Five ways to help victims of the Toronto van attack

Ahead of Sunday night's vigil, here are ways you can help our city heal after the horrific incident that left 10 dead

In the days following the van attack that left 10 dead and 14 injured, Torontonians have responded in many ways. From a moment of silence at Monday night’s Leafs game to a still-growing memorial to the victims at the site of the incident, residents are expressing grief and support. The city has planned a vigil for Sunday (April 29), but if you’re looking for ways to show your support before then, we’ve gathered up a few here.

Donate to crowd-funding campaigns

Contribute directly to victims of the attack or their families through any of the many GoFundMe campaigns that have been set up on their behalf. Islamic Relief Canada and Canada Zakat (the same organization that raised over $400,000 for victims of the Quebec mosque shooting) have set up donation pages to raise money to cover funeral costs and other expenses.

There’s also the #TorontoStrongFund, set up by Mayor John Tory and the City of Toronto in partnership with the Toronto Foundation. The fund will direct donations to organizations and agencies providing emotional and practical assistance to those affected by the attack, as well as charities dedicated to addressing social issues that may play a role in the prevention of future attacks.

Write a message at the memorial

The memorial at the site of the attack has been growing all week, and people from all over the city are making the trip to North York. Rows of poster board have been set up around the site, and visitors are invited to leave messages of love and encouragement in whatever language they choose. Visitors may also leave flowers and light candles.

Donate blood

Both Sunnybrook Hospital – which took in many of the attack victims and faced its largest ever Code Orange as a result – and Canadian Blood Services have tweeted about blood donations.

While Canadian Blood Services pointed out that year-round donations help them address large-scale crises more quickly, they invited those interested in helping out to call or visit their website to book an appointment.

Tweet about something good you saw today

Making a post on social media might not seem like the most impactful way to help in the wake of tragedy, but Torontonians have been using it to remind each other of the good that exists throughout the city. The hashtags #TorontoStrong and #TorontoTheGood have become beacons for people to share the acts of love and kindness they encountered that day. If you experienced something good or uplifting today, consider sharing it.

Attend the city-organized vigil

Following similar vigils held in other cities and one held on Yonge Street last week, the city is planning another event to honour victims of the attack. The vigil will be held on Sunday (April 29) starting at 7 pm at Mel Lastman Square, which was a focal point in the attacks. The event will feature speeches by religious leaders and community members and will present anyone affected by the attack with a further opportunity to heal. All members of the public are invited to attend.

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