Many CCS clients come from communities in Peel Region and Scarborough hardest hit by COVID-19. And over the course of the pandemic, we’ve seen a real spike for programs and services for families, mental health supports and help for women dealing with abusive situations.

So, our team decided to do something about it, launching the inaugural CCS Family Day Weekend Challenge from February 13-15, where employees in the GTA and across Canada were challenged to get active outdoors for a minimum of 3 hours over the long weekend, and raise at least $25 through pledges and sponsorships.

Employees were encouraged to take on the Canadian winter (given we’ve all been mostly cooped up at home since the world changed last March) and walk, toboggan, skate, snowshoe, shovel snow, make snow angels or throw snowballs – whatever they wanted.

The idea was not only to raise money for targeted CCS programs and services that support vulnerable community members, but also to beat the COVID blues and improve mental health outcomes by leveraging the link with physical activity and exercising when a boost was needed the most.

Overall engagement in the event was something special. Seventy employees heeded the call to action and eighty individuals donated to the cause, with $5,583.00 raised.

Asma Khan, a women’s support worker in one of our Mississauga offices, was the top fundraiser and won a paid day off for her efforts.

“I really take pride in our work here at CCS, so when I decided to fundraise, it really was not hard to ask my friends and family to donate and support CCS. So, thank you again to everyone. The hard part is now figuring out when to take that day off!”

Nadia Afrin, Farhana Jogiyat, Nermeen Khafagy, and Emmy Pantin rounded out the top five on the fundraising leaderboard. Employees competed not only for individual prizes, but for team-based awards too.

We would like to thank all the CCS employees who took part and all their generous family members, friends and business partners from across the GTA who supported the initiative.

The event was organized by the CCS fundraising team: Angela Henao, Monica Zheng, Fiona Yang, Berna Bolanos, Violette Yarenko, Renée Xu, Gajay Selvarajah, Nermeen Khafagy, Cheryl Robinson and Darcy Bonner.

The Family Day Weekend Challenge will return again in 2022 to support our communities.