Christmas Caring Through Christmas Sharing

Income inequality is rising twice as fast in Toronto than in the rest of the country, with 133,000 children in Toronto living in poverty.  Since 1912, Moorelands Kids has stood in the gap, providing support and programming to over 130,000 kids from Toronto.

At Moorelands Kids, we empower kids and set them up for success by advocating for positive youth development, creating connections, forming partnerships, investing in leadership and life skills learning programs, and leveraging and protecting our world-class assets.

When we teach kids about LEADERSHIP, one of the qualities an empowered leader demonstrates is CARING. Doing what you can to be KIND, HELPING others in need, and showing that you CARE, are all the ways that we can be leaders in our families, our schools, and in our communities.

This Christmas, 819 Moorelands’ kids and babies were shown that when you help others, you demonstrate that you CARE.

Our Christmas Sharing donors gave their time purchasing, wrapping and delivering gifts. They gave their energy and effort, choosing the perfect gifts for their adopted families. They gave their finances and resources to care for families that needed their support. And most of all, they gave parts of their hearts as they SHOWED THEY CARE.

How can you show someone that you care? Can you write an encouraging card to someone important to you? Could you spend time helping a friend? What about reconciling a relationship? Or making a new friend? Maybe spending time with your family?  What about saying thank you to someone who has helped you?

THANK YOU to our donors. You are examples of Christmas CARING through Christmas SHARING!

This past Christmas, hundreds of families-in-need experienced CARING thanks to our community! What an incredible way to encourage and empower kids!

Check out the pics below.

All the best for 2019!

Christmas Sharing 2018

Read more myMoorelands articles…

Jane Rowan’s story

IMG_7820“You just have to do something, make an impact; I always wanted to leave a mark!”



At St. James Cathedral, The York Group’s Baby Shower for Moorelands Baby Bundles program, we had the good fortune to run into Jane Rowan. Jane is not only the Secretary of the York Group, with a long history of supporting Moorelands through their annual Baby Shower, but she also knows the benefits of Moorelands Camp program first hand.

BabyAs a single mother in the 1970s, Jane sent her children, Daniel and Darryl, to Moorelands Camp.  It was a difficult time for her, she explains: “I’d split from my husband and my parents disapproved – back then there was a lot of stigma attached to being a single parent.”  For Jane, it was a relief to find out about Moorelands and the opportunities it would provide for her young boys, “I didn’t have a lot of money at the time, but I didn’t want to deprive my kids of anything.”

How did she feel sending her two young children away from home for two weeks for the first time? “I was mostly relieved!” Jane smiles, “I was working full time and it gave me a much-needed break.  I knew they would be looked after and I didn’t have to worry.”

The boys had so much fun they went back two years in a row, accompanied by her sister’s children, Karen and Jason.  The cousins all have fond memories of camp. “They remember the boats going over to the Island very well, it left quite the impact on them.”

It’s clear that Jane is very proud of her boys and what they have achieved since their days at Moorelands. Daniel works at the University of Toronto as a Stationery Engineer and Darryl is an Accounting Manager at CBC. She’s “amazed” by their success and feels so blessed for the opportunities they have been given.

As for Jane herself, she too has achieved so much since those early days of being a single parent. She went back to school to study Industrial Accountancy and after graduation worked as an Accountant. Her career took her to Saudi Arabia as an Assistant Financial Controller and when she returned she became a Non-Profit/Co-operative Property Manager and founder of a childcare co-operative.

IMG_7887A volunteer at her church and in her co-op, as well as a great supporter of Moorelands Baby Bundles, Jane is filled with enthusiasm as she discusses the plans already underway for the York Group’s Baby Shower 2016. She explains, “We already have five bags of baby supplies ready for next year!”

It’s clear Jane is dedicated to Moorelands and the work we do.  As she considers the impact she has made over her years working in the non-profit sector and volunteering, she remarks how important it is to engage the next generation in volunteerism and charity work. “You just have to do something,” she explains, “make an impact, I always wanted to leave a mark!”

IMG_7827Thank you, Jane. By choosing Moorelands and supporting our Baby Bundles program, you’ve made a significant impact in the lives of some of the most vulnerable members of our community.

This Christmas, like Jane, why not choose to share your time in support of our Baby Bundles program.

