Toronto, ON – Over 200 Torontonians came together at heARTS for Pakistan this Monday, October 18, 2010 at the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto, where over $15,000 was raised, with approximately $5000 matched by CIDA and the Canadian government, for survivors of the Pakistani floods which devastated the country back in August.
Partnered with the Humanitarian Coalition, heARTS for Pakistan, a silent art auction and fundraiser, successfully engaged the Toronto community and provided an opportunity for the arts community across Canada to collaboratively support international efforts to bring relief to victims of the floods in Pakistan.
The worst humanitarian tragedy of the decade according to the United Nations, the Pakistani floods have affected one-fifth of Pakistan and have left over 20 million people displaced. As governments around the world struggle to assist survivors of the floods, the UN has requested international donors to come together to raise the hundreds of millions of dollars now required in aid. The most vulnerable now face twin perils of hunger and disease as food supplies have been devastated and sources of clean water severely contaminated.
Among others, speakers at the event included Scarborough MP Jim Karygiannis, who has accompanied doctors to Pakistan since the floods and spoke about the heartfelt plea of the Pakistani people. He encouraged people to open their hearts and their wallets and in an impromptu on-stage bidding, collected $780 in donations in under five minutes, for the cause.
The silent art auction sold 70 of the generously donated art pieces, while providing the Toronto community a chance to bid on beautiful art work, serving as lasting reminders of an effort to help flood survivors re-build their lives in Pakistan, well beyond the event.
The night came together with special guest appearances by strong supporters of the arts including Toronto’s Deputy Mayor, Joe Pantalone; MP for Scarborough, Jim Karygiannis; Mrs Pakistan World, Tahmena Bokhari; Miss India Canada, Anchal Sharma, singer from popular pop/rock band JoSH, Q, along with community dignitaries, business leaders, and of course Canadian artists.
"A crisis can build a community and show us at our best. This is definitely the case for heARTS for Pakistan, who brought together volunteers, artists, sponsors and supporters to raise critically-needed funds for Humanitarian Coalition members’ Pakistan flood-relief efforts" said Humanitarian Coalition spokesperson, Denise Koulis. "The money raised by heARTS for Pakistan will save lives and help rebuild communities."
About H4PK: Building on the success of heARTS for Haiti in Vancouver, heARTS for Pakistan was a silent art auction and fundraiser held on Monday, October 18 at the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto, to raise money and awareness for the victims of the floods in Pakistan back in August. 100% of the proceeds went to support the Humanitarian Coalition’s flood relief efforts in Pakistan. For more information, please visit: www.hearts4pakistan.com
About Humanitarian Coalition: Four of Canada’s leading aid organizations have founded the Humanitarian Coalition: CARE Canada, Oxfam Canada, Oxfam-Québec and Save the Children Canada. The members of the Humanitarian Coalition work together to increase the impact of Canadian humanitarian responses and reduce administrative costs. For more information, please visit: www.thehumanitariancoalition.ca