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 + Executive 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 do as 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 saved 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 jobs 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 less-privileged societies.
Wezi Ngwenya (he/him), Marketing Director
I grew up in Zambia where I have seen extreme poverty. Here in North America, racial and socio-economical equality are some of the issues we face. That is why I want to be part of The Local Charity. I want to continue championing equality for the less-privileged in our society. My background of 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.
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.
Eileen Wong (she/her), Education Program Director – Critical TECHing Accelerator
While I was growing up, I watched my parents who were immigrants from China work multiple labour jobs to provide for me and my younger brother. They saved up money for our extra classes such as, in Math and Art, as well as for our university studies, at the expense of spending money on themselves. They refused to eat as much, so my younger brother and I could have more. They never spent money to buy clothing for themselves. It broke my heart seeing my parents sacrifice so much for us to have a better future. My parents truly inspired me to be my very best. They taught me kindness, unconditional love, and humility. I understand the deep impact of financial problems can have on our self-esteem and the number of educational opportunities available to us. For this reason, I want to help those who do not have the financial support to achieve their educational and career goals. I have a great passion for teaching and learning, as I have been teaching for over seven years, as well as deepening my understanding of different realities during my MA in Francophone Studies and MEd in Teaching and Learning. At The Local Charity, I aspire to help everyone embrace their live(d) experiences and receive the quality education that we all deserve.
Mostafa Omran (he/him), Education Program Director – Youth Group
Mostafa is an educator at heart. He started his career teaching middle school Social Studies, before setting off on a career in consulting. During his MBA he spent the summer in Kenya where he taught business fundamentals to aspiring, underprivileged, Kenyan youth in Nairobi’s largest slums. Although his career has taken him on a different path, Mostafa still believes in unlocking potential through development and education.
Today, he is a highly driven customer experience professional with a proven track record of challenging the status quo, and strategically serving as a bridge between organizations and their stakeholders. He believes in the power of fostering strong relationships and builds lasting partnerships that deliver win-win results. Mostafa holds an MBA from the Sauder School of Business at the UBC, a Certificate in Innovation Management from Stanford University, and is a certified Project Management Professional.
Seowon Bang (she/her), Creative Director
Seowon is a multifaceted creative whose career began in the non-profit space and whose passion lies in designing for the greater good. After putting her design skills to work in various industries including retail, public education, events, and fintech, Seowon has made a full circle and dedicated her time to give back to the charitable sector once again. She is currently serving as the Creative Director of TEDxToronto and her past freelance clients include Toronto Outdoor Art Fair, Obsidian Theatre, The National Ballet of Canada, Art Canada Institute, and more. A wearer of many hats – print design, illustration, video production, web design – Seowon is eager to help further the mission of The Local Charity, with great design and style.
Amaan Giga (he/him), Digital Marketing Lead
As a young adult, I had the opportunity to volunteer with many young people at the children’s hospital in Edmonton, where I grew up.
From that experience, I realized how resilient young people can be and how those who have had less typical childhoods deserve to experience the same joys I was able to as a child.
A few years ago in Toronto, I was chatting with a young homeless woman who was pregnant, and had my eyes opened to the homelessness issue and how it can impact youth in our city.
As a digital marketer, I work with many non-profits to help them make the world a better place. I am grateful that I’m able to lend my skills to The Local Charity to help young people learn about themselves and learn new skills to break the cycle of poverty.
Jen Pendergast (she/her), Copywriter
Writing has been my passion from an early age; I love the magic of words and the strength they can have to influence worlds, both real and imaginary. Creating stories is a part of my life – just ask my kids about the tales I tell at bedtime – but the best stories are those we create with other people in our real lives. I strongly believe that everyone has the power to change the world, but for many people that power is hidden inside, under layers of challenges and difficult experiences. I believe causes like The Local Charity can help our young people to unpack those experiences and unlock their own power to create the future they want to see.
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 youth in under-served communities 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.