How Does it Work?

People like to give. We give them an easy way to do it.

People like to give. We give them an easy way to do it. Through this program, a neighbourhood of strangers becomes a Stone Soup Network.

We keep a list of donated products (movie tickets, store gift cards, merchandise) and services (legal, dental, financial). We make this list accessible online to social connectors such as religious leaders or social workers who have clients in need. A client can visit a social connector and receive a voucher for goods or services to be provided by a local business.

In years gone by, churches and other organizations did this sort of thing without the database. They were at the centre of community life. If anyone was unwell or in need of a little extra support, their neighbours would know about it.

These days, the instruments of community seem to be spread more thinly. People can become isolated. Needs remain unknown, and unmet.

The west end neighbourhood riding of Parkdale-High Park, also known as Ward 4, is known by locals for its generosity and abundance. Charities and fundraising groups get a lot of support from their local business owners. Neighbours who know each other, help one another when they can. Churches have benevolent fund programs and Toronto Community Housing staff work to enrich the lives of the residents that occupy the three Toronto Community Housing projects in the riding. There are wonderful organizations like Meals on Wheels that target specific needs of community residents.

The Stone Soup Network adds to these by providing an occasional “extra” — a child’s birthday cake, or a night out for a family facing a difficult medical journey, or a haircut for someone preparing for a job interview.

An enormous amount of goodwill and community building energy is already present. Stone Soup Network helps to harness it and channel it for maximum impact.

Supported by the South West Presbytery, the Presbyteries of Toronto Conference Corporation, and The United Church of Canada