Building Joyful, Healthy Communities
Toronto, ON – Whether they are dressed in reindeer antlers going door-to-door for a holiday food drive, putting their hearts on their sleeves for a Valentine’s Day fundraiser, or sponsoring a bouncy castle for ecstatic kids, Rayissa Palmer and her mother Sandy Bodnar take great joy in helping to build a healthier, more inclusive community. In the process, they have promoted sport and assisted countless people in need through a variety of projects. They particularly enjoy events where they meet their neighbours.
Most recently, this mother-daughter team volunteered at Le Tour De Terra Cotta. Envisioned by Olympian Ted Webb, it has become a community-driven cycling race that attracts nearly 700 participants from across Canada and internationally.
Set in the scenic hills of Caledon, spectators and racers alike enjoy a ‘Tour de France’ type of experience complete with food, drink and a vendor expo. Rayissa and Sandy have volunteered as road marshals for the past two years helping to manage one of the main turns on the race.
Soon, they will begin preparing for the Mimico Food Bank Food Drive. Each year, dressed as Santa’s helpers, they go door-to-door collecting canned and dried goods and/or donations in their farm area of Mimico in Toronto. Everything they collect goes to the Mimico Food Bank to make the holidays brighter for local residents in need.
“We believe strongly in giving back, particularly in those communities where we and our clients live,” notes Rayissa. As a result, they have become involved in some innovative, grassroots projects including the Ron White Shoe Drive. Rayissa and her mother collect new and gently used shoes to donate to Canadian shoe designer Ron White, who then refurbishes them for people who cannot afford suitable office attire. This shoe drive takes place each January, so check your closets for possible donations!
These busy REALTORS® also fund a kid’s craft table and offer face painting at the Mimico Residents Association Valentine’s Day and Halloween dances. Each June, they sponsor a massive bouncy castle for the End of Year School Fair at St. Leo’s in Mimico.
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