JUST GIVE 2016

Last week we were proud to host the third year of our JUST GIVE campaign. We dedicated the day to spreading kindness and motivation through multiple activations in the the GTA.  Our mission was simple, inspire kindness and leave an impact in our community. Thanks to all of our generous sponsors and volunteers, this was our most successful year yet!

On June 8th we opened the day bright and early, greeting commuters at Union Station. Everyone was met with a warm smile, well wishes, and a high five, and even the most somber of commuters couldn’t help but flash a smile. The morning was a tremendous success, and CP24 Toronto News was on hand to cover the whole thing. We would like to extend a special thank you to the staff and kids at Irma Coulson Public School for their energy and commitment to change.

From Union Station, our dedicated team of volunteers made their way toward City Hall to kick off the next phase of our JUST GIVE celebrations─ Meagan’s Hug.

Volunteers from Meagan’s Walk and MPCF joined with attendees, gathering around the Podium Rooftop to express our personal thoughts of kindness by writing them on The Wall of Hope. The wall featured large inspirational words of positivity, beautifully designed in a graffiti style by local artist @JackDii, which were proudly displayed facing out over Nathan Phillips Square. Cheerleaders from the Toronto Argonauts were also on the scene to rally the crowd, and inspire as much joy and excitement as they could while everyone shared their messages of hope.

Gord Cheong - 2016_GC_CityHallHug-10.jpgA special thanks goes out to Marant Construction for building this wonderful symbol of kindness and positivity.

Meagan’s Hug’s Denise Bebenek, Michael “Pinball” Clemons, and Mayor John Tory each took to the podium in turn, and passionately spoke about the importance of community, spreading kindness, and giving any way you can. After much anticipation, the onlookers then rallied around the heart of the building, and on the count of three, moved in to embrace the structure. This hug represented our collective love for the city of Toronto and its various groups, and served as a symbol of commitment to our ongoing efforts to spread kindness throughout our daily lives.

As meaningful as the other aspects of JUST GIVE were in their ability to brighten the days of others, none were more impactful than our Cram-a-Cruiser and Cram-a-Curbsider challenges.

In partnering with all eight police services in Ontario’s Golden Horseshoe region, we were able to build upon the past successes of recent years, and enlist schools from across the Province to raise as much non-perishable food items as they could. After collecting for over a month, the officers arrived and the students joined together to cram the police cruiser.

One school which showed a remarkable giving spirit was a small Scarborough school called J.B. Tyrell Senior Public School. With little more than 400 students, they were able to collect a staggering 4,700 lbs. of food in support of the Daily Bread Food Bank!

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But help didn’t just come from the schools. We were stunned by the support of the local business community who not only crammed their fair share of Purolator curbsiders, but also provided generous financial support to help combat hunger.

Through the charitable dedication of countless parents, faculty, students, and companies we were able to raise 445,202 lbs. of food in support of the local area food banks! There are many ways to give, but we appreciate everyone who took the time to join us. We were inspired by your efforts and encouragement, and we are excited to grow the JUST GIVE movement.Once more thank you to everyone that made JUST GIVE 2016 a great success.

If your school or business is looking for ways to give back please visit JustGive.ca and join us next year.

“People will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

– Maya Angelou

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The 2nd Annual Victory Charity Ball – A “fight” for youth and a better chance at education!

On Thursday, May 26th 2016 we had the pleasure of hosting the 2nd Annual Victory Charity Ball (VCB) in support of the Michael “Pinball” Clemons Foundation Ambassador School Program. The event was held at CBC Studio 40, which was transformed from the set of Dragon’s Den to a stunning Las Vegas boxing themed venue. The venue was elegant with classy red hues, gorgeous floral centrepieces and a sizeable boxing ring.

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Unlike most Las Vegas style boxing matches; our VCB included many fighters with no prior boxing experience, as well as fights between professional boxers, including Joshua Frazer and Daniel Roach. This made the event more exciting as guests were able to see many top executives trade their laptops and suits in for boxing gloves, as they physically fought to raise money for the Ambassador School Program.

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The Ambassador School Program serves young people who have been raised in the child welfare system and have experienced significant trauma, abuse and neglect in their lives. These students are seeking to graduate from high school after having dropped out of the conventional education system, often due to a variety of destructive factors that plague their young lives. The Ambassador School Program transforms the lives of Toronto’s most critically at-risk youth by helping these students to reassemble the pieces of their lives in a healthy and productive way.

We were lucky enough to hear a student from the Ambassador School tell her story. Claudia’s story touched everyone’s hearts in the room and brought some to tears.

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Given that the VCB fell within the same year as the 50th anniversary of Canadian heavyweight champion George Chuvalo and Muhammad Ali’s fight, it was our greatest pleasure to invite Chuvalo to the gala. We introduced a new scholarship in honour of Chavalo called the “George Chuvalo Fight Back” Scholarship giving graduating students from the Ambassador School the chance to attend post-secondary education.

