Out of the Cold
helping the homeless
The Out of the Cold program is a volunteer initiative that consists of congregations from faith groups, community members and advocates who provide safe refuge, hospitality and emergency shelter to the homeless community throughout the City of Toronto. Our local OOTC program is held at Blythwood Road Baptist Church, 80 Blythwood Road. Each Saturday night from November through March up to 140 guests are provided with a home-cooked meal and up to 60 homeless persons are given a safe and warm place to sleep. Those who stay for the night are also given a hot breakfast and a packed lunch on Sunday morning. This is the only program available on a Saturday in the City of Toronto that provides sleeping accommodation.
The Good Food Box
sharing local produce
The Good Food Box is a program of Foodshare, an organization that delivers healthy food to communites and schools. ESG volunteers meet once a month, usually on the third Thursday, to organize and bag fresh produce from local farmers. The goal of the program is to support local growers, encourage good food choices, and provide outreach to the community. Every month, we receive boxes of food for those in need in our community, be they individual families or organizations such as the Lawrence Heights Food Bank or Glendon College International Students.
ESG Thursday Outreach/Drop-In
food for those in need
Every Thursday afternoon our doors are open from 1:30-3:30 to assist those who have trouble making ends meet. Some are on disability, some live in rooming houses or shelters, and some on the street. Here they find a listening ear as well as a food gift card ($12), TTC tokens, and food items from our pantry cupboard. If you are interested in contributing to it's ongoing success please email us. We are always in need of food donations for our guests. Please bring your non-perishables to the food collection bin marked, 'Thursday Outreach' beside the Welcome Desk in the foyer of the church.
Fair Trade at ESG
support fair trade practices
Each year ESG's Outreach committee hosts a Fair Trade Fair, prior to the Christmas season, in support of workers around the world who are trying to create better lives for themselves and their families. This is a wonderful opportunity to shop for unique gifts made by artisans from Cambodia, Nepal, Palestine, Rwanda, Northern Thailand, Haiti and more who are working to better their own lives and those of their families. Support fair trade by including some of these exotic, practical, and fun items in your holiday giving. Our Fair Trade Fair just ended in November - we'll see you next fall!
ESG serves Fair Trade coffee each Sunday after the service, during our time of fellowship.
In 2010, ESG formed a Compassionate Justice group to learn about the changes in direction and legislation to Canada's Criminal Code being proposed by the federal government. Since then we have run a Speakers Series, A Justice System for a Just Society. Speakers have offered reflections on the consequences these changes have on Canada's social values, and a consideration of ways to re-establish an effective and humane justice system in the future.
Previous presentations are available at the Compassionate Justice Audio Library
supporting community partners
Each year ESG hosts two Rummage Sales - one in the Fall, and one in the Spring. The rummage sale facilitates good stewardship by providing an opportunity for people to donate items they no longer need and offers needed household items to members of the community at low prices while supporting many Community Outreach Partners who collect items that support their various programs.
Save the date for our SPRING SALE! ESG's next Rummage sale is on Saturday, April 8, 2017.
a local outreach project
As a congregation we realize that we have neighbouring communities that have high needs. Lawrence Heights, a priority neighbourhood in Toronto, became the focus of our Outreach efforts in 2012 and, as we work in partnership with Baycrest Public School, we offer various opportunities throughout the year to volunteer.
In June of 2016, ESG introduced an Annual Literacy Award at Baycrest Public School. At the end of the school year, teachers in each classroom, along with the Librarian, work together to gather a list of children who worked very hard on their reading and showed significant progress. This past June there were 7 recipients of a brand new book award for each student to take home. We are very happy to have committed to this program until June 2019. With sincere thanks to the Harrison Rowland Trust Fund for making this possible.