Social Action Committee
Our Social Action Committee meets every other month on the second Monday of the month. Check the congregation’s calendar on this website for definite dates. The meetings start at 5:30 p.m., followed by a video on a social justice theme at 7:00. Come for the meeting, the video, or both. Bring a brown bag supper or a dish to share and come prepared to get involved. We welcome newcomers in our many social action commitments which include:
Social Action Present Initiatives:
Equity & Environmental Action
Frequently during the year we sponsor a letter writing campaign on behalf of a social justice cause. Recently letters were written on behalf of the Toronto Environmental Alliance, urging the Government of Ontario to begin testing the feasibility of a wind power facility in Lake Ontario off the eastern shore of Toronto. Believing that letter writing is an effective tool for social change, the Social Action Committee urges all Don Heighters to get involved in this way.
Our involvement in the Occupy Movement includes attendance at rallies, marches & demonstrations. We have also engaged with planning and information sessions. For information about the Occupy Toronto Movement please visit occupyto.org
Agincourt Community Services - ACSA www.agincourtcommunityservices.com
ACSA is a Multi-Service Neighbourhood Centre with programs for people of all ages and all racial and cultural backgrounds. They work in the northern part of Scarborough. Don Heights has a Twoonie Collection one Sunday a month to help keep the ACSA Food Bank stocked. Murray Fulcher, one of our active volunteers hunts for bargains on quality food products for the Food Bank.
North York Women's Shelter - www.nyws.ca
Flemingdon Food Bank - www.flemingdonparkministry.org/
Out of the Cold at Knox United Church - www.ootc.ca
For the past three years Don Heights has partnered with the Out of the Cold Group at Knox to provide dinner and breakfast for 2 Friday nights during the cold winter months. We usually play cards and watch a movie with those who are sleeping over at Knox.
Milne Hollow Stewardship Program - www.toronto.ca/greentoronto
A dedicated group of Don Heighters get together every week to participate in the Milne Hollow Stewardship Program. The group meets at Milne Hollow on Lawrence Avenue, just east of the Don Valley Parkway, at 10:00 every Thursday. Burdock, thistle, tansy, and phragmite are everywhere, so the group works on getting rid of these and other invasive species They also plant native vegetation and monitor the environment. In the near future the group will be recording information about the insects observed in areas where plants are blossoming. Their findings will become part of a national database concerned with problems of plant pollination. Anyone is welcome to join us.
Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanupwww.thestar.com/aboutUs/santaclausfund
Every year Don Heighters participate in the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, working to clean up St. Clair Ravine Park at St Clair and Warden Ave. The cleanup occurs on a Saturday in September – check this website for the date. We meet at Don Heights at 9:30 and car pool, but you can go directly to the site at 10 am. There is lots of free parking in the TTC lot at St. Clair and Warden. You will be supplied with gloves and garbage bags. Be sure to bring sunscreen and insect repellant. You can check our site at
In our congregational space at 18 Wynford Drive we collect used eyeglasses, batteries, cell phones, pop can tabs, used white sheets, and computer printer cartridges for recycling.
Charles Sauriol Conservation Area
Please see the Town Crier article about the effort to control non-native species and bring back natural flora to the area.
Don Heights History of Social Action involvment
A few of the programs we have engaged with in the recent past:
Toronto Star Santa Box Delivery www.thestar.com/aboutUs/santaclausfund
SOS - www.loftcs.org
Street Outreach Services provides many services to at risk young people under the age of 25. They provide assistance with job, education, housing, welfare, health, and legal issues. They also provide referrals to other community services and give out information on HIV/AIDS/STI. Don Heights supports SOS in many ways. Our coffee houses and special collection raise badly needed funds. When any of us travel we collect individual soaps, shampoos, and other toiletries for SOS. In the winter congregational members knit hats, scarves, and mittens for the young people and in the fall we collect school supplies for the students who hope to resume their education.
Palestinian Refugee Sponsorship Program - www.mcc.org
Along with four Toronto Area Mennonite Congregations the Social Action Committee has worked to sponsor the immigration to Canada of a Palestinian family who had been in a refugee camp on the border of Iraq and Syria. At the end of January 2010 our family arrived: father Salmi, mother Faten, and seven children, ranging in age from 15 to four years old. We have raised money and collected household items, furniture, and clothing for the family, and helped them in a variety of ways as they adjust to life in Canada.