Can’t make it to HoHoTO, but want to make a food donation?
Our friends Homestars, Hailo, and Sapient are running food drives for HoHoTO and the Daily Bread. Hailo Toronto has made space for food donations at their office at 219 Queen Street East. Simply drop off your canned, non-perishable goods by Friday at 5pm, and Hailo will deliver them to the Mod Club in time for HoHoTO, in their spiffy Hailo yellow cabs.
SapientNitro started running a food drive way before food drives for HoHoTO became cool. We are grateful for your efforts and food offerings.
Ho-Ho-HomeStars Holiday Open House is on today!
28 of HomeStars excellent staff and over 100 guests come together for holiday snacks and Christmas cheer over here. All donations of non-perishable items will end up at the Daily Bread Food Bank. Thank you HomeStars for your non-perishable support of HoHoTO.
As many of you know, I am one of the founders of HoHoTO – “the party that twitter built”. It wasn’t really built by twitter, but on twitter by a group of people who didn’t really even know each other.
It all started with a little tweet. A little spark of an idea, that one person took, modified and sent out to the ether. Another person replied, tweaking as they went. And then another. And another. (15 people.) And then beers (many beers.) And then in what felt like no time (13 days) we filled the Virgin Mobile Mod Club and raised $25,000 for Daily Bread.
15 people, 13 days, an idea, an intention, a lot of disruption. A desire to help make the world suck a little less, and a willing and active community of engaged people and companies.
We didn’t create this out of nothing. We didn’t do it alone. We did it with the passion and support of a huge community of people. Some were there for the party. Some were there for the networking. Some were there for the prizes. But at some level, and in some way, we were all there for each other and for our community.
That’s what Daily Bread Food Bank and all the food banks are there for: their communities. The people who work their asses off every day and can just barely make rent. The people who are feeding their kids first. The people who are going to bed hungry. The people who are trying to keep it together to make thing better and a single week or month or quarter of help from an organisation like Daily Bread is enough for them to make it. And keep their dignity.
Because that’s what we all want, isn’t it? A little dignity even when things are tough?
The people who use Daily Bread are our neighbours, our friends, our family, our community.
That’s what makes HoHoTO so special to me. Watching my community, family, friends and neighbours all come together to support each other. Work together, create, inspire and disrupt each other until we find a way to make it work. To make it possible to give. To raise money to help the people in our community have the nourishment they need to work, create, inspire and disrupt and then turn around and help someone else.
So, if you are wondering what to do Thursday night in Toronto, buy your ticket now and come on out to HoHoTO. For $40 you party for a night, and they eat for a week. Besides, it’s going to be a kick-ass party!
Here’s a little look at our first year.
Oh ya, and since 2008, that final number of $25,000 has increased to be over $225,000! Let’s see where HoHoTO 2012 leaves us!
With only three days to go to the best party that will feed thousands of hungry Torontonians for weeks to come, here are five things you should know.
1. HoHoTO Raffle
Come for the party, stay for the raffle prizes! There are tech toys, phones, wine, restaurants, singing lessons, and even a beer fridge! Just waiting to be won. We recommend making friends with the tallest person in the room: you get an arms-length of raffle tickets for $25 and another arms-length for $5 this year, as HoHoTO 5th anniversary special. You’ll have to be in the room to claim your prize. Get your raffle strategy on! Party and get your Christmas shopping done all in one magical night of fun holiday cheer.
Please consider bring food donations with you – we will have food bins set up and ready. Daily Bread told us that this year, food donations are more important than ever. Because food prices increased so much, even buying lots of food in bulk does not stretch their dollar as far as it used to. If you can, please pick up some baby formula, rice, canned beans, pasta, or tomato sauce on your way to this party. If you are running a food drive, let us know if there’s anything we can do to help, and how much food you got! We would love to feature your food drive on beta.hohoto.ca – take some pics, too!
3. Photobooth is back!
Rannie @photojunkie and his photobooth are making a comeback, hosted by our santa sponsor Virgin Mobile. Rannie makes everyone look like they’ve got it going on; luckily, this photoshoot comes at super affordable PWYC or a $2-$5 donation. Virgin will mobilize to make it extra special. Basically, these are not your typical party photos – these are the pics you might end up using for all your social media avatars, and will feel proud tagging on Facebook, or sending to your family and friends. Weeks after HoHoTO, Rannie’s pics still rule over our Twitter streams as avatars – we are not making this up.
