Toronto’s wealthy gives back to community in Christmas fundraiser

Global Business

Christmas is the season of good will, and in Toronto, the city’s wealthiest workers pledge cash and volunteer their time to help those less fortunate.

CCTV America’s Kristiaan Yeo reported this story from Toronto.

Toronto's wealthy gives back to community in Christmas fundraiser

Toronto's wealthy gives back to community in Christmas fundraiser

Christmas is the season of good will, and in Toronto, the city's wealthiest workers pledge cash and volunteer their time to help those less fortunate.

On Bay Street, Toronto’s financial district, extravagant light displays and towering Christmas trees decorate banks and financial institutions as they celebrate their success and festive spirit.

Toronto’s banking community hosts an annual Santa Comes to Bay Street, a fundraiser which urges the city’s high-flyers to give disadvantaged families something to unwrap over the holidays.

“The gifts probably value at about $170,000 because we’re doing 1,700 bags with each bag valued at $100 per bag,” Santa Comes to Bay Street co-founder Mary Matthews said.

Scarves, gloves, and toys are luxuries that many families simply cannot afford.

“Bay Street just has so much money, everybody is loaded at Christmas time. They can well afford to help those who are in need, and so that’s what the whole rationale was,” Matthews said.

The gifts come to centers flooded with people struggling with issues of abuse, poverty, and illness.

“We do see an increase year on year. A lot of it has to do with the economic downturn, that we are experiencing such a great demand,” Maritza Sanchez, executive director for Jessie’s Women’s Shelter said.

New figures show the number of households in Ontario using food banks for the first time has risen 20 percent to more than 17,000.

“At the end of the day, we have families, we have kids, we wanna give back to the community. We want a better world too. We just can only do it after 5 p.m.,” volunteer Raj Balasubramanian said.

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