The View from Here

A Rich Man

The View from Here

A Rich Man

I have a good friend who, for many years, lived either in jail or on the streets. Every time he was released, he’d come straight to Sanctuary, stick his head through the drop-in door, and announce happily, “I’m home!”

For one who had so little, I was amazed by how grateful he could be. More than anything else, he was thankful for his Sanctuary “family.” It was relationship that anchored him, and provided the foundation necessary in his life to eventually find secure housing, to work again, to believe once more that he had something to offer to the people around him.

Gratitude is a powerful thing. It reminds us of what we have. It creates in us a desire to share what we’ve received. It fosters contentment and counteracts greed; helps us recognize that it’s the people in our lives who matter most.

When I see my friend now—which I do frequently—I’m often struck by how joyful he looks. He’s become a truly rich man.

Your gifts through the summer months have enriched our community. Thank you! My prayer for you, as we head toward the Thanksgiving season, is that gratitude for what you have will deepen your appreciation of it and enrich your life.

Blessings,

Greg Paul
Sanctuary

Froggie’s Story

Finding Belonging Through Art

Froggie’s Story

Finding Belonging Through Art

Audrey, known around here as “Froggie,” is a treasured member of our Sanctuary community, and she’s been a beautiful addition since day one, many years ago—both through her joyful demeanour and through the vibrant art she creates to share with her friends.

On Thursday mornings, we host an art drop-in that we call Studio Sanctuary. Everybody is welcome, and we encourage our friends to pass the word along and invite others. Some of the people who participate are experiencing poverty while living on the street, and some people are not, but it’s a time when everyone can come together to celebrate the process of creation and growth that comes with practicing our gifts. It’s truly an encouraging time of fellowship and collaboration, each week.

Each Thursday morning, Froggie will find Mel—our artist in residence—and sit with her for a while, browsing images on the internet until she finds the perfect pictures to inspire this week’s art piece. Once she finds the one, she prints it off and takes it to her special spot during Studio Sanctuary. Lately, she’s been weekly adding to a series that should be called “All Things Cute and Furry.”

“Imagine if we stopped coming here for a few months. We would all die of loneliness.” ‑Froggie

For Froggie, Sanctuary is home—a place where she is known and recognized by most. Everyone who sees her artwork receives the offering of her generous and kind spirit, whether it’s a painting of rascally raccoons climbing trees or a colourful impression of a Toronto skyline. We’re so thankful for this gift that we have in Froggie!

Another way that Sanctuary seeks to empower our community members, and provide space for us to encourage each other, is through art eXtravaganzas and art shows! If you have never been to one of these events, you’re missing out! And if you have been lucky enough to attend, you’ve surely seen some of Froggie’s works on display and for sale.

Froggie takes great pride in her creations, but her motivation is about so much more than making sales! Recently, when another community member lost a beloved cat, Froggie wasted no time in finding just the right photo and creating a special painting in memory of her friend’s pet. When she presented it to her friend, it was an emotional moment. But for Froggie, it was simply an expression of how she felt.

“Imagine if we stopped coming here for a few months,” she said. “We would all die of loneliness.”

Kindness and caring are second-nature for Froggie—who is always on the lookout for new ways to participate within our Sanctuary family. We are so grateful to be able to share in life’s struggles and joys, together with Froggie. She truly loves, and is loved in return, and that’s what Sanctuary is all about.

Our 8th Annual WALK

was a Success!

Our 8th Annual WALK

was a Success!

Thank you to everyone who gave to support our eighth annual WALK on July 10. We once again joined together in solidarity—no matter our social status—and walked down Yonge Street till we reached Lake Ontario. There, we enjoyed a beautiful picnic that was waiting for us, courtesy of the Iuglio family, through Longo’s.

“I come to the walk every year because there are good people to walk with and they don’t rush me; I get to go at my pace… I am thankful for having friends and being able to have them walk with me, and I’m thankful for the people who give money to help us at Sanctuary.” —Amanda

Everyone who showed up this year had a wonderful time! One of the greatest gifts of our annual Walk is the opportunity to build relationships with old and new friends as we walk and talk together. Thanks to generosity like yours, the event also raised over $16,000!

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Registered Canadian Charity: 890379340 RR0001