4.Tickets, Go Green and Pretty Frocks
Believe it or not, but we are not sold out – yet! Now is the time to grab your ticket – this is not the party you want to miss! And if you were wondering what to wear for HoHoTO, check out Rent Frock Repeat, who will donate 10% to Daily Bread with every single rental. Now, here comes the Go Green part: Got your ticket on your phone? That’s awesome, and it’s the fastest way to get in. Just show us your ticket, and you’ll get your hand stamped that special club stamp that takes a while to come off. Your memories could last a lifetime though.
Would you please take a look at all the fine and diverse companies that sponsor HoHoTO this year. Please give them love. Many of them stepped in on a short notice, many of them support HoHoTO for the first time, and many of them return year after year. That kind of generosity does not happen often, and when it does it really shows people in those organizations genuinely care about other people and want to give back to the community. The least we could do is thank them for stepping up! Read more about sponsorship opportunities – there’s still time to join HoHoTO as a sponsor.
Virgin Mobile just announced that they’re going to help the Daily Bread Food Bank feed a lot of people by joining HoHoTO as our Santa sponsor at $15,000!
HoHoTO Virgin Initiation
If you are coming to HoHoTO for the first time, here are the 5 Rules of HoHoTO:
The first rule of HoHOTO is DO talk about HoHoTO – tweets are also cool with us, cause every time you tweet, someone gets to eat!
What happens at HoHoTO stays at HoHoTO. Funny thing, you won’t even remember what happened at HoHoTO yourself when we ask you a year later. We wonder why!
About that dress code. There isn’t one. From glam dresses to ugly Christmas sweater, to your grandpa and grandma best, jeans and tshirt combo, to an elf costume – anything and everything goes. Hell, you can even wear a wedding dress and we won’t judge! Especially if you sing Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” – you may get extra raffle tix just for your panache
Get your smile on! Cause this year, you get photoboothed, instagrammed, and treated like the VIP that you are. VIP stands for Very Important People. And photobooth is PWYC, suggested donations of $2 or $5
Have fun and dance like you mean it! Let the bubbles rain, the music take you higher, get yourself some Molson, and please say hi to everyone. Because often, people you know from Twitter don’t look like their own avatars!
Most of all, if this is not your first HoHoTO – introduce someone you don’t know to someone you know. If you are a HoHoTO Virgin, we got one thing to say. Be mobile.
We received an amazing offer of support from St. John Catholic Elementary School in Toronto and we’d like to share with you. Guess what?! Even the kids are doing it. They are supporting HoHoTO. They are feeding the hungry.
What makes this even more special? Michael’s kids attend this school. Michael co-founded HoHoTO, and his commitment to making the world suck a little less – HoHoTO’s catch phrase that he coined – lives on. These kids are amazing!
“At St. John we believe that everyone deserves a proper meal, especially on Christmas. Food is a necessity that every human deserves. It’s unfortunate that families have to worry about where they will be getting food from. HoHoTO has provided many people with food for the past few years. We wanted to support the HoHoTO because of the great work that they are doing in our city,” wrote Mosana and Connell, Grade 8, St. John Catholic Elementary.
St. John students are organizing dress down days in hopes of collecting $250 in donations for HoHoTO. Surely if the kids can do it, you can do it too.
From what we get, we can make a living. However, what we give, makes a life
HoHoTO is just six days away. Here’s three ways you can help:
We’re looking for sponsors.Are you able to step in and be our Mrs. Claus ($7,500) or Elf ($5,000) sponsor this year? How about a Reindeer ($2,000) or Snowflake ($1,000)? Your generosity could be your best marketing and hiring strategy yet.
We’re looking for raffle prizes. If sponsorship is not in the cards for you this year, how about donating great raffle prizes to HoHoTO? Ping @alexaclark or try firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re selling tickets.You party for one night, they eat for one week! Put this in perspective for a minute: $40 buys one decent dinner for two, or one movie outing for two. Maybe a t-shirt or two. That same $40 would feed a family for one week, and wouldn’t that be the best gift to give someone this holiday season?
Let’s come together to help the Daily Bread Food Bank — students at St. John are doing it with their jeans and hoodies. Can we count on you for support?