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Meet the FC Finalists: Weston Frontlines Centre

We can’t overstate how much 2020 has affected our community. Seeing the hurt Toronto has endured in the last year has inspired us to lace up our cleats and find a way to give back, in any way we can. The KRFTWRK FC initiative comes out of this desire — for community, for challenge, and for change. 

Today, we’re excited to announce the first of three finalists for the 2021 KRFTWRK For Change initiative: Weston Frontlines Centre.

We talked with them about their goals, their challenges, and what they hope to achieve with $22k worth of KRFTWRK web design and branding. Find out more about our finalist below.

Frontlines

Help to address the pressing needs of some of Toronto’s most vulnerable children and youth, ages 6 to 29.

Programs

“Weston had the 2nd highest cases of COVID-19 at the start of the pandemic.”

Because of the pandemic, social distancing measures have limited our ability to expand into communities. A lot of small businesses have shut down in Weston due to gentrification and COVID-19. Many of these places were a source of employment for local youth when many big-box organizations discriminated against them because of race and postal code.

Some of our participants have lost loved ones or neighbours to COVID-19. People have lost jobs already in a community that has one of the highest rates of poverty.

Most of our programs have now moved online which includes: Homework Club, Leaders in Training, Youth Employment Prep, What’s on my Plate. In the Line of Fire.

 

On their five-year goals and the challenges they face:

“With COVID, we saw an increased demand for our services by 125%.”

We’d really like to expand our food distribution initiatives to address food insecurity in our community. Second, to assist our community in recovery from COVID 19 particularly in creating employment opportunities for our youth. Third, continue to increase our presence in the community and expand programming into other communities.

We have a few pressing challenges. For the past 5 years, we have had several partnership agreements with Second Harvest, one of Canada’s largest food recovery organizations. In their quest to become national, they are discontinuing some programming elements in Toronto that impact our ability to hire youth from our training program or our community.

Frontlines shares one of many heartfelt stories from their charity:

“The best part of his job he says is being able to give back to his community.”

We want to tell you about Jeffrey, a young man that migrated to Canada. After months of not getting a job, he was getting frustrated and was considering moving back to his country of birth. He didn’t want to because he believed he’d fall into a life of crime either as a victim or a criminal. 

Jeff found Frontlines culinary training program and was accepted in the program. He said Frontlines was his home away from home, where he was able to flourish. Through one of the trips to a local business, the chef challenged youth on competition, and Jeff made an impression on the chef. In fact, he was hired on the spot, even before graduating.

 

On why people should get more involved with Frontlines:

“We’ve been on the Frontlines of change for youth for 35 years.”

Picture a place where food is prepared by young people for their community. Where free online tutoring is offered to students. Where youth get jobs, even during the pandemic, through social enterprises. A place with a dynamic mission of addressing the pressing needs of children and youth in one of Toronto’s most vulnerable communities. That place is Frontlines.

What Frontlines wants people to know about their cause:

“We are like the story of the Little Engine that could.”

Many people see that our charity does a lot and as a result think that we have a lot of funding. The truth is, we don’t even have core funding. What fuels us is the passion of staff, some of which are youth and young adults who believe in the cause.

How KRFTWRK FC can help Frontlines succeed:

“We want our community to feel engaged with a website that links to our social media platforms.”

For the past 3 years, we’ve worked to bring awareness to our impact through various tools with the goal of attracting more youth and new support. Through KRFTWRK FC, we can get captivating pictures, videos, branding, and an engaging website that truly reflect the spirit of our charity. 

Help Support Frontlines by Buying KRFTWRK FC Merch

Frontlines’ drive and passion to help Toronto’s Weston communities inspired us tremendously. We just want to thank them for taking the time to apply and tell us more about their programs, goals, and efforts. 

Want to support Frontlines and our other nominees? By pre-ordering KRFTWRK FC merch, you can help ensure the winning organisation’s success. All the proceeds of our merch sales go directly towards the FC advertising budget. So lace up and check out our jerseys, snapback hats, shirts, and more.