A variety of opportunities for residents to help out the victims of the Queen West fire have been popping up all over the city. Right now, the best way you can participate is to walk into any Scotiabank location and make a cash donation to the newly-established Queen Street Fire Fund––effective today, the fund set up by the City of Toronto will assist all of the residents affected by the fire––but as Ward 20 Councillor Adam Vaughan said in a media advisory released Thursday by the City of Toronto, “there has been an outpouring of support to help people affected by the fire, from people in the neighbourhood and across the city.” Support is being mobilized not only from the top down but from the bottom up.
Keri and Charity are two residents who lost everything on Wednesday morning. By that afternoon, a Facebook group (called Ker-ity) had already been set up with the sole purpose of helping them replace what was lost. Torontoist was alerted to the efforts by Erin Dermo, Managing Director of The Ten Spot (less than a block away from the blaze), who has been approaching local businesses to see if they can donate anything that might help. So far, aside from The Ten Spot’s own contributions, nearby businesses like Heel Boy (yes, they donated shoes), The Bier Markt, and Brazen Hussy have all been very generous with much-needed items and gift certificates. The coordinators of the drive (including Dermo and yoga instructor Caren Cooper of Jivita Yoga) are accepting clothing, shoes, and gift certificates at Essensuals Salon (678 Queen Street West). They’re also asking for people who have any household items to offer to hang onto them until a storage space or apartment can be found. Don’t have any stuff to give? Hey, money always helps—they’re accepting Paypal donations at [email protected] and they’ll also be opening a TD Canada Trust account in the next day or so. Check the Facebook group for further details.
There’s also a fundraiser in the works for the two this Sunday, February 24, at 8 p.m. It’ll happen at Libra Lounge (391 King Street West), a venue that has not only offered their space free of charge, but is donating a portion of the total sales for the night. Cash or cheque donations are welcome at the door, and community businesses are invited to donate items for raffle that evening. This fundraiser is specifically for the immediate needs of Keri and Charity, but any additional donated items will be made available to charity efforts assisting all of the residents affected by the fire.
It’s likely you’ll see many more examples of generous Torontonians in the weeks to come, each aiming to help those, strangers and friends, who lost it all.
Photo by urban shephard from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.