Tokens4Change is an annual event run in support of Youth Without Shelter — an Etobicoke-based youth shelter that serves over 1000 youth, yearly. The aim of the campaign is to collect TTC tokens to help the youth get around the city; to job interviews, classes, doctors appointments and other daily routines. So teams of young people gathered at stations all across the TTC to canvass for tokens or spare change. For those fortunate enough to be unfamiliar with the experience of asking for money on the street, it was truly a humbling experience.
The experience was amazing, and brought out the best in people. Even the member of the Good Movement executive team were making sacrifices. Purdee had a swollen cheek and could barely talk because of a wisdom tooth surgery the day before– but she still came out to collect change and tokens for Youth Without Shelter. Rio voluntarily decided to canvass outside in the cold, even when everyone else was telling him he could stay inside. Andrew came down well before the start of his shift to get more hours in. It was a wonderful team effort, as we occupied Bay Station. We had to overcome shyness and get over rejection pretty quickly, but it was all very much worth it. Once we got a few donations, it all got a little easier. The generosity of some people was truly a beautiful thing. We had everything from little kids come up to us and give pennies, to strangers giving $20 bills. There were even some wonderful buskers playing music the entire afternoon.
Last year, Tokens4Change was able to raise $30,000 from volunteers. This year, we were able to double it and then some! A special thank you to our Bay Station leaders Phil and Justin for guiding us through the day. Another big thank you to the executive members who donated their entire day to this even, helping to make it the success that it has become.