Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Last night we raised $35k for the Daily Bread Food Bank. It was fun and for a great cause.

We’ll be raising more this Sunday evening, December 14 during our #HangoverAuction – tune in to #HoHoTO 7-9 p.m. We’ve got a drone, keyboard & more!

Photo booth photos to come on the Facebook page.

HoHoTO has raised more than $300K over the years for the Daily Bread Food Bank. Giving back while partying has long been a favourite way to engage the Toronto tech community in charitable giving.
– Torontonians made more than a million visits to food banks last year.
– More than 30% of the people relying on food banks in the GTA are children.
– More than 50% have a disability. Read more in Betakit by Elena Yunusov: http://www.betakit.com/toronto-gets-ready-to-hohoto-for-charity/

See you Sunday evening on Twitter for the #HangoverAuction – tune in to #HoHoTO 7-9 p.m!

Thanks to our Community Supporters!

We’re very grateful to our community supporters who have helped us spread the news about our event to their members.

Here is a little bit about them:

HIGHLINE Venture Capital is a global VC-backed accelerator platform that helps early-stage startups establish global connections, achieve product/market fit, and secure institutional capital.

MaRS Discovery District is dedicated to driving economic and social prosperity. MaRS first opened in 2005 and is one of world’s largest innovation hubs—a 1.5-million-square-foot complex located in in downtown Toronto. MaRS works with an extensive network of private and public sector partners to help entrepreneurs launch and grow innovative companies that are building our future—startup ventures with broad economic and societal impact.

One Eleven is a community of data-driven entrepreneurs that bridges the gap between research and commercialization by supporting the development of solutions to highly complex data problems.

Ryerson Digital Media Zone is one of Canada’s largest business incubators and co-working spaces for entrepreneurs. The top-ranked university incubator in Canada and fifth in the world, it helps startups succeed by connecting them with customers, advisors, influencers, and other entrepreneurs.

SMCafeTO is an informal networking event for people who share an interest in social media. It’s a casual forum for you to meet new people, share experiences, and drink lots of coffee (or beer).

Do you represent a community group? Let’s chat on how we can work together to share the news about #HoHoTO with your members!

Tanya on working at the Daily Bread Food Bank

The number of households in Ontario turning to food banks increased significantly this year, according to the Ontario Association of Food Banks.In total, 17,182 households accessed food banks in March 2014 compared to 14,206 households last year.

To further explain the need for funding and why help is needed we asked Tanya, a DB Production Assistant, a few questions on her experience at the Daily Bread Food Bank:

Tell me a bit about yourself and how you got to Daily Bread.

I started working at Daily Bread in 2011 as the Production Assistant, through a program called Investing in Neighbourhoods. It’s a program that works with not-for-profits to provide jobs for people on OW (Ontario Works).  I’d done community studies at school and loved the idea of working at a not-for-profit that made a difference. I remember the first time I came to Daily Bread and being totally amazed by how organized the production area and warehouse inventory systems were. It’s been almost 4 years now and every day I feel like I make a difference.

Why do you think that food banks use has increased as much as it has?

Well, the recession in 2008 didn’t help. In my mind it’s about jobs and income. Too many people are having trouble finding jobs and many that do still aren’t brining home enough money. Prices are going up everywhere, but people aren’t making more. They need food banks.

What is your holiday wish this season?

I wish nobody needed to come to Daily Bread – I wish there wasn’t a need for food banks. It’s too bad we exist. But until that day, thank god we are here for people.

 How can people help year-round?

So many people help us year-round. But my advice to people would be simple – share your time, your money, your food. Be aware – and teach your kids – about the need for food banks and the good work Daily Bread does in the community.

Tania Samsonova on volunteering for #HoHoTO

Can you believe it? We’re all a few days away to the best holiday party of the year! And we couldn’t do it without our group of dedicated volunteers, many that come back every year, to check guests in, collect donations at the photo booth, sell raffle tickets and much more.
To give you an idea of what it’s like to volunteer for #HoHoTO we asked long-time volunteer  Tania Samsonova a few questions on her volunteer experience :
How did you get involved in HoHoTO?
 I first heard about it on FB from several people at once, the usual crowd most of whom were among the first HoHoTO organizers
What’s your favourite volunteer position?
 I love being at the door and greeting people, a lot of whom I know at least by sight and by name! I also love helping with raffle setup – seeing all these wonderful gifts donated by wonderful people just warms my heart.
What’s your favourite HoHoTO memory?
 Totally great photos of people, including myself, taken by Rannie Turingan
Any advice to any HoHoTO newbies thinking of volunteering?
Go for it! You will never regret it. There is nothing like the feeling that you are a part of something bigger than you that does good to people.
If you see Tania on Thursday be sure to give her a high-five, she deserves it!!

Raffle Roundup

We thought that you’d like to read about all the incredible prizes our sponsors have donated to the raffle. Please note that some of these items will end up in our fabulous HANGOVER AUCTION, which will take place on Sunday, December 14th— but more on that soon. And all of these items are subject to change, since not every single one of them is in our hands yet, and things always occur. But as we see it right now, these are the items we’ll offer you this week, in one way or another:

As you can see, this is an extraordinary selection of prizes…but you have to show up to win, so get your tickets—and buy some raffle tickets—now!