Our mission is to enable and inspire individuals to reach their greatest potential. Our goal is to empower them to be the author of their own story.
We are a lean operation run entirely by volunteers with minimal overhead expenses.
Whether your contribution is monetary, a labor of love, spiritual support, or in any other form, thank you for taking the time to learn more about us.
Our charity registration number is 80828 4442 RR 0001.
Meet our team at The Local Charity.
Laney Chan (she/her), Founder + Managing Director
I was inspired to start The Local Charity after having gone through many trials in my own life. Having experienced abuse and being estranged from my father, I can relate to those who have experienced despair and hopelessness. The journey has taught me how to be strong, how to be independent, how to forgive, and how to love.
I am also a single mother to an amazing boy, and the journey has been challenging, and it has given me perspective on what it takes to overcome rough patches in life. I hope to contribute and inspire the folks I cross paths with towards living their best lives.
My parents have both exemplified qualities that contributed to my charity work. My mother modelled benevolence, and I’ve learned to be kind and grateful from her (I also acquired her sense of humour 😉 ). As an illegal immigrant, my father persevered through adversity and built an empire; I got my curiosity, strength, and entrepreneurial spirit from him.
For me, charity can be so impactful. The effort put in goes a long way in helping to improve lives. It’s often easy, usually inconvenient, but always necessary.
Muneeb Syed (he/him), IT Manager
I had always been interested in technology and computers growing up and decided to turn this interest into what I would pursue in terms of education and what I would go on to work with in my career. I think what drew me to computers and working with them was the lack of conscience of making mistakes (which for whatever reason I seem to be highly predisposed to in all facets of my life). Most things can be fixed, most mistakes can easily be reversed, and any problems created can be worked around. But as I grew older, I started to realize that with the lack of these consequences came with a lack of benefit to society. Sure there was more risk in the work done by doctors, nurses, Firefighters, or engineers but when they were successful they save lives, brought people together and made the world around them better for everyone. Seeing examples in my life of people that were able to do they daily job and directly help people in their trying times motivated me to try and find a way in which I could use my skills to help others.
I joined the Local Charity in 2015 in the hopes of finding a way to bridge the gap I felt in providing a benefit to society. I have seen in glimpses the benefit that The Local Charity can bring to people that are looking to better their lives and give them the opportunity to better their lives and grow. My hope is that with continued time we at The Local Charity can grow the impact we have and continue to provide greater and meaningful opportunities to societies less privileged.
Gabriela Morillo (she/her), Project Manager
I was born in London, Ontario, and have spent the majority of my life outside of Canada. Between living in Colombia and Texas, I have seen the immense positive impact compassionate and dedicated people can have on their communities. Which is why I am passionate about making sure the work I do brings compassion and dignity to those it reaches.
After moving back to Canada I decided to pursue a degree in Business Administration and have completed a certificate in Project Management. Beyond my academic endeavours, I seek to give back to the city that has become my new home, Toronto. The Local Charity enhances access to the necessary tools and skills for people in the community, and I am fortunate to be involved in allowing individual’s achieve their goals.
Sakthi Vadi Sharadha (she/her), Education Program – Design and Development
I am a trained Biomedical Research Scientist with international research experience in designing, executing and troubleshooting experiments. I did my Bachelors of Technology in Biotechnology and Masters of Science in Stem cell and Regenerative Medicine from the University Of Sheffield, UK; I have completed my certification in GMP and GLP from University Of Toronto.
The most important thing that I learned from life is the tolerance to accept life as is. I have been suffering from a chronic health condition for the past few years and it has restrained me in my career advancement. At times, I have felt dejected. As soon as I started accepting my reality, it helped me to refuel, keep my chin up and do what I do the best (sharing knowledge) that can have tangible/intangible effects on others. The power of acceptance is one of the ingredients for a successful start in any endeavor. Accepting our situation gives one their baseline and motivation towards achieving something big in their life because everyone is unique and special.
Brandon Mwendo (he/him), Video Editor/Videographer
Born and raised in Toronto (Scarborough), I have worked with all walks of life and believe you can learn something from anyone. Be it about the nature of people, life lessons or even about yourself. Growing up around technology has allowed me to pursue unique opportunities in media and event production. I have a passion for telling visual stories and giving a voice to those who want to be heard.