Chuvalo was not the only celebrity in attendance at the event. CTV etalk’s Laura Ward and TSN’s Rod Black fabulously hosted the gala. In addition, Cabral “Cabbie” Richards from SportsCentre on TSN was the boxing announcer for the night.

Later on in the night, the internationally acclaimed artist Kardinal Offishall put on a phenomenal performance. His energy was contagious, and he got the crowd on their feet.

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Overall, the night was a huge success as we were able to raise a total of $250,000 along with the support of our generous sponsors. Thank you to all who attended, volunteered, fought, donated and sponsored the 2nd Annual Victory Charity Ball. We cannot wait for next year’s Victory Charity Ball!

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Christmas with the Clemons 2015

On December 5th, 2015, the Clemons family hosted their very first Christmas concert with all proceeds going to build schoolhouses in Haiti!

Born from the passion to do more, Diane Clemons created Christmas with the Clemons. She gathered all her musical and celebrity friends to help host a holiday show where they can use their incredible talents to help raise money for a great cause.

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Christmas with the Clemons was hosted at the beautiful CBC Glenn Gould Studios and we were joined by over 200 audience members. Our celebrity guests took the audience down memory lane as they shared their favourite Christmas memories. Our guests included Rod Black, Kevin Frankish, Chad Owens and the Owens Family and Jennifer Valentyne, just to name a few.

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The show also featured talented musicians, dancers and performers who helped get the audience into the Christmas spirit! Performing to all of our favourite Christmas songs, the performers got the crowd on their feet singing and dancing the night away.

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Diane also worked with her musical friends and created the Joy to the World album, which were sold with all proceeds going towards this excellent cause. At the end of the night Diane proudly announced that we will continue to produce Christmas with the Clemons. Be sure to stay tuned for details on next year’s event!

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Just Give 2015 – Recap

Earlier this month we had the pleasure of hosting our JUST GIVE Kindness Awareness Week! We dedicated the first week of June to promoting kindness and encouraging generosity through multiple activation’s in and around the GTA. We kicked off the week by holding doors open for commuters at Union Station. The daily commuters were met with a smile and well wishes from our amazing volunteers. We held open every door within Union Station, so whether you were off to the streets, or headed down to the TTC you were greeted with a smile.

The Just Give team along with volunteers from Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games and Irma Coulson P.S. in Milton.

The Just Give team along with volunteers from Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games and Irma Coulson P.S. in Milton and Pachi!

On Tuesday June 2nd, the JUST GIVE team was at David Pecaut Square with the ‘Wall of Hope’. Our mission was to encourage the people of Toronto to share an inspirational message on the wall in order to spread kindness and motivation. We owe a huge thank you to Marant Construction for constructing an amazing wall for us and thank you to Sharpie for providing us with the writing tools needed to make our mark! Our team began the day by encouraging passers by to share their kindness and wisdom by signing the Wall of Hope. Around noon, while local businesses took a lunch break, we were joined by Jason the Argonaut, the Toronto Argonauts Cheerleaders and the rest of the Argos front office. Surrounded by amazing cheers and bright smiles, the wall quickly filled up with inspirational quotes and signatures! During the afternooing we had the pleasure of having Ashley Murphy speak to the crowd about what hope means to her. She gave a touching speech about her challenging childhood in foster care as well as being born HIV Positive. We highly recommend listening to her story, HERE is a link from last year’s WE DAY speech in Ottawa.

The Toronto Argonaut cheerleaders are joined by Diane Clemons and Ashley Murphy as they address the crowd.

The Toronto Argonaut cheerleaders are joined by Diane Clemons and Ashley Murphy as they address the crowd at Day 2 of JUST GIVE.

Wednesday, June 3rd JUST GIVE teamed up with Meagan’s Walk to execute “Operation HUGS” with Mayor John Tory and Michael “Pinball” Clemons. Coming together at City Hall, 300+ volunteers joined hands and formed a gigantic circle around the building. It was a wonderful and emotional moment when the circle formed and City Hall was successfully hugged. Following the hug, Mayor John Tory, volunteers and members of the general public contributed to the Wall of Hope. A number of inspirational messages were added and positive energy was felt all around.

Meagan's Walk Founder Denise Bebenek, Mayor John Tory and Michael "Pinball" Clemons all stop for a hug before circling City Hall to hug the city.

Meagan’s Walk Founder Denise Bebenek, Mayor John Tory and Michael “Pinball” Clemons all stop for a hug before circling City Hall to hug the city.

