In addition to our fundraising efforts, we’ve been dedicated to using our event and our event campaign to increase the exposure of the organizations that we support and the programs that they provide. We’ve also been devoted to visiting these organizations and volunteering when and where we can.
Here is a bit more about the organizations we are supporting this year through our ‘Escape to Chicago’ event and event campaign…
The Second Chance Foundation
The Second Chance Foundation is a women’s support group supporting marginalized, racialized, and formerly incarcerated women. Their programs include employment resources, job training and retraining, free computer training courses, women support groups, educational programs, recreational activities and counselling.
In the wake of the pandemic, many of the women’s support services had to be paused due to covid restrictions and access limitations. Sensing a need in the community for food support, the staff at The Second Chance Foundation swiftly setup a Hot Meals Program and a Food Bank Program which offers hot meals and groceries to families two times a week.
Teammates Anoke Dunston, Andre Morgan and Quinton Jacobs, have volunteered at The Second Chance Foundation at their Thrift Store and also with their Hot Meals and Food Bank programs.
Stella’s Place provides free mental health services for young adults ages 16 to 29. They have a holistic menu of programs, including peer support, clinical services, employment support, wellness, art, and recovery programs. They work to help young adults learn skills, build community and be empowered to manage their own mental health.
In 2017 a close friend of Q lost her daughter Breanna to her struggles with mental health. It was Martha who introduced our team to the work that Stella’s place does offering crisis support to young people and shortly after learning about their programs our Escape team was eager to support their fundraising and community initiatives.
Here is a look at one of the events that we supported: Walk for Bre
St Felix Centre
St. Felix Centre is a non-profit organization providing services to support marginalized communities who are experiencing homelessness, food insecurity & other complex challenges.
Teammates Anoke and Quinton started volunteering at St. Felix Place during the pandemic and quickly fell in love with their staff and the impactful work they do in the community.
Here's a look at some of our volunteering at St. Felix Centre: Voluneering at St Felix Centre
The Cooper Robertson Foundation
The Cooper Robertson Foundation is an organization that raises awareness and funds for Tuberous Sclerosis Complex. While he was researching epilepsy organizations, our ‘Escape’ Co-Founder Andrew Abley came across the story of a young boy with a rare condition that suffered from seizures at an early age. Andrew and his wife were also expecting their first son and the young boy’s story resonated with them even more for that reason. They reached out to the family and our Escape Team has been some of Cooper’s biggest fans ever since. Last year our ‘Escape’ team supported Coopers 1km Fundraising Event .
Over the past several years we’ve been able to establish relationships with the aforementioned local charities based in Toronto. But this year, as a part of our ‘Escape to Chicago’ campaign we’ve partnered each of our Community 10km Runs with a local charity. For 2021, we are happy to be supporting CAYF in Detroit and Gigi’s Playhouse’s in Chicago.
Gigis Playhouse Chicago
Gigi’s goal is to change the way we see Down syndrome and be able to send a message of acceptance for everyone! They provide therapeutic-based developmental programming and career workshops for individuals with Down syndrome, their families, and community, FREE of charge. What we love about Gigi’s Playhouse is that they are committed to helping individuals with Down Syndrome throughout their lives while being 95% volunteer run. We’re dedicating the contributions from our Chicago Escape 10K sales towards helping Gigi’s Playhouse increase their reach and help them to change the narrative of people living with Down syndrome.
Coleman A Young Foundation CAYF
CAYF is an organization that helps Detroit marginalized youth graduate college. On top of providing financial help, they provide each scholarship recipient a mentor to check in with to build out the goals they have for themselves. They believe that by removing the financial barrier for marginalized youth in Detroit, it allows for the youth to be able to be vocal leaders on equality, inclusion, and social justice issues. The young individuals within the Detroit area are intelligent, but marginalized, compromised, and subjugated. CAYF allows these youth to position themselves so that they can exercise and apply their innate intelligence on a world stage.
We believe that together we can make a difference. Because of restrictions over this past year there was so much that we just couldn’t do… We’ve chosen to stay focused on what we can.
Your support and your donations mean the world to us.
The ‘Escape’ Family