I strive to help those who want to better themselves as I have experienced first-hand how hard times can hinder our ability to overcome issues and grow. I am hoping that doing my part with The Local Charity helps create the positive impact we are trying to achieve for those in my hometown.
Wezi Ngwenya (he/him), Marketing Director
I grew up in Zambia where I have seen extreme poverty. I have now spent almost half of my life in North America where I think there is need for more racial and socio-economical equality. This is the reason I wanted to be part of The Local Charity. I want to continue championing equality for the less privileged in our society. My background growing up in Africa, working in Asia and living North America certainly gives me a unique perspective on things. But my education has significantly sharpened my desire to contribute to the common good in this world. I have an Associates degree in Communication from Hesston College in Hesston, Kansas, a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, and an MBA from Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg, Manitoba. One of the mottos I live by says, “treat people the way you want to be treated”. If you were in a position where you didn’t have the means and ways to navigate our complex society, wouldn’t you want someone to reach out to you? Please feel free to reach out to us if you want to donate your time, skill or resources. Let’s make our community better for everyone.
Mustafa Issa (he/him), Partnership Director
There is nothing quite like the look on someone’s face when you are truly able to help them. I love putting that look on faces, and I’ve been doing it for the last 20 years. Since arriving in Canada, I’ve been privileged to work in settlement, helping refugees find homes, get orientated to life in Canada, walking them through the necessary steps to “regular life”. I worked as an interpreter, helping new Canadians with legal, medical and other issues. And I worked in employment counselling, from intake to seminars, from resumes to interviews, from front line to management, helping at risk youth turn their lives around. I’m excited to continue this work with The Local Charity.
Fortune Ibare-Jones (she/her), Development Director
I live for the results of global development and education. Global development has many factors, and having sufficient knowledge allows people to be more autonomous in their quest for a better life. The Local Charity is an initiative I strongly believe in. The services and programs are vital to shaping our society. I am honoured to be a part of a team that continuously remembers those who are often forgotten. It is with great pleasure that I serve the communities who, with dedication and encouragement, will be the leaders of tomorrow. Yes, The Local Charity is creating leaders.
Linsey Lim (she/her), Technology Program
The significant gender gap in the tech industry is what originally inspired me to learn more about computers and the industry itself. Upon taking computer science courses in university, I learned how valuable computer skills are, given the fact that we live in a digital-centric world. I wanted to share my knowledge with others in the community and introduce basic computer skills to students at an earlier age. I mentored many high school students who were interested in studying computer science and this eventually led me to volunteer for a non-profit as a computer instructor, teaching children facing poverty basic computer skills. This organization helped me realize how often we forget that children born into poverty do not have control of education and quality of life becomes uncertain. I can’t stress the fact that the impact of generational poverty is real and this is an ongoing issue that will be difficult to solve in our communities.
That is why I am happy to join The Local Charity in improving access to technology and education for vulnerable youth in Toronto.
2017 Volleyball Tournament Fundraiser
Thank you to everyone that came out for a fun day of volleyball at Ashbridges Bay Park to raise funds in support of launching a much needed computer program for youth, families, and women’s homeless shelters within under-served communities in the Greater Toronto Area!
Cook With Love 2011
Summer Edition of Cook With Love, special thank you from our sponsor Baskin Robins (Eaton Centre location) for providing the ice cream!
Our first ever charity gala, with guest performances from Nadia Hosko and Kelly Abbass. Special thanks to our sponsors, including DavidsTea, Exotic Flowers & Gifts, goodboy, Play N Trade, Secret Floral Collection, Sky Professional Makeup Team, and all our friends and family that came out to support the cause!
St. Patrick’s Day Fundraiser
Our amazing volunteers collecting donations during St. Patrick’s Day Parade – selling fun novelty items! A crucial fundraiser for The Local Charity!
Cook With Love 2010
A special edition of Cook With Love from our friend Burrito Loco.
Double Block Poverty
Hope everyone had a great time and enjoyed themselves during this Indoor Beach Volleyball Tournament Fundraiser. Congratulations to Flying Tornadoes, our Champion team!
Cook With Love 2009
Our second Cook With Love Event was another huge success!
Cook With Love 2008
Inaugural Cook With Love Event, during Stand Up Against Poverty Weekend October 18 & 19, 2008. With over 40 volunteers helping out, we prepared over 200 meals for The Red Door Family Shelter, Eva’s Initiatives, and Youths Without Shelter.