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One Spark Celebrates its Second Birthday!

Saturday, August 22, 2015 3:48 AM




It's amazing that 2 years have already come and gone. It truly feels like the first 2 years have passed by in a heartbeat, but we are so excited about the things One Spark has achieved in that time and we are even more excited about what we see ahead.  Here are some highlights from our second year:


  • On October 2nd, 2014 we held our inaugural One Spark golf tournament at Deer Creek in Ajax.  It was an amazing day that rallied incredible support around One Spark's mission and work.  We are so excited about our 2nd annual happening on September 24th, and we are thrilled to have CCI Studios returning as our Presenting Sponsor.  Come and join us for another fabulous event!  You can register online at http://one-spark.ca/2015-golf-tournament.
  • On December 6th, we held our second annual Candle Campaign.  One Spark's social media lit up with pictures of candles shining in windows to honour those lost to violence, give hope to women affected by violence, and bring the issue of violence against women out of the darkness. 
  • Most importantly, this year was the year that we began delivering programming to women. Our first participants have completed the program components and are looking ahead to the wonderful opportunities they have ahead of them.  Piloting our programming with the first participants has also given us an invaluable opportunity to evaluate and assess our program delivery and outcomes to enhance our work in ways that will provide the highest levels of support to the women accessing our programs.  We were honoured to have one of the women we work with share her thoughts on the Entrepreneurship Program: "What I would like to say is that for the first time, I have had the greatest experience during this whole endeavor and none of it would be happening without One Spark. I have gained confidence, not only in myself, but as a women with substance that does have something to bring to the table. One Spark has listened to my idea's, even during the current struggles that I continue to have. They give me a direction and keep me on track as this has to be one of the hardest things to accomplish as an abused women, especially with children. The support from all of the experienced board members and all that they have to offer is supreme to say the least."
  • In May, One Spark clients had the amazing opportunity to participate in the Women Moving Forward Conference in Toronto.  This incredible conference featured sessions that share knowledge/experiences and provide tools for women to move forward from life challenges. Our clients unanimously agreed that it was a powerful and motivational experience.
  • In June, One Spark was honoured to receive the Workplace Group's Community Spirit and Vision Award.  We were so grateful to be recognized by such an amazing organization.
  • Our highly committed Board of Directors continues to diligently oversee and ensure effective strategic development of One Spark. We welcomed Lynden Evers and Danielle Rombough to our Board this year: two fantastic individuals that bring a wealth of experience, talent, and passion to our Board.
  • We were very excited to announce the development of "Hey Babies", a fabulous new online retailer of previously loved and practically new baby, child and maternity clothing that will be launching over the next year.  Hey Babies has committed to donating a portion of the proceeds from their sales to One Spark's work.  Please let us know if you have baby/children's clothes that you are looking to give away.
  • For the past number of months, Board Member Marlo Taylor and Executive Director Corrie Schneider have been training to run the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on October 18th.  They are calling it the "2 FOR 2" Marathon, as they are 2 sisters raising money to fund business start-up grants through the One Spark Entrepreneurship Program for two women working towards financial sustainability in order to live violence-free lives.  You can support their marathon quest at https://www.canadahelps.org/en/pages/2-for-2-marathon-two-sisters-for-two-women/.
  • Our support network continues to grow in leaps and bounds.  We are so grateful for those who have provided financial support, in-kind support, and those who rally their networks and community members to be part of the One Spark movement.  We see great things ahead in terms of community engagement!
It has truly been an amazing 2 years and we enter into our 3rd year with visions of growing and expanding the reach of our programs; looking at innovative new ways to deliver our mission; engaging individuals and communities in meaningful ways; and, most importantly, remaining fervently committed to our vision of a world where no woman faces financial barriers to living a life without violence.  Thank you for being there with us as it all continues to happen!



Conquering 16 KM

Monday, August 3, 2015 3:02 PM



Today I conquered the 16 km mark in my training for the One Spark marathon. Finishing this run, just shy of the ½ marathon distance, was the first time I truly believed I was going to finish this marathon.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I was exhausted and sore -- and ELATED that it was over. I was also fighting the voice in my head that was gleefully taunting me with the idea that the marathon was doing that 16 km AGAIN plus some. But then, somewhere way at the back of my brain, came the faintest sound of possibility. That it was going to be okay. That I GOT this.

The program I am using to train for the marathon is very big on visualization – when you’re out on a run and aching, imagine what your best run ever looked, felt and even smelled like. When you’re tired or frustrated, imagine what the end of the race will look, feel and smell like. Who will be there? How will you celebrate?

It sounds crazy, but it’s working for me. I can see it all – and am inspired during the darkest of my running moments to keep putting one foot in front of the other. And, step by step, the distance and time pass.

It’s a good lesson – that perhaps what is achievable is only limited by what we allow ourselves to imagine and create in our mind’s eye.

If you’ve ever imagined what could be, or believe in our individual power to change who we are and what we do, then please consider donating to One Spark. With your support, we will be able to help women who have imagined that their lives can and should be free of violence.

Thank you for imaginings – and sharing our vision.

Marlo Taylor

You can support our 2 for 2 Marathon at https://www.canadahelps.org/en/pages/2-for-2-marathon-two-sisters-for-two-women/.  Thanks in advance for your support!