Windfall is Canada's most cost-efficient social service agency according to MoneySense Magazine!
In summer 2010, MoneySense Magazine released The Charity 100 list where they rated the 100 largest charities in the country according to efficiency. The question they answered, on behalf of donors, was "Where does the money go?" Windfall was rated at a 98.8% efficiency putting us at the top of the social services list! This was no surprise to us because for every $1 Windfall spends to operate, we put $56 into the social service system. Our programs enhance the social service system by putting over $28 million worth of new items into the hands of those who need them most. This frees up scarce dollars for agencies and individual clients and families to use for other basic necessities such as food and shelter.
How Do We Do It?
Distribution System Support
Windfall partners with 100 social service agencies in the Greater Toronto Area. Agencies sign up with us every two years and provide us with details about what type of clients they serve and how many clients they assist each month. A signed partnership agreement with each agency guarantees that the Windfall donations will be kept locked, not be sold and will be distributed in an ethical manner.
As the donated items come into our warehouse, they are counted, sorted and re-packed into categories, e.g. men's pants, kids' books. This is done by teams of program participants from Community Living Toronto and many other groups of volunteers, such as schools and corporate teams looking for team-building activities.
We pack the items for each agency according to their clients' needs. Every month, an agency representative comes to our warehouse to pick up the donated items. The items are taken back to the agency and then distributed to clients, who are enrolled in their programs and working hard to improve their lives, in the manner that is most suitable.
Windfall does not accept referrals of individual clients, we only distribute through our partner agencies. This method of distribution enables us to keep our efficiency at a very high level.
Millions of Dollars Worth of Donated Items!
Product donors include manufacturers, retailers, importers and distributors. Before Windfall, companies were often forced to store their surplus inventory, sell it below value or put it in landfill sites. All of these options are costly and wasteful. The opportunity to donate their unsold items to Windfall helps businesses to easily meet their social imperatives. With one phone call to Windfall, one free pickup of their items and one in-kind donation receipt donors know that their surplus items are being distributed to our most vulnerable citizens in a fair and equitable manner. We always need donations of items listed under our programs below.
Thank you to Windfall. I make a very low wage and cannot afford new clothes in retail stores. Your program has provided me and my family with warm sock, t-shirts, jeans and nice winter hats, mitts, scarves and neck warmers. Thank you so much for allowing me to dress my family appropriately.
-Hedara, Eastview Neighbourhood Community Centre
Birkdale Residence is a temporary, emergency shelter for abused women, new families to the country, families who have been evicted from their homes, fire victims or families who are unable to obtain housing in the community.... Windfall’s contribution to our organization provides many women and children with a warm winter, a comfortable spring and a cool summer. The dignity and pride of our families remain intact because of your organization.
-Birkdale Residence, Community and Neighbourhood Services
The Kids' Basics Program collects and distributes brand new children’s clothing and other basic-needs items to social service agencies and programs working with Toronto’s most needy children aged 0 to 19 years.
The problems these children are facing include: abuse, poverty, homelessness, parental drug abuse and crime, immigration and settlement. The agencies working with these children (and in many cases, their families as well) face multiple challenges.
The agencies have clearly identified the need to assist the children by providing them with new items. The clothing and other basic-needs items are needed not only for pride, dignity, self-esteem and feelings of being cared for, but also for participation in school activities. During the cold Canadian winters a snowsuit or coat, boots, hats and mittens are basic necessities of life.
Three full-time warehouse assistants and two weekly teams come to Windfall's warehouse to help unload, sort, organize and cut out labels from the donated items. This type of work training placement is very important for our clients as it allows them to learn life skills and work skills while actually in the community. The placement location is very nurturing and allows clients to build their self-esteem and make friendships. They learn how to achieve their life goals in a supportive environment while concretely applying what they learned to real tasks. This placement offers our clients a wonderful way to learn while feeling included in all aspects of society.
Sharon B, Support Worker 3, Community Living Toronto
Thank you for providing me clothes for my interview. I don’t know what I would have done at the last minute. I came to Gateway looking for help to find a job and the next day I was called for an interview and my counselor said we have clothes and I had a look and found something and had a wonderful interview. Thank you.
-Simone O., Gateway Cafe
HOW YOU CAN HELP
School Basics: Backpacks
For a $25 tax-deductible cash donation you can send a child facing crisis and poverty back to school with a brand-new backpack full of new school supplies. The retail value of the backpack and supplies is over $65!
OR you can organize a backpack day at your workplace and have everyone bring in backpacks and school supplies. Here are the items needed:
Backpacks, three-hole loose-leaf paper, binders, crayons, pens, pencils, highlighters, erasers, markers, coloured pencils, pencil cases, geometry sets, notebooks, dictionaries, thesauruses, paper scissors, lunch bags, sharpeners, glue sticks, rulers, tissue packs, report folders, hand sanitizers, calculators, batteries, and lip balms.
Call us at 416-703-8435 to make a credit card donation over the phone or use the Donate Now button on our front page to donate through Canada Helps. (Pull down Fund menu and select Backpack Program.)
The following companies/groups have generously donated to our SCHOOL BASICS program:
Stonegate Private Counsel
Royal Bank Foundation
Humbervale Montessori School
Our sincere thanks to our wonderful friends at Bell for their incredible donation of new backpacks full of school supplies!
WINTER BASICS: KIDS
For a $25 donation you can provide a child facing crisis and poverty with a brand-new snowsuit or jacket OR hold your own event to raise money for Winter Basics: Kids. The Charger Foundation organizes an annual golf tournament with all the proceeds going to ensure that all children living in Toronto have adequate winter clothing.
Charger Foundation Board Member, Paul Cloutier (l), Charger Foundation Chair, Louis Sapi (m) and Charger Foundation Admin Assistant, Marcia Niles (r) with children from Alexandra Park Community Centre
Children and teachers from Hillmount PS and Samuel Hearne PS join executives from the Charger Foundation at a cheque presentation at the Windfall warehouse.
KEEP KIDS WARM CAMPAIGN
Child who received jacket being interviewd by CITYTV.
PLEASE HELP US MAKE SURE THAT ALL CHILDREN IN OUR CITY HAVE PROPER WINTER COATS, HATS, MITTS, BOOTS AND SCARVES THIS WINTER. YOUR DONATIONS WILL HELP US PURCHASE DESPERATELY NEEDED WINTER COATS AND ACCESSORIES FOR CHILDREN WHO HAVE NOTHING. EVERY DOLLAR DONATED PROVIDES $56 WORTH OF WINTER BASICS FOR KIDS IN NEED.
All the time, children come into our Centre with coats that should be in the garbage. Their snowsuits and coats are ripped, dirty, old, the wrong size and not warm enough. The children get frostbite on their hands and faces. They desperately need coats, hats, mitts, boots and scarves. So many are recent immigrants and refugees – they have nothing.
OUR SINCERE THANKS TO HAGGAR CANADA FOR INITIATING THIS CAMPAIGN!