Wednesday of JUST GIVE was filled with action. We had Operation HUGS along with the Cram-a-Cruiser City Challenge. Both were successful and a lot of fun! The Toronto District School Board and Hamilton-Wentworth School Board were tasked with the challenge of collecting the most non-perishable food items in attempt to fill a police cruiser. This was a friendly challenge between the school boards in which all proceeds were donated to the Daily Bread Food Bank and Hamilton Food Share. With the help of Purolator and the respective Police Forces, the collected food was delivered to the food banks. Although it was a competition among schools, the real winners were the Daily Bread Food Bank and The Hamilton Food Share by receiving over 13,000 lbs during the food banks’ slowest time of year. Thank you to everyone who was involved with a Cram-a-Cruiser and special thank you to our volunteers!

On Thursday morning we returned to Union Station bright and early to give out High Fives. Our great team of volunteers, alongside Bond Brand Loyalty, helped give out high fives while holding the doors open at Union Station. There were too many high fives given out to count, we had an awesome time and we were able to spread kindness and encourage a smile on every face. A very big thanks is awarded to the Toronto Raptor’s Mascot “The Raptor” for joining us and contributing to its success.

On Friday we succeeded in activating our most laborious yet rewarding challenge of all, we called it “Honour Your Officer”. JUST GIVE was able to present every single police officer in Toronto a letter of kindness written by an elementary school student from the city. The logistics were very tough, but we were able to pull it off! We had Purolator pick up the letters from our office and deliver them to the respective Police Division. The officers loved receiving the letters and sent us some amazing pictures of their reactions on Twitter.

Overall JUST GIVE 2015 was a huge success! We would like to thank our sponsors and volunteers once again for contributing to its success. We are so excited to make it bigger and better next year! If you are a teacher at the elementary or high school level and are looking for a way to get your students involved or if you are an individual looking to get involved in JUST GIVE please visit http://www.justgive.ca for more information as JUST GIVE will be changing its format in 2015 so that we can better impact the whole community.

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Pencil Power

July 2014

Last week we had the incredible opportunity to go out in the community. We started the day in Bolton meeting an inspiring young lady named Lauren. Only 7 years old. She started PENCIL POWER – a pencil drive to collect school supplies for kids in countries who don’t have school supplies. She got the idea when she heard about a boy who carried his pencil everywhere he went in Africa because he feared if he put it down – they wouldn’t let him go to school.

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Fan Day – Youth Without Shelter

July 2014

MPCF Fan DAY at Youth Without Shelter with some great supporters of MPCF. Thank you Sheldon, Sean, Ken, Natalie, Michelle, Sinji, David, Betty, Jackie, Karla and Jen!
YWS is an emergency residence and referral agency serving homeless youth. Dedicated to providing shelter and support programs for homeless youth ages 16-24. The kids loved it and we enjoyed every minute. If you ever want to join us for a FAN DAY – we would love to have you or we can help you set up your own FAN DAY. Thanks everyone!!
‪#‎FANDAY ‪#‎TORONTO ‪#‎JUSTGIVE‪#‎SUPPORT

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JUST GIVE

The MichaelPinball’ Clemons Foundation would like to thank you for your support of our JUST GIVE Campaign! Being a small organization we rely heavily on community support and donated time and we sincerely appreciate you making an effort to join our cause.

The week was a great success, Twitter was buzzing about the initiatives held in Union Station starting on Day 1! Everyone loved the positive atmosphere, kind words and smiles from everyone; all volunteers, political candidates, and the MPCF team were there holding open doors, holding a message of hope for them to read, or giving out high-fives. Shows how something so small can really make a difference in someone’s day. The Yonge Street Mission and Youth Without Shelter were very happy to have us painting and cooking for them. Then, we ended off the week with a bang! The Peanut Butter Drive was a huge hit and we ended up donating over $25,000 worth of peanut butter and WOW butter (peanut butter substitute) to Daily Bread Food Bank and the very worthy people who use it.

The goal for this week was to spread kindness in our community in ways that are easy for everyone to do to make the city a better place to live.  You could really see the impact we had on the citizens of Toronto and we thank you again for helping us with our mission!

At the end of the week Alexandra Goodlet won the University JUSTGIVE Challenge. She won a $3,100 scholarship – which will help her education in International Development at Trent University. As well – we made a donation to a charity of her choice for $3,100 – which she chose Free the Children! Way to go Alexandra!

Let’s keep spreading kindness each day and JUST GIVE! Check out the amazing pictures from the week!

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WE|U|NIGHT

Last Thursday May 8th, The Michael “Pinball” Clemons Foundation (MPCF) and Free the Children (FTC) hosted an exciting event at the Sound Academy. It was an unforgettable evening with special guests Martin Sheen, Classified. Marc + Craig Keilburger and Michael “Pinball” Clemons.
We are so grateful to the friends, supporters, and partners of MPCF and FTC that came together for #WEUNIGHT.
Also, a big THANKS to RBC Canada, Pattison, Toronto Star, Pizza Pizza, Lug, and Assured Automotive for supporting #WEUNIGHT. Stay tuned for details on our 2015 Gala!

Here are some pictures from WE|U|NIGHT

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