After breakfast today we started off our day serving at Windfall, an organization which receives overstocked or returned clothing and accessories from distributers in order to give them to those in need. As their website states, “WINDFALL acquires new clothing and other basic-needs items and distributes these items to social service agencies for the purpose of alleviating poverty and fostering human dignity. Consequently, Windfall raises awareness of poverty as a social issue.” Windfall is a part of a contest for small charities in Canada to win $20,000 by people voting for them on www.winavote.com, please click this link and vote fore Windfall.
At windfall we helped price wedding gowns, sort two large bins full of donations from clothing stores H&M, Levi’s, and Hugo Boss. The woman who directed our group told us how her cousin was recently looking for a wedding gown. She told her cousin how Windfall had a very large collection of brand new, name-brand wedding gowns for sale for only a fraction of the cost you’d find in the stores (Keith found a Vera Wang gown Windfall was selling for $200 which goes for over $5,000 in the stores; He also found an $1800 dress at Windfall that we were told could go for $30,000 in the stores because of all the intricate work and fabric quality!). Two weeks after her cousin paid $20,000 for her gown and alterations Windfall received the same exact dress from a the manufacturer and was selling it for $400! We were told that many of the dresses Windfall receives are brand new from stores where they are overstocked or they receive them as tax-exempt donations from the manufacturers. Windfall will be opening a bridal boutique where they will sell their dresses to help finance their important ministry.
After leaving Windfall we drove to a park to enjoy our lunches and to have some discussion about lessons we’ve learned this week before going to tutor our kids. We were given a sheet of paper, markers, and colored pencils and instructed to draw a picture signifying what we’ve learned this week. Some of the common drawings were:
- The Sandwich Run we did on Monday night
- Different aspects of the Simulated Poverty Immersion we did on Tuesday night
- Images of homelessness
- Books, representing the kids we’re tutoring
Today was our last day of official “tutoring” since tomorrow we will be meeting our kids and their families at High Park in Toronto for a picnic and games. We’re not all sure how much progress we’ve made (at least I’m not) in terms of teaching English to the kids who still have a long way to go, but we’re all going to really miss the kids we’ve been paired up with.
Tonight was our “night off” where we could choose to do whatever we wanted. After asking many people from the area and looking through the AAA Tour Guide for Toronto the other leaders and I still could not settle on any particular activity since they all seemed to either cost too much or be activities we could easily do at home (shoppping, paintball, etc.). We settled on going to China Town in Toronto and eating at a Vietnamese restaurant called Ahn-do. The food was amazing, although none of the girls (or Scott) seemed to particularly enjoy it. The portions were huge and the food was great, but it was a little spicy for those who have more “gentle” paletts (the fact that we walked by Dairy Queen on our way to the restaurant and I told them we could stop there after dinner probably didn’t help motivate them to eat the food in front of them!).
- We’ve taken in a TON of information this week. Pray for the Holy Spirit to cause the lessons He has for us to stick in our minds and our hearts long after we leave Toronto.
- It is always a challenge to know how to actually implement what you’ve learned and experienced when you get back home – that is going to be what much of tomorrow is directed towards helping us discern. Pray that we would know what to do, and that we would have the commitment, followthrough, and passion to do it.
- We are all very excited about playing in the park with our kids and their families tomorrow. Pray for safety and for fun (especially since there are multiple cultures represented) and that we would all keep safe and injury-free. May we have a Gospel-bearing ministry to these families. Pray for clear open doors to talk about Christ with the kids and/or the parents.