Connecting With Community At Christmas

By TPSnews Staff, Toronto Police Service Published: 6 a.m. December 18, 2017

It’s been a December filled with goodwill in a west-end Division where officers 
had an opportunity to help make a difference in the lives of seniors and kids 
this Christmas season.

Three women in police uniform with two others in front of food in chafing dishes
Officers and volunteers served up food at the LA Seniors Centre

The Crime Prevention/Community Resource office at 11 Division joined forces with 
its Community Police Liaison Committee members to come up with an event 
benefiting multiple community agencies that focus on seniors. 

As a result, officers first planned a Cram the Cruiser event on Dec. 3 and 
followed up with a Christmas luncheon at a seniors centre Dec. 9. 

In partnership with the Loblaws at Dundas St. W. and Scarlett Rd., shoppers were 
challenged to fill a police vehicle with food, filling 11 Division’s Community 
Response Unit van to the roof. 

“One community member approached officers explaining that, although she did not 
have a lot to give, she wanted to contribute as she resides in a neighborhood 
supported by 11 Division Priority Neighborhood Safety Officers,” said Crime Prevention Officer Constable 
Jan Barr. “She explained that she has seen a dramatic 
improvement in the area and wished to thank the officers for their hard work.” 

A portion of the proceeds of Cram the Cruiser were donated to the Hallelujah 
Fellowship Baptist Church at 425 Pacific Ave.  in the Junction. This church 
provides food and meals to those in need in the area.  All other proceeds went 
toward the preparation and cooking of a Christmas luncheon for 75 seniors  at 
the LA Centre for Active Living at 55 Rankin Ave. 

CPLC members, West Neighbourhood House staff, youth volunteers and staff of the 
LA Centre, decked the halls of the community centre with Christmas cheer and The 
Pepper Shakers band belted out holiday tunes. 

A group of people at long tables
Seniors enjoyed a meal and music at the LA Seniors Centre thanks to community volunteers and Service members
A man with a Christmas sweater with a woman in TPS uniform
Community members were in a giving mood as officers collected food for seniors this year
A girl with a woman in TPS auxiliary uniform
Auxiliary Officers joined in collecting food donations for seniors at Loblaws

The 22 youth volunteers, many who recently arrived from the Philippines, were an 
energetic addition to the volunteer staff, serving meals and dancing with 

“One volunteer talked about how this day made her think about her grandmother, 
who is still in the Philippines and how much she misses her,” Barr said. “She 
was grateful that she could help other seniors during the holidays as it felt 
like she was helping her own grandmother.” 

Barr said the seniors enjoyed the day that brought joy to the holidays. 

“One senior mentioned how much she has had really sad and lonely holidays and 
this was one of the best that she has experienced in a long time,” Barr said. 
“When she danced with the youth to the live music, she said she had tears in her 
eyes from happiness.  

She thanked everyone who made this celebration possible.” 

Barr thanked local sponsors for making the day possible, including Loblaws, 
Terra Nursery, Dominion Meat Packers, Messina Bakery, Andy’s Sausages, 
Vene-Rica, The Cheese Boutique and Bloor Meat Market. 

"Members of the Community Response Unit also adopted two local families who are 
currently overcoming some hardships." said Sergeant Joslyn Watson. 
"Through collections and purchases we were able to supply the entire family with 
various clothes, food and Christmas gifts."

Two women in uniform with others beside a Christmas tree
Officers deliver gifts to the Redwood Shelter

Officers are also working with Bottle Rocket Café in Roncesvalles Village on a 
toy drive to benefit children of all ages who are staying at the Redwood 
Shelter. The toy drive’s mission is to ensure that all children living at one of 
the city’s few family shelters are looked after and to lift their spirits during 
the holidays. 

The Division also collected 60 winter jackets which were donated to Carlton 
Village and West Neighbourhood House, in the Parkdale area, to give to newcomers 
who are getting their first winter experience. 

"The gift of giving has always been woven deeply into the fabric of 11 Division 
officers." said  Superintendent Heinz Kuck,11 Division Unit Commander. "All of 
these examples of kindness and caring, sponsorship and support, has had a 
profound way of creating everlasting friendships."

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