Spring is coming!

Ah, Spring. What a wonderful time of the year this is. People are coming together all over again this weekend – whether for Passover, Easter or a general joy in the early Spring weather.

I love these kinds of long weekends where we get to gather with family and friends, catch up on some long overdue projects or simply relax and unwind for a few days.

You can smell the coming Spring in the air – the season of renewal and hope that is coming.

For me, it is also a time of gratitude. We are so fortunate at Milton Transitional Housing to have such great support within out our community. We had such tremendous support for our Coldest Night of the Year event, raising $48,105 from our amazing teams of walkers and our sponsors.

Special thanks go out to walker Jeremy Fisher – he took information about Milton Transitional Housing back to his fellow employees at Lowe’s Distribution Centre and they held a bake sale in support of MTH, raising over $400!!

Featured image of  MTH Executive Director Donna Danielli accepts the donation of over $400 raised through an employee bake sale from Lowes Distribution Centre Human Resource Coordinator Mishi Hassan.

I’d also like to extend a special thanks to our local faith community during this time of celebration. We receive a great deal of support from our local churches through Milton Area Churches Working Together and are grateful for the financial donations received from First Community, Faith United, Boston Presbyterian and Grace Anglican Churches. MTH was created through the great work of these and other community supporters and our gratitude to them is overwhelming.

You see, MTH has come a long way since we took in our first client, in our first one bedroom unit, in 2012. We have grown to nine units, ranging from one, two or three bedrooms to serve a variety of family needs. Our current clients include families of 6, single mothers, seniors, newcomers, singles and newly married couples. We have just had our tenth graduate from the program! That’s eleven adults and ten children who overcame their precarious living situation with the help of MTH and are now living independently in their own long term stable affordable housing!

We could not have done it without the support of everyone I’ve listed above, those of you reading this message and so many others in our community. From the bottom of my heart – thank you for making such a difference in the lives of those who need it the most.

This holiday weekend – I celebrate each and every one of you!

And there are still more things to come from MTH – we will celebrate our 12th graduate next month, freeing up a unit to make a difference in our next client’s life.

We also have the Milton Fashionista Flip fast approaching on April 13 and 14 at the Italian Club in Milton. Tickets are still available and clothing donations are still being accepted.

We have two new events happening in June, with more information to come shortly.

And with all of the hustle and bustle of the past few months and new upcoming events, planning for the Annual Empty Bowls event has been moved to Fall 2018.

That’s a lot of information for one blog post! Thanks for sticking through to read to the end and I hope that your and your family are making the most of this great weekend and doing whatever it is you love best.

Thanks again for always being there for us and have a great weekend.



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Bring on the New Year


What a year it has been here at Milton Transitional Housing, and it is all thanks to you, our wonderful supporters and volunteers.

MTH has grown in so many ways over the past year – more events, new board members, and more graduates!!! Our little program has grown from three client families in three units when I started in 2014 to nine client families in nine units!! That’s three times the number of families we can help, thanks to you. And what a wide variety of clients we serve now – from single clients to families, single mothers with children to a newly married couple, from a senior citizen to a newcomer family – they’ve all become members of our client family, and I couldn’t be happier.

And did I mention the nine graduates as well? That’s nine client families who came to us homeless and in the past three years have gone on to the long-term stable, affordable housing of their own!

This Christmas season was particularly heartwarming. Thanks to the generosity of local churches such as Grace Anglican, Knox Presbyterian, Boston Presbyterian and First Community Church, as well Brookville Public School, Pack a Bag Foundation and Steve’s Christmas Acres Fundraiser, our clients had an amazing holiday. From the brightly wrapped presents to the books, socks, and pajamas, from the food hampers and gift cards – it was truly heartwarming to see our community come together to ensure everyone had a bright and Merry Christmas.

This was also the year we saw the most ever given in personal donations from so many people who believe in what MTH is doing and reached out to help. Our first ever events – The Comedy Roast of Mayor Gord Krantz and the Stay At Home Gala were both popular and fun for those involved. Thank you to everyone who supported these new events, as well as our other events Fashionista Flip and the popular, family-friendly event Coldest Night of the Year Walk! Fundraisers are so important to what we do, but it is seeing so many happy, smiling faces at events like the Coldest Night of the Year Walk that help keep us motivated and engaged year round. There truly aren’t enough words to thank you all for always being there for MTH and the people we serve.

