Straticom began our nine year involvement with Second Harvest similar to the way many of our long term relationships begin, by helping them with what we do best, designing spaces for people! We were fortunate to win the trust of Second Harvest and designed their 1,500sf offices within the budgetary constraints of a not for profit organization completed in 2008.
Through our work, we learned more about the Second Harvest mandate and all the hard work that goes into feeding the less fortunate and we decided that we would support this great cause. For those who aren't familiar with Second Harvest - they supply high nutrition food for over 225 social service agencies by collecting food from local retailers, manufacturers, restaurants and caterers. This not only helps to feed those who are hungry, but also helps to reduce waste and pollution by diverting rescued excess food to those who need it - and all for less than 50¢ per meal!
Straticom started our fundraising for Second Harvest by participating in the 2008 Christmas "turkey drive". For three years, we supported the turkey drive, and raised approximately $500 each year. In 2011, we decided to deepen our commitment to the cause and try to raise more money. Still focusing within Straticom internally, we started a series of pot luck lunches and an auction for donated items and donated the money towards Second Harvest. That year we raised $1,200 - not bad considering the number of people involved and that it was all internal fundraising.
Again looking to up the ante, in 2012 we decided to take part in the "lunch money days" campaign - the staff would bring a lunch and donate their “lunch money” to the cause. But never content to rest on our laurels, and with the goal of raising more than we had in previous years - 4 Straticomers decided to take on organizing our first ever fundraising event which was hosted at our offices and attended primarily by industry suppliers. The party was planned in 3 weeks and had a Disco theme - the event was a success and raised almost $5,800!
In 2013, building on the success of the first fundraising party, we held another event, this time with an 80's theme and raised more than $11,200, this amounted to over 22,400 meals. We also participated in our first ever TTC donation day drive where Straticom staff donate their time in the morning or afternoon in February to collect donations at St. Andrew subway station.
In the following years, we continued to raise the stakes and increased the total amount raised. In 2014 we raised just over $16k, or 32,000 meals with a Superhero themed party; in 2015 we raised over $19,200, or 38,400 meals with a Red Carpet themed party and in 2016 we held our first ever event outside of our offices to accommodate the increase in the number of attendees and raised over $30,000, with a Great Gasby themed event which amounted to over 60,000 meals.
In 2017 our goal is to raise $35,000 or enough for 70,000 meals and we have again expanded the guest list. In keeping with the 150th anniversary of Canada, this year's theme is Cabin Fever - celebrating all things Canadian. The event will take place on Thursday March 2nd, the venue has been generously donated by Labatt at their event space at 207 Queens Quay West - what could be more Canadian than beer! Beaver Tails will also generously be donating / supplying us with freshly made Beaver Tails from their mobile food truck for the evening! Feel free to come dressed as your favourite Canadian or symbol of what Canada means to you (though costumes are definitely not required).