TD Stories - Community

How can I make a difference?

TD employee Angelo Papanikolaou of Montreal, Quebec, writes about his experience of speaking to high school children as part of the Junior Achievement program.

“I had apprehensions about participating in the Junior Achievement program. I thought to myself, ‘What difference would I make?’

“When I entered the school I got a funny feeling in my stomach. I felt like I was back in high school. I thought about the daily challenges these kids face, the pressure, the fear and the hopelessness of their situations. Along with my colleagues, we were determined to make this a positive experience for these kids.

“I was not prepared for some of their comments. When a young man or young woman tells you that their role model is a drug dealer, you know you have a serious matter at hand.

“We delivered our presentation and spoke to them about our upbringings, our teenage years, our challenges. We had many things in common, and it was this connection that allowed us to touch some of them.

“Our message was simple: Life is not easy. Everyone will face challenges, some more difficult than others. So it is about the choices you make. Prepare for your future by making the right choices today.

“Overall, we believe that we touched some of them, others maybe not. More importantly though, they saw that we cared about them, we wanted to help them, we believed in them, because we, too, had been just like them ... kids at one point in time.

“I’m looking forward to the next opportunity I have with Junior Achievement to deliver the message that they have the freedom of choice. Choose your life!”

Angelo Papanikolaou, Montreal, Quebec.

Family at swimming pool

£250 Donation to SwimStart

“Swimstart is a small charity that offers swimming lessons for children aged from birth to nine years. In the 1940s a six-year-old boy from the village drowned in our local canal. The townspeople were naturally devastated by this tragedy and began fundraising to build a swimming pool, which eventually opened and became known as Swimstart. It now has over 600 children learning to swim each week. The support of TD Waterhouse was fantastic. With the £250 donation we were able to buy 12 swimming aids. We are sincerely grateful to the employees of TD Waterhouse for their kind donation, which will enable generations of children to continue learning to swim, a most vital life skill.”

Joanne Conway, Pool Manager, Swimstart.
Silsden, U.K.

Underwriting Hope Charity Auction

2009 marked TD Securities’ 12th annual fundraising event in Toronto, which earned gross proceeds of over $1 million! This event is entirely employee driven, from volunteering to collect auction items to running the event. Employees even have a say in what charities receive auction proceeds.

$25,000 “Housing for Everyone” Grant

“Bergen County Community Action Partnership, Inc. is so pleased to be selected by the TD Charitable Foundation as a recipient for a ‘Housing for Everyone’ grant. The funds will support our new Security Deposit Guarantee initiative, which will address the most significant problem facing low-income individuals and families today—accessing affordable housing. This funding will help those struggling to make ends meet pay security deposits often required by landlords, but beyond the reach of tenants. The result is a life-changing intervention. Now, more than at any other time in recent history, partnerships between non-profits and the private sector are essential to economic survival for many. It is gratifying to collaborate with the TD Charitable Foundation in seeking solutions to these financial challenges.”

Robert F. Halsch, Jr., Executive Director
Bergen County Community Action Partnership, Inc.
Hackensack, New Jersey