We also saw our Board of Directors increase this year – welcoming new Board members Wendy Roberts, John Pollard, Ken Eady and Marshall Horner. I am already seeing the impact of new voices and new ideas in the agency and can’t wait to see what the next year holds for this dynamic bunch of volunteers.

We also mourned one of our own this year – the loss of our friend and volunteer extraordinaire Freda Flook was a blow we were slow to recover from. Freda’s impish grin and attention to detail enhanced everything she participated in, and she is sorely missed.

2017 also marked a time of new relationships for MTH – many thanks to the 100 Women Who Care, who made us a charity of choice at their October meeting as well as the Community Foundation of Halton North who honoured us with a grant this year. Many thanks as well to the Oakville Milton Real Estate Board and GEAR Foundation for their continued support. And I would be remiss if I didn’t take this moment to thank Halton Region as well – their support through the rent subsidy program and the community investment fund has made a world of difference to those we serve, and I am incredibly grateful.

What a year 2017 was for us – I can’t wait to see what 2018 will hold! Hopefully, I will have a chance to see and thank all of you at one of our upcoming events – The Coldest Night of the Year launch on January 20, the Coldest Night of the Year Walk on February 24 or the Fashionista Flip on April 13 and 14. There are lots of ideas for new events as well, and I always need help planning them – if you are interested in volunteering on one of our committees, please let me know. I’d love to work more closely with you.

I hope you have a wonderful New Year and I look forward to seeing everyone in 2018.

All the Best,


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Citizenship, community and renewal

The links between citizenship, community, and renewal are all on my mind lately.

Yesterday, I had the honour and privilege of attending a citizenship ceremony at which more than two dozen new Canadians pledged their allegiance to, and were welcomed to Canada.

These new Canadians ranged from a variety of homelands – Israel, Poland, Pakistan, Romania and the United States to name just a few.

In his words of greeting the justice of the peace made the comment,

“We may not share a history but now we will all share a common opportunity for the future.”

This time of year is traditionally seen as a time of opportunity – of renewal and hope as we see the first signs of spring. And I can’t help but think of the range of diversity of the many clients now being served by MTH and their new opportunities and hopes.

We welcomed our first family of newcomers to Canada as clients late last year, and I am happy to report that they are doing exceptionally well. Having the one on one case management, as well as knowing that they will have a roof over their heads for the next two years and a stable school environment for their children, has allowed them to focus on learning English and begin setting up their own business.

The fresh food box we provide each month, as well as the groceries and turkeys donated by Grace Anglican Church at Christmas, has led to some interesting lessons on cooking foods they aren’t familiar with. I never realized that the foods we take in stride here would be seen as new and exotic to someone new to our country.

It is so much fun to see our community through their fresh eyes or to meet and talk with our other clients and learn about their experiences. Our range of clients also includes a senior citizen, single parent families, a newly married couple and more and I learn more and more from them every time we talk.

I am so proud that, since taking on our first client in 2012 and beginning with just that one housing unit, Milton Transitional Housing now has nine units and has now graduated its 9th client family from the program. That’s nine clients who came to use experiencing homelessness or a housing crisis who have now gone on to stable, long-term affordable housing of their own.

When I spoke at the citizenship ceremony yesterday, I spoke to the concept of community and thanked the new citizens for what they will be bringing from their communities to ours – they will enrich the country we now share with their experience, history, and actions. Yesterday, they joined our community – the one that I am so truly thankful to. The community which makes support for all of our clients possible. The community which, since 2012, has helped us to help others – to offer them that helping hand to be able to reach for a better future for themselves and their families.

Spring – it’s not just a time of hope and renewal for me – it’s also a time to reflect on the wondrous community we call home and to thank every one of you for being such an important part of our community.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend and thank you again for all that you do to support all that we do. Donna

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The Giving Heart of Milton!!!

Milton truly is a community of giving, especially during the holiday season.

“I really can’t believe the kindness and generosity you have shown me in a town that only a year ago seemed very cold,” is a recent message from one of our clients.

This holiday season has been an overwhelming one for those of us at MTH – the breadth of the generosity and human compassion has brought both staff and clients to tears.

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