Sept. 22, 2021 The Division of Human Resources & Equity is now called the Division of People Strategy, Equity & Culture.

Sharing the Warmth: UTemp’s Donation Drive for Syrian Refugees a Success

February 3, 2016

UTemp Donation Drive

“The donation drive was an idea that came about from a simple conversation in a UTemp team meeting, it was the holiday season and we wanted to contribute to our community in some way. Helping new Syrian families coming to Canada seemed like the perfect way to do that. We decided to reach out to United Way who have a Refugee Resettlement Program and they were happy to accept donations of essential clothing and household items.”

Saima Ladha, Recruitment Coordinator UTemp, Division of HR & Equity University of Toronto

UTemp’s Donation Drive

In December, the team at UTemp, U of T’s Short-Term Staffing Service began collecting donations for Syrian Refugees in the Greater Toronto Area. What started as a small donation drive turned into an initiative to collect essential clothing and household items, including:


  • Essential winter wear (coats, toques, scarves, mittens, boots) – (adults and children)
  • Everyday essential clothing: sweaters, jeans, pants, hoodies, sweatshirts, shirts etc. – (adults and children)

Household items

  • Cleaning supplies
  • Small appliances, small furniture
  • Linens
  • Toiletries (adults and children)
  • Backpacks and school supplies for children

Just before the holiday break, the UTemp team delivered all donations collected over the month of December to United Way Peel’s Syrian Refugee Resettlement Program. Ladha describes the overwhelming response:

UTemp Donation Drive

“We sent out a simple email asking for any donations and only had about 2 weeks to collect items and deliver. It is an understatement to say that we were overwhelmed by the positive response of our colleagues – in such a short amount of time we collected over 300 items of clothing including 30 winter coats and a car full of essential household items!

All in all, it was uplifting and inspirational to see the generosity of spirit across the UofT community!”

Looking for ways to help?

Are you looking to make a donation or volunteer to help Syrian refugees? Here are a few places to start: