SCARBOROUGH, ON- September 22, 2020 – While infection and hospitalization rates continue to change daily across the country, the Black and Caribbean communities have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Following the stage three reopening of the province of Ontario, the actions of Tropicana Community Services Organization (Tropicana) highlight the need to continue supporting the ongoing recovery of these communities.
During the COVID-19 emergency response, a number of Tropicana’s programs were declared essential services. The response to this unprecedented crisis has included enhancement of their Harvest Share food security program, Ricochet clothing recycling program and remote counselling supports.
“We are proud of the level of compassion, care and dedication shown by our staff during this time,” explains Raymund Guiste, Executive Director, Tropicana Community Services. “Our organization had to quickly adapt our services to provide for the essential needs of some of Toronto’s most vulnerable communities, and while we were successful in providing that support, the work is far from over.”
On June 5, 2020, RBC announced that it would help in the fight against systemic racism and provide direct support for Black communities through a commitment of $1.5 million to organizations across North America. As a part of this commitment, Tropicana was highlighted as one of the Canadian organizations receiving support to directly impact Black Youth and Economic Development.
“At RBC, we acknowledge wide-spread systemic racism has significantly impacted Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) youth; impeding their ability to compete equally in opportunities for economic and social advancement,” said Kris Depencier, Regional President, Greater Toronto, RBC. “We’re committed to creating meaningful and transformative pathways to prosperity for BIPOC youth with investments in areas such as skills development and mentoring, and we’re thrilled to partner with Tropicana on the leading work they are doing in this space.”
In addition, Proctor & Gamble (P&G) announced that it would be stepping up its ongoing efforts to advance equality for all people, and in particular, for Black communities. As such, through The CanadaHelps Black Solidarity Fund, a $40,000 donation to Tropicana was made. In addition, Tropicana received a donation of 500 hygiene kits through GlobalMedic, thanks to an introduction from P&G.
“We thank partners like the Royal Bank of Canada and Proctor & Gamble for stepping up and providing financial support that has allowed us to be responsive to the needs of the community. We will continue to foster strong partnerships that will allow us to support community in ways that are innovative, collaborative, and culturally appropriate,” said Guiste.
These corporate partnerships have been essential to the organization’s uninterrupted service delivery throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Tropicana will continue to seek partnership opportunities, so it can continue to develop and deliver on innovative programming that meets the needs of Toronto’s Black communities.
ABOUT TROPICANA COMMUNITY SERVICES ORGANIZATION Tropicana Community Services (Tropicana) was founded in 1980 as a non-profit community organization, with a mission to serve disadvantaged youth and their families, particularly those from the Caribbean. Since then, the organization has grown into a multi–service-delivery agency with programs designed to address issues affecting all youth, newcomers, members of the Caribbean and Black communities and others in need. For more information, visit: www.tropicanacommunity.org
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Manager Community Relations & Resource Development
416-439-9009 ext. 230