Help give babies born into poverty, the best start in life. Find out more or call Cheryle at 416-466-9987 x 300.

Please keep your Century Club stories coming! Contact Helen: or 416-466-9987 ext. 312

Angus Systems

Angus Systems Make a Little Christmas Magic Happen

The snow’s not falling yet, but that didn’t stop the Team at Angus Systems from making a little Christmas Magic happen.

Every 18 months or so, the team at Angus Systems welcomes clients from across Canada and the United States to their much anticipated Focus Group meeting.

One grateful client gifted the team with passes to 4 special events taking place in and around the GTA.

Susan, a Moorelands Baby Bundles donor and member of the Angus Sales Team, immediately suggested they be donated to Moorelands to help local families in the Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park area.

The plan was quickly formed to raffle off all four prizes to raise funds and awareness for Moorelands Christmas Sharing program- an adopt-a-family program for families-in-need in Toronto.

Interest was high and bids came thick and fast. In a little less than 10 minutes all four prizes were gone! One generous employee went so far as to donate his prize back with a request that it be given directly to a family.

Angus Systems’ impromptu raffle raised over $150 and a request for more information on how they could adopt their own family for Christmas Sharing.

If you are interested in joining Moorelands Christmas Sharing program, it’s not too late. You too can adopt a family this Christmas or perhaps donate much-needed baby supplies to our Baby Bundles program.

It’s not too late. All our families are adopted but you can adopt a newborn this Christmas. Learn more at or contact the Christmas Sharing Team at 416-466-9987 ext. 300.

Don’t have time to do the shopping? Make a donation to help newborns-in-need and let Moorelands hit the stores for you!

Donate to Christmas Sharing


David’s story


David, a single father with two small children, was struggling to make ends meet. He had been on long-term disability for some time but in September, finally found a part-time job he thought might turn into full-time work. Less than two months into his job however, he was laid off. Feeling very discouraged, David tried to find other work but had a hard time of it. He knew Christmas was coming and he had no money to buy his children gifts. That’s when he applied to our Christmas Sharing Program. It was a big step for David to ask for help. He said he never would have come if not for his kids. He told us that they deserved to have a proper Christmas. This year our Christmas elves put their efforts into overdrive finding food, gifts and winter hats and gloves for David and his family and for the over 300 other families helped through our Christmas Sharing Program. He was ecstatic when he came to pick up his hamper. It’s the little things that make a holiday special. Christmas Hampers, with their food and gifts allow parents to spend time and connect with their kids – cooking a special meal, playing a new game, working on a puzzle or marvelling over new toys.


Carole’s story

Volunteering for Christmas at Moorelands… it’s worth it!

by Carole Legget (aka Christmas Carole)

In 1996 I volunteered for Christmas Sharing at the Downtown Churchworkers Association, as Moorelands was then called. Jan Kerst, the Coordinator and I, self-proclaimed ‘Queen of the Basement’, worked in happy, sometimes madcap harmony in the old Carlaw Avenue warren basement where “Turn right at the dead mouse” helped find the storeroom one day. Christmas Sharing was labour intensive in the mid ’90s since only some of our families were adopted. We packed gift and food boxes for some two hundred families with the help of many volunteers. Once in a while we found ourselves with a surprise delivery and no volunteers.

One such snowy, stormy December morning an 18-wheeler arrived early with all the food to be packed, only the volunteers were coming in the afternoon. With ‘All hands to the pumps’ spirit our four hands took on the daunting task. In very similar light blue jackets, white hair flying, we unloaded what felt like tons of cases of jars, tins and boxes of food onto a huge commercial dolly that we could barely control. (So much for workplace safety.) Passing truck drivers slowed, stared, waved and honked at the unlikely duo questioning why two ladies-of-a-certain-age were unloading a truck. Had the company fallen on hard times? Had we? We said ‘They must be wondering what on earth those two old broads are doing’ and laughed so much we could hardly continue unloading.

Trucks no longer roll up with tons of food. Families now select their own food with grocery gift cards provided by adopters. Each Christmas when I think of the ‘old days’ of lifting, hauling and packing, I wonder how we did it but never why. I remember the mom who danced, sang and hugged us; the dad who said not a word, but called the next day to say he was so overcome, speechless and the mom who burst into tears when she saw that all three children had skates. There were the parents who set off with impossibly laden buggies and backpacks in rush hour; the mom who made five TTC trips across the city carrying bags and the mom so thrilled with the pictures to hang on her bare walls and…….It was worth it. It still is.

