TD Bank Group Provides $500,000 in Funding to Engage Canadian Youth in Building Connected Communities through The Ready Commitment

Toronto, ON (JUNE 11, 2018) – TD Bank Group has announced a major donation of $500,000 to the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative Canada in 2018/2019, as part of its new global corporate citizenship platform, The Ready Commitment.

TD’s The Ready Commitment will target CDN $1 billion (US $775 million) in total by 2030 towards community giving in four areas critical to building an inclusive tomorrow – Financial Security, a more Vibrant Planet, Connected Communities and Better Health.

Founded in Toronto in 2002, the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI) is an inclusive, multi-award-winning secondary school project that uses participatory grant-making to connect thousands of students each year to social issues and charities in their communities. More than 450,000 teenagers have completed the project – which asks youth to identify and advocate for local social service charities to become recipients of $5,000 grants – across Canada, New York City, and the United Kingdom.

“TD is proud to partner with YPI Canada to deliver innovative, award-winning work for youth, schools, charities, and communities,” says Valérie Picher, Associate Vice-President of Community Relations at TD. “As part of our new corporate citizenship platform, The Ready Commitment, we are opening doors for a more inclusive tomorrow and helping create the conditions, along with YPI Canada, so more young people have a chance to succeed with confidence and participate fully in learning about and meeting the needs of their local community.”

The emerging fields of participatory grant-making and youth philanthropy are gaining momentum in the philanthropic sector, as more grant-makers seek to increase their systemic impact, as well as their inclusiveness and respect for the role of local stakeholders as agents of change in the communities where their grants are made, not just beneficiaries. Next year, across Canada, over 20,000 secondary school students will get to participate in granting more than $500,000 to one hundred registered charities, and through the process, educate themselves, their peers and families about urgent social issues, the role of the charitable sector, and the vital services provided by approximately 3,000 local social service charities identified by youth.

“TD’s belief in young people, demonstrated by their willingness to share power directly with them, is as exceptional today, as it was when they first joined us 14 years ago,” says Holly McLellan, Executive Director of YPI Canada. “With this incredible show of support, TD is helping young people feel a sense of belonging, and responsibility, to their communities. It also affirms that they are an integral part of the community system, and they deserve to have the resources and platform to feel connected and be heard.”

Through their support of YPI Canada, TD is helping to build inclusive, connected communities by fostering intergenerational connections, strengthened community networks, and more young people who see themselves as compassionate leaders with the tools to help themselves and their communities thrive.

The announcement was made at the Etobicoke School of the Arts in Toronto, Ontario, at the year-end YPI Final event which marks the culmination of the program at each participating school. At the event, showcasing the highest level work from the grade 10 year group, five finalist teams each delivered a 10-minute, multi-media presentation in support of a local charity and the impact it is having on a social issue affecting their community. Each team provided a compelling case for why the charity they represented should receive the $5,000 grant, and explained how their peers could positively engage with the issue or charity. In the end, a panel of judges comprised of former YPI winners, awarded the $5,000 grant to the John Howard Society of Toronto, who provide programs to individuals who have been in conflict with the law and are committed to providing effective services that assist in reducing crime and its causes.

Commenting on his experience as a YPI judge, Jared Landori Hoffman, one of the 12th grade students said, “It’s been a complete and total honor to judge this amazing competition between all these wonderful teams. I have a lot of hope after today, because it’s really great to see kids our age and younger getting involved in YPI. It’s such an important program which allows us to connect with communities and become passionate about issues affecting our community.”

The afternoon concluded with an inspirational speech by Robert Mandl, Lead YPI Teacher, Etobicoke School of the Arts, who addressed the students saying “Students in grade 12 tell me all the time that YPI was the best thing they did in high school. This program is so powerful for every student, because it ignites a spark that they carry with them – no matter their previous experience with their community. You are a room full of sparks, and our community needs you more than ever. It is incredible to see the positive transformative impact of YPI on each and every one of you. I am proud to be part of this program. TD’s significant investment will help more students connect with their communities as they participate in YPI.”

As to what this $5,000 grant will mean to the John Howard Society of Toronto – South Etobicoke Reintegration Centre, students explained that, “The grant would contribute towards the immediate needs of the South Etobicoke Reintegration Centre, specializing in housing, mental health and legal services to address the reintegration needs of men released from the Toronto Intermittent Centre. The team anticipate the grant will also help the Reintegration Centre to provide immediate access to food, clothes and shoes, hygiene items, and support to its beneficiaries.”

About YPI Canada
Founded in Toronto in 2002, YPI is an inclusive, multi-award-winning participatory grant-making program that grows compassionate communities by connecting secondary students to social issues, local charities, and philanthropy at a pivotal stage in their adolescence.

SOURCE YPI CANADA

For further information: Sneha Devaraj, Stewardship and Development Manager, 416-489-1044 or info@goypi.org.

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