Let’s run to Union Station

In 2004, Deedz Founders Johnathan Knight and Andrew Kelly decided to run from York University to Union station for charity. As John recalls, “We were sitting around in our dorm room one day and thought it would be a fun challenge. We decided to do it for a good cause.”  Within four weeks, they had raised nearly $2000 dollars from friends, family, teachers and fellow students. On the day of the run they were joined by almost a dozen runners and a van full of rowdy cheerleaders. They gave the money to a student club who was distributing food to the homeless and joined them on a monthly basis. This initial exposure to the downtown homeless community would lead to what is now known as Deedz.

More than food
The following year, the guys decided to take their involvement to the next level. After organizing a second York to Union fundraiser, they now had the resources they needed to begin a bi-weekly sandwich run.  The operation was simple: 100 bagged lunches, a couple huge jugs of hot chocolate and whatever clothing they could find. The group was small: Originally, about 5 people. The results were significant: over the years Deedz has seen hundreds of people exposed to the streets of downtown Toronto. People from across the globe representing a variety of faiths, cultures and experiences. Thousands of conversations had.

In the summer of 2008, Deedz went from bi-weekly to weekly. Due to the transient nature of shelter life, weekly visits made it more likely that we would see people for a second conversation. Sensing that our presence was strongly welcomed, we wanted to make it more consistent.

Deedz is now in its eighth year as a movement! We will continue to be passionate about serving the Queen and Sherbourne area.