Christmas Carole

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

Hey Moorelands!

Moorelands Christmas Sharing has officially arrived!

First of all we want to say a BIG thank you to all those who got involved with #GivingTuesday on December 1st by donating to Moorelands Christmas Sharing and posting #UNselfies to social media. We raised a whopping $1500 in one day, a delightful start to our Christmas Sharing program and also received a wealth of gifts for Adopt-a-family. Follow the link to see some of the beautiful #UNselfies that were posted on the day.

This year, GivingTuesday coincided with Christmas Sharing drop off week. We were so happy to welcome into our offices the wonderful families, co-workers and friends who have teamed up to generously share Christmas gifts with Moorelands families. It’s so heartening to see that we are part of such a caring community. Moorelands office is currently chockablock full of goodies – there are literally hundreds of presents awaiting the 320 families who will be adopted this year! We can’t wait for our families to start coming in this week…To all our amazing Christmas Sharing Adopters: THANK YOU, your generosity is truly inspiring!

echo sign up

This past week at BLAST Gateway, our kids have also been getting into the Christmas spirit and making decorations! They’ve enjoyed practising the sharing and cooperation skills that are always necessary when participating in a group craft activity and they’ve also been able to show off their creativity. Winner!

BLAST Grenoble kids have been having fun learning some more healthy lifestyle tips and cooking skills as they made greek yogurt parfaits. Delicious!IMG_6126

All of our Budding Leaders After-School Teams have been learning about different cultures and traditions in ‘Around the World’ month! Check out the pictures below of BLAST Grenoble making marionettes and BLAST Thorncliffe cooking tasty Ramen…yummy!

We hope you’re all getting excited for the Holiday season, we certainly are!

Have a great week!

Best High res just Moorelands


December 1st is #GivingTuesdayCa

Tuesday, Dec 1st Go Online!

GivingTuesday is a global day of giving that happens each year after Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It’s a time when Canadians, charities and businesses come together to celebrate giving and participate in activities that support charities and non-profits.

Thank you everyone who supported Moorelands on #GivingTuesday 2015!

Online charitable donations made through or and paid using Interac Online, will be matched by Acxsys Corporation up to $25 per donation up to a maximum total of $10,000 in matching dollars.
Don’t have Interac Online? PayPal will be matching 1% of all donations made via the above links and paid using PayPal!

Here’s how you can support Moorelands on GivingTuesday:

  1. Donate online at
  2. Make a sign e.g. “I just donated to Moorelands Christmas Sharing because ….”
  3. Post an #UNselfie – a photo of you with your sign to your social networks with the hashtags
    #ChristmasSharing #GivingTuesdayCa #UNselfie #Moorelands
  4. Challenge your friends to do the same! Tell your friends, colleagues, kids and grandkids to get online and join #ChristmasSharing #GivingTuesdayCa #UNselfie #Moorelands


Moorelands Messages November 23rd 2015

Hey Moorelands!

With the holiday season just around the corner, Moorelands’ donors and staff are gearing up for our Christmas Sharing Program.  Thanks to our generous Moorelands’ community, all our camper families have now been adopted! We are looking forward to meeting some of our donors when they come in next week to drop off packages for the families they are sharing gifts with this year.  If you are a Christmas Sharing adopter, remember, you can drop off gifts Monday, November 30th, to Friday, December 4th, between 8.30am and 5.30pm.  Thank you for your support!

Thank you to the folks at cp24 #chumchristmaswish for the 1st gifts to #moorelands #christmassharing! So excited to share with our families 🎄

A photo posted by Moorelands Community Services (@moorelandscs) on

Catlin and Lily share baby supplies with Baby Bundle Co-ordinator Cheryle.

Catlin and Lily share baby supplies with Baby Bundle Co-ordinator Cheryle.


If you didn’t get the chance to adopt-a-family but would still like to take part in Christmas Sharing, check out these ways to share joy this Christmas.  Former camper and camp counsellor, Catlin and her daughter Liliana, did just that when they came in to donate items to Moorelands Baby Bundles program. Baby Bundles is an exclusively donor and volunteer run program which provides vital essentials to new mothers and babies in Toronto affected by poverty.  Thanks Catlin and Lily for spreading cheer this Holiday Season!

