Tea To Help Teens
History of the Junior Leagur of Toronto Tea to Help Teens
How do you take a great event to help youth across the GTA, Oakville, and Mississauga and make it better? That’s exactly what the JLT Tea to Help Teens planning committee did this year to not only kick it up a notch but also hit it out of the park to celebrate this 10th annual event for the Junior League of Toronto.
With a new record set, the League raised over $15,000 for teens living at Covenant House, Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter Etobicoke, Interim Place in Mississauga, North York Women’s Shelter, Community Youth in Oakville, Our Place Peel in Mississauga, Women’s Habitat, and Youth Without Shelter in Etobicoke. This year we will add two new shelters as recipients of gifts from the Tea: 360 Kids in York Region and Anduhyaun in Toronto. What that means is that the Junior League will provide 500 gifts to teens in ten shelters in Toronto, North York, York Region, Oakville, and Mississauga this holiday season.
To celebrate the 2014 Tea, we moved our location a little north to the Humber Valley United Church, to accommodate better kitchen facilities, parking for our guests, and increased overall space for vendors, attendees, and our silent auction. We changed the day to Saturday and fine-tuned our event name to better reflect what this day is all about: a Tea to Help Teens. The changes proved successful with over 200 attendees.
This year’s musical entertainment featured the children’s choir from the Kingsway Conservatory of Music, a true showstopper for all to listen to as well as the Lamajano Barbershop Quartet. Once again, former League member Nashly Mathews hosted a fun and stylish runway show featuring fashions from Nashly’s own Puh-Nash Boutique, located in Bloor West Village.
How did we raise the money? Donations of cash and gift cards were made at the door as well as table revenue from our Unique Boutique vendors who sold a variety of original and inventive items, just in time for the holidays. Once again the League earned 20% from all sales revenue generated by signature Christmas wreaths and centerpieces created by our five-year supporter/vendor, Circle Home and Design, generating $1200. A silent auction was held featuring a variety of donated items from our vendors, members and friends of the League. To celebrate our 10th anniversary, donated bone china cups of all colours and designs were filled with tea or chocolates gift-wrapped in cello and sold; a beautiful hostess gift or teacher gift for the holidays, with over $1500 raised for the Tea.
Thank you to all who supported the Tea, as well as to our corporate sponsors and very generous donators. A special thank you to Acura Sherway, a 5X sponsor of the Tea and our new corporate sponsor, The Robert Nimmo Team at Royal LePage. A special thank you to Wellington Print Works, a 10- year sponsor for the Tea to Help Teens.
Since the event’s inception in 2004, the Tea has raised over $135,000 in gifts for over 2700 teens living in shelters in our communities. What does that mean to these teens? Simply put it will raise their self-esteem and improve their mental wellness. Our community partners have shared with us that The Tea to Help Teens not only provides gifts for marginalized young people it opens doors by creating awareness in the broader community of the issues of youth homelessness. While the Tea happens but once a year the impact is felt year- long. Attendees at this year’s Tea had the opportunity to meet and interact with representatives from the recipient organizations to learn more about the challenges of youth homelessness and raise awareness with the community.
We hope to see you at the 2016 JLT Tea.