Organizing Individuals – From Properties to Lives

Posted on February 4, 2011
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People say change is good, luckily for the community Nada Thomson made a big change; from organising properties to lives. In 2006 Nada began assisting the poor after years of owning a company called Artful Organizers, where she was a personal organizer.

This organisation encourages an inclusive way of living, using resources to support those members who are poor. It is open to all religious systems and every ethnic backgrounds. The mission is made up of of men and women from the age 25 to 55. Each year the Sanctuary supports thousands of people, helping about 500 different people each week.

An outreach team of 2 volunteers or staff go out into the community giving help and support on an individual’s own turf, many who have previously been let down or ignored by others. There is also a drop in centre, a health clinic and rehab available, the charity believes in helping the entire person, a holistic approach. Procuring a job is another barrier faced by the people the mission help, so employment training is provided giving life skills to those who maybe had few.

Every year, The Sanctuary has a great Christmas spread with candles and in the galley with gigantic windows. With Xmas gift bags, food, talent shows and a play, this is truly a special event for all those involved. Members and staff do a 5k walk in the warmer months. The events are not there just for the people who rely on the charity for assistance, anyone that contributes is welcome, this way they can see their money is put to good use. There really should be no difference between rich and poor, members are part of a community. Those that feel that they have no dignity left are helped to see that their life is worth fighting for, therefore giving them back their dignity. Making a difference is more than just donating dollars but also about making new friends.

The mission is not a substitute for social services but an additional service set up to help. Individuals are regarded as friends and are now living in a property rather than on the street. They would not be able to do this without someone to help them look for a place and help them obtain furniture.

To give you an idea on one of the success stories of this charity, is one of a female born in Toronto and raised there. Not too soon after this child was born, she was placed into foster care. Her aunt set her cot on fire. Her grandparent found her crawling in cockroaches. The abuse did not finish there, this young child was also sexually abused. Over the years she went through the homes of many foster families, no relationship seemed to last and she was an addict. With support from quite a few people she is now moving forward with her life and has been coming to the sanctuary for 4 years.

Julie Kinnear is MLS GTA professional and volunteering enthusiast.

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