Over the last two years, Taya Day, A Toronto-based real estate broker, has been an avid supporter of Covenant House through her participation in our Sleep Out: Women Unite event. To date, she has raised over $53,000 for youth who are homeless, trafficked and at risk. Since sleeping out, Taya has also lent a helping hand by volunteering in our youth mentorship program.

"I’m personally drawn to Covenant House because of my own experience of being alone at a young age," Taya explains. "You’re forced to mature and ‘grow up’ quickly when facing such complex situations."

While COVID-19 has played a role in the cancellation of events like Sleep Out, we’ve decided to continue them – with some new changes. This year, participants will unite in support of our young people for our first-ever virtual event called Stay In + Sleep Out. And Taya will be one of them:

"Since attending these events, I’ve gained so much perspective that I’ll keep with me forever," Taya remarks. Also, hearing stories from former residents on how Covenant House impacted their lives drove her to continue giving back.

Like many of our sleepers, Taya believes young people shouldn’t have to worry about finding a safe place to sleep or trying to find their next meal. This support is especially important, as COVID-19 has significantly affected those experiencing homelessness.

As one of our top fundraisers, we asked Taya to share some of her helpful fundraising tips for those in need of a boost.

Here are her top fundraising tips:

  • Feel proud: believe in the cause, and don’t be afraid to ask for money to support it.
  • Be persistent: people can be busy with their own lives, so try to set reminders for them.
  • If possible, increase your goal: you may even beat it!
  • Be personal: rather than sending mass messages, explain why you’ve chosen to be a part of the fundraiser and how much each contribution will mean to you.
  • Get creative by thinking outside the box: "To increase my donations, I started challenging people to a game of chess and raised money just from that," she says.

"Raising funds and awareness for a good cause is much easier than most people think! Setting a goal for yourself and being transparent about the importance of the issues is key." Taya notes.

Join Taya at our Stay In + Sleep Out event on June 26 to raise funds and support for youth in need. To learn more, visit: www.stayinsleepout.ca