Summer is officially behind us. Outside, it’s gray, rainy, cold, and otherwise undesirable. The only silver lining is the momentary winter wonderlands, but they only go so far when you’re shivering at the bus stop. We’ve already been greeted by our first snowfall, and over the next few months, temperatures will continue to drop until another Ontario winter has us bundled up in toques, jackets, and mittens. For those of us with warm houses to retreat to, it will be a season spent indoors, hiding away from the cold weather. While we at The Medium appreciate the beauty of every season, for those without secure shelter or financial stability, winter can be an incredibly difficult season.
For some, the luxury of a warm house and a cozy bed is not an option. According to a review by Fred Victor, a social service charity, on any given night, more than 10,000 people are homeless in Toronto. This means that for many people, the cold weather is not just an inconvenience. It’s a threat. And in addition to housing issues, the City of Toronto reports that one in five households face food insecurity. Many students at the University of Toronto Mississauga face these issues themselves.
At The Medium, we believe in community involvement. The cold weather reminds us that there are always people in need, and many of them are amongst us. With our busy schedules, it can be easy to get self-involved and forget the difference that we can make in other people’s lives. Perhaps this winter is an opportunity to get involved in a community outreach program or to volunteer in your local area. Or maybe, it’s simply a reminder to approach every person with compassion and patience, because you never know how they may be struggling.
If you are looking to get involved in your community, check out Volunteer Toronto for opportunities to make a difference.