EblastIf you are thinking about donating to Moorelands Christmas Sharing, a great time to act is Tuesday, December 1st, or GivingTuesday. GivingTuesday is an international day of giving and we’re encouraging our donors and volunteers to share their generosity on social media to spread the word about Moorelands. Taking part is easy: make a donation at or through the GivingTuesday website and then post an #UNselfie to social media letting others know why you support Moorelands.  Thank you!

Use what you know to help others growIt’s business as usual for our City Programs, with lots and lots going on! Moorelands Youth LED Volunteers have begun volunteering at Moorelands BLAST.  One of our mottos at Moorelands, at camp and in the city, is that:

“Leadership shows: Use what you know to help others grow.”

IMG_6026Our Youth LED Volunteers have been passing on their leadership skills and experiences to BLAST kids. For example, one activity they took part in this week was active games at BLAST Grenoble. Our young leaders guided BLAST participants in the characteristics of good sportsmanship whilst playing in the gym and helped them understand the importance of respect and sharing. 

IMG_6038Another activity over at BLAST Gateway this week was creating modern art masterpieces in the form of foil art! Our participants got to show off their creative flair and gain self confidence as they made some beautiful artwork and exhibited it to the group. Our leaders use these art and craft sessions to also teach participants about appreciation of diversity and showing respect and kindness when talking to each other about their work.

Over at BLAST Thorncliffe, healthy eating was on the menu once again.  Ensuring that kids leave our program with important life skills is vital to the programming at Moorelands. That’s why we make sure kids learn cooking skills and understand the importance of a healthy, balanced diet. This week, participants learned out to make pancakes with fruit – delicious and nutritious food that they really enjoy!

Bill Pashby, ML, Ahmed Hussein, John Burnside, Arif Virani, RK

Bill Pashby, Maureen Lewis, Ahmed Hussein, Councillor John Burnside, Arif Virani (MP) and Ranjan Khatri.

Finally, last Friday, Moorelands was proud to take part in Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office’s ‘In Solidarity Peace March’. It was great to see our community united to celebrate diversity and inclusion.  We enjoyed catching up with our community members and listening to some great speeches.






Have a great week!

Best High res just Moorelands

Lynda’s Christmas Message – sharing

A Christmas Message from our new Executive Director, Lynda Tilley

Lynda headshot 1The Holiday Season is upon us, a time for reflection, sharing, and giving thanks. As Moorelands’ Camp Director since 2000, it’s been my joy to create a place and a culture in which children and youth belong and grow. In accepting the role of Moorelands’ Executive Director, I look forward to building on that culture in our city and family programs. Moorelands and our donors make up a community of great people who share in a common purpose and goal; to create connections, to help children and youth, build confidence, gain competence and develop character. Whether in the city or at camp, through our intentional programs, we are helping our future leaders grow.

In 2016 I invite you to meet our future, young leaders, by attending Moorelands Annual General Meeting, donating, volunteering, visiting programs, or coming out to ‘Get Jazzed about Moorelands 2016.’ Thank you for being part of our community. Let’s keep sharing our connection.

Wishing you all a safe, happy and healthy holiday,

Lynda Tilley

Executive Director
Moorelands Community Services

Thank you Christmas Sharing 2014

There’s Joy in Receiving – Thank you from our families

  1. “Dear Santa and family, we thank you sincerely from the bottom of our hearts for your gifts. May the season bring unto you all, everything that’s glorious and wonderful!” (Parent of a Christmas Sharing family)



  1. “We absolutely LOVE the gifts we received. It was exactly what we wanted. Without Moorelands, we would not have had a Christmas. Thank you for taking the time and effort to shop for us! It is amazing that you care!” (Tad age 11, Christmas Sharing family)



  1. “I wanted to say thank you to the family or co-workers who brought such amazing smiles to my children’s faces when they awoke and saw that ‘Santa’ didn’t forget them…thank you! I hope to be in a position one day to ‘adopt’ a family myself. Seeing my kids’ smiles makes me want to be able to do that for other children.” (Parent of a Christmas Sharing family)