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Torkin Manes’ Associates Take to the Streets to Help the Homeless

June 1, 2011

TORONTO, ON, June 1, 2011 - For the week of May 29 - June 2, the associates of Torkin Manes LLP are working a second shift. No, they aren’t staying late in their boardrooms or at their computers. They are heading out onto the streets of Toronto to help the homeless. Through the Canadian Jewish humanitarian and relief organization Ve’ahavta, teams of associates are loading vans with food and clothing and going out on shifts from 6:00 pm to midnight, delivering aid to homeless people throughout the city.

After the first night, Aaron English, an associate in the firm’s Commercial Real Estate Group and Chair of the Associates Committee at Torkin Manes, commented: “It was an amazing, humbling, eye-opening experience. For at least an hour we were distributing food, supplies, and clothing to people located within a ten-minute walk from our offices. I think we’ll all be more aware from now on of what else is going on around the office towers.” He was particularly impressed at the way people on the street exhibited a sense of responsibility to others: “We’d stop with the van and ask ‘What can we get you?’ and several times people said, ‘It’s OK, I’ve got a sandwich and a drink, I’m good.’ They took only what they needed because they knew if they took more they were taking from others who needed it. Some people would say, ‘My friend is just down the way, he’s hungry tonight. Make sure you stop by.’ There was also a real sense of appreciation, especially for the fact that we could give them a choice of various foods, drinks and clothing. We sensed they felt empowered by the fact that they could choose their meal for the night.”

How did these young lawyers come to be handing out sandwiches on the streets? The firm’s Associates Committee wanted to undertake a charitable initiative in which all associates could become involved to carry on Torkin Manes’ tradition of community support. Jason Wang of Torkin Manes’ Litigation Group commented on behalf of the firm’s Associates Committee: “The associates wanted to get involved in a project that was consistent with the firm's values and rich history of giving back to the community. We chose this organization and this project because they help the people that we see where we work downtown, no matter what their race, colour, or creed.” The firm’s partnership is donating the operating funds for the week that the associates are staffing the Ve’ahavta outreach van.

Torkin Manes is a full-service law firm based in Toronto. Among its many practice areas are Corporate/ Commercial, Civil & Commercial Litigation, Labour Relations & Employment Law, Health Law, Family Law, Personal Injury, Commercial Real Estate, and Insurance Defence.

Ve'ahavta is a Canadian Jewish humanitarian and relief organization, motivated by the Jewish value of Tzedakah/Justice, that assists the needy at home and abroad, through volunteerism, education, and acts of kindness, while building bridges between Jews and other peoples.

Margaret McCaffery
416 863 1188 x 240 OR: 416 782 7828
Aaron English
416 643 8811
Robyn Segall
(416) 964-7698 ext 228

For more information contact:
Margaret McCaffery
Marketing Consultant
Canterbury Communications
Phone: 416 782 7828

Aaron English
Torkin Manes LLP
Phone: 416 643 8811

Robyn Segall
Manager, Marketing and PR
Ve’ahavta:The Canadian Jewish Humanitarian and Relief Committee
Phone: (416)964-7698 ext 228

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