and poverty in Toronto, in our local neighbourhood here in the Beach, and city-wide,” Laflèche said. “It is about building community engagement and collaboration.”
People can make donations on the website and 100 per cent of the proceeds go to the Daily Bread Food Bank. All donations over $10 will be eligible for a tax receipt.
Go to dailyflagfordailybread.wordpress.com to donate or bid on a flag.