BREAKFAST WITH SANTA FOUNDATION
Annual General Meeting February 7, 2019
Breakfast With Santa Foundation saw 2018 as its 32nd year of existence, although it started as a non-registered, not-for-profit charity operating as Breakfast With Santa.
It was with much pride and exhilaration I was able to register the charity in 2000 as a non-profit charity and as a foundation in 2002.
Since then we have conquered many challenges, considerably increased our annual revenue in terms of donations and corporate sponsorships as well as awareness of our work in the community and fed thousands of hungry children!
I’m extremely proud of our Board and the wonderful volunteers who dedicate their time, hard work, passion and belief in what started as my vision and quickly became our Vision Statement:
To be a portal of hope to the enhancement to a child’s quality of life.
I welcome our re-elected Board Members and I am extremely fortunate to be able to welcome our newly elected Board Member Mr. Imran Hasan.
Mr. Hasan is highly respect in our communities, an accomplished entrepreneur and professional and a passionate visionary especially when it pertains to children. Welcome!
On a bitter-sweet note and after 20 wonderful years of passion for the work we do, hard work, enthusiasm, dedication and friendship not only to all of us on the Board but to the families and children we help as well, we see Dawn and Stephen Pullar retire from the Board of Directors.
This, as they have assured me, is not a good-bye as they will always support us as much as their busy lives allow, and, I know their hearts will always belong to Breakfast With Santa Foundation.
Dawn and Stephen have been a very integral part of our success over the years and until I am able to find a word that perfectly fits our gratitude, Thank you dear friends!
In 2018 we continued to offer the following very successful and needed programs:
- A Snack at a Time – feeding hungry children who arrive in school having had no breakfast and not bringing snacks, lunch nor drinks.
We provided 45,000 nutritious meals to ensure those children received the proper nutrition every child needs.
- Summer Breakfast Program – feeding hungry children who attend sponsored camps and who ordinarily depend on school breakfast programs for their daily nutrition.
We provided 5,750 nutritious breakfasts.
- Salad Days under our Nutrition 101 Program – teaching children how to prepare nutritious salads, their nutritional values and they consume those wonderfully fresh and delicious salads for their lunch that day.
- Back to School Back Pack Drive – not as many as in 2017 but still a healthy number of 120 distributed to children in need of them.
- Coat Drive – due to my health issues this drive was very subtle. Mr. Imran Hasan was kind enough to donate 50 coats and scarves and we did receive other donations.
We were able to still donate 80 coats which were distributed to families in dire need before Christmas.
- A Morning with Santa Christmas Breakfasts – we hosted 4 very successful mornings in December.
We have been very fortunate to have the partnership of amazing corporate donations making these breakfasts a reality.
A great big thank you to Tim Hortons and Tim Hortons Peel Restaurant Owners, Nancy Osberg and Andrea Polkinghorne, Amazon Fulfillment Canada, Meeting Professionals International, Toronto Chapter, The Molinaro Family, The Mississauga Convention Centre and the Mississauga Grand Banquet & Event Centre, Robert Half.
Breakfast With Santa Foundation received several requests from schools, families from the community but not registered with any community organizations dealing with hunger or poverty to attend our A Morning With Santa Program.
The demographics in our communities are changing and more often then what we were used to see in previous years.
We also learned the school boards are eliminating the Community Outreach Workers positions and will only have Settlement Workers by June of 2020
This is very worrisome as we fear the children and families (and there are many) who are now falling through the cracks due to the fact they either are not registered to receive any help or barely surpass the income limit to be able to receive help will increase drastically.
We work closely with the Community Outreach Workers in schools in order to receive referrals to our programs. These referrals are families/children who are exceptionally limited in their resources and suffering from food and financial insecurity. In other words, no matter how one dissects the politically correctness, they are hungry and poor, needing help.
Without the help of these Community Outreach Workers I am fearful many families who do not fall under the Settlement Worker’s jurisdiction will be over-looked. This is extremely disturbing.
We need to find ways to collaborate directly with the community, churches of all denominations, social clubs, organizations in the community dealing with poverty, homelessness, and shelters. We MUST reach those suffering in silence.
On a positive note, our Barbarossa The Return of the Pirates was an amazing success factoring in the attendance was 128 people and we raised $6,484.43!!!!!
A great big THANK YOU to all our sponsors, donors and the outstanding engagement of our Fundraising Committee. Well done! It was an incredible night!
Our Financial Statements for 2018 are not completed as of today as our year end is the 31 of December. They should be completed by the end of this month.
My work load has been increasing steadily as well as the Board’s. We need to work diligently to obtain a grant to hire an Administrative Assistant.
Going forward, a clearer definition of each Board of Directors position has been drafted and will be re-visited as a per need basis.
I am very excited and looking forward to a very productive and successful year with renewed confidence in our Board of Directors, partners, sponsors, donors, volunteers and new collaborative initiatives both with corporations as well as individuals.
It’s a privilege to serve my community with such outstanding individuals who share my vision, passion and desire to eradicate child hunger.
A smile at a time,
Maria Fátima Esteves
President & Founder