Growing up, Sarah Lawless often heard her father speak about homeless youth. He would sometimes look out the window of their car and reflect on the number of kids he saw on the street. Sarah’s father, who teaches music to children at the Royal Conservatory of Music, continues to give regularly at Covenant House. He instilled in her a compassion for kids growing up without a stable, loving home.
When Sarah began working in business development at Linkedin, the world’s largest professional networking website, she wanted to become more engaged with a cause. She thought of Covenant House.
Sarah first signed up to our Good Samaritan monthly giving program with a generous monthly gift. Linkedin Canada, like many other companies, matches their employee contributions so their gift has twice the impact.
When Sarah came for a tour, she was struck by the scope of the programming to support kids on their journeys to independence. “The focus of the organization was not just to provide food and a place to sleep,” Sarah explains. “They offer support to youth for their education, health and career.” She was especially impressed with the culinary arts training program, Cooking for Life, which prepares youth for a career in the hospitality industry.
Sarah also remarked that youth were asked to be accountable to meet expectations within a culture of mutual respect. It reminded her of what her own loving parents expected of her, and how it drove her to succeed and thrive.
Sarah championed us to Linkedin For Good, an employee group that invites its members to support each other’s favourite causes. She pitched our annual volunteer coin drive in the Toronto subway and Union GO Station. Sarah recruited 17 co-workers, all with a background in sales, to ask for change. The coin drive is an important campaign for us that is limited only by the number of willing volunteers. With an enthusiastic professional sales force promoting our cause, it was a great success. They have already agreed to participate next year.
We are so grateful to generous donors like Sarah who care deeply for our youth and believe in their potential. Our life-changing programs would not exist without the support of our donors.