Victim Services Toronto (VST) executive director Bonnie Levine had every reason to be in good spirits.
The annual Chief’s gala, held in November, raised a record $233,710 for her organization that depends on corporate and private donations to do its work aiding victims of crime and sudden tragedy.
“Everyday, we work with people in some of the most awful and horrific circumstances you can imagine… it’s always a hard day at work for crisis counsellors at Victims Services,” said Levine. “But today is a good day and we really need to relish these moments. We are a small but mighty organization. We are excited about the possibility and opportunity to really do a lot more outreach in marginalized communities to ensure that everyone has access to the services that they may need as a result of being victimized by crime or traumatized by a sudden event.”
Supervised by crisis counsellors, volunteers provide crisis intervention and referrals, assist on the telephone or attend the scene as requested and also aid with fundraising and other community outreach initiatives.
Blair presented the cheque to Levine and her team at a ceremony at police headquarters on December 3.
“Every single day in our city, people unfortunately require the services of the victims services team,” he said. “We are very proud to have them as important partners in community safety and in providing that much needed support that victims may require.”
VST chair Jonathan Maier thanked Blair for his support.
“We are very grateful to the Chief for lending his name to the event and being a partner with us,” Maier said. “It helps raise substantial amount of money which is much needed to support victims of crime and those affected by sudden tragedies.”