This holiday season, Qode Media Inc. and Sistering teamed up to give back to women in need.

Sistering, a not-for-profit organization has served the Toronto community for over 35 years, providing support to marginalized women and trans people. The organization seeks to accommodate the varying needs of women, from those who may be suffering from mental-illness, to those who are living in poverty. The organization has a clear stance on being inclusive towards the needs of all women, regardless of ethnicity, sexual orientation or religious belief. Sistering aims to provide women the support they need in order to improve their well-being.

Poverty and homelessness exact a huge toll on women’s physical, mental and emotional health. Homeless women typically walk for hours every day. Most homeless women do not have access to a family doctor or to primary healthcare. Women living in poverty face the constant stress of limited resources— can they pay the rent? Can they buy groceries?— and debilitating discrimination at every turn.

Since becoming a 24/7 centre in November 2015, the complexity of issues faced by the women served has increased. The centre has witnessed an increase in the number of women fleeing domestic violence, seeking emergency shelter, as well as seniors with severe mental health issues who have no long-term care services and facilities available to them.

This year, the Qode Media team fundraised for their annual holiday toy drive to provide free toys and gifts, considering that some frequenters are mothers with young children. 

“During the holiday period, where many can feel low and need additional support, we organize various gift giving initiatives for our participants and their families,” said Shagana Ehamparam, the Communications Associate at Sistering. “The toy drive run by Qode Media and donated to Sistering was a tremendous help in allowing us to do this.”

“It was really humbling,” said Adi Raikar, a senior account manager at Qode Media. “Just to realize that there are so many helping hands there and the abundance of people willing to help was nice to see.” 

Sistering is always looking for volunteers, and if you would also like to give back, do not hesitate to reach out to them!

“Without our dedicated team of volunteers, we would not be able to offer the programs and activities participants have come to count on,” said Ehamparam. “To learn more about current volunteer opportunities, you can get in touch with our Volunteer and Community Engagement Associate, Aoife Mallon at amallon@sistering.org

An upcoming opportunity to support Sistering is through their Coldest Night of the Year event, a family-friendly walk that raises money for charities serving hungry, homeless and hurting people in the community. Sistering is looking for participants as well as volunteers for the event. To learn more visit https://cnoy.org/location/torontogladstonebloor.

To learn more about Sistering, view their website here.