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A WAY TO GIVE BACK THAT YOU CAN TAKE TO THE BANK

To celebrate Pride, here’s the card that gives back to our community
By Al Ramsay

Twelve years ago, my first job at TD was to reach out to the communities where I worked and lived, and the LGBT community was at the top of my list. Today TD supports hundreds of LGBT grassroots community organizations across Canada, including—just to name a few—The Lesbian Film Festival (London), 519 Community Centre (Toronto), GRIS-Montréal (Montreal), Out in School (Vancouver) and Chinook Lesbian and Gay Endowment Fund (Calgary).
 
We’ve come a long way! Twelve years ago, TD had a “coming out” party and became the first big bank in Canada to form a major Pride partnership. We partnered with (among others) Pride Toronto, then Vancouver Pride and Montreal Pride—the three largest Pride festivals in Canada. We wanted to tell the entire world that the LGBT community was an important part of our customer base, and we wanted to recognize them and support initiatives that were meaningful to their community. Personally, as a gay man, I felt proud and empowered to work for an institution that was genuinely inclusive.
We received quite a bit of backlash from some people for this decision; however, we stood firm in our values because we knew this was the right thing to do. Today, TD sponsors more than 40 Pride celebrations across North America—from Miami to the Northwest Territories Pride!
 
 Helping to save lives around the world
Last summer, TD and Aeroplan launched a unique program in Canada. During Toronto Pride week, for every dollar that was spent using a TD Aeroplan Credit Card, TD and Aeroplan donated one Aeroplan Mile to three organizations that fight for LGBT rights worldwide—Egale, Rainbow Railroad and the Stephen Lewis Foundation. The campaign exceeded its donation goal, resulting in 21 million miles donated to the Aeroplan Beyond Miles charity program. This translates to approximately 105 return flights to South Africa, or 650 hotel night stays in downtown Toronto.
 
“Last year, through the generous donation of Aeroplan Miles, TD supported flights for 15 persecuted LGBT individuals and covered nine short-term hotel stays,” says Justin Taylor, Rainbow Railroad’s executive director. “And, now that Aeroplan Miles can cover taxes and airport fees, we will be able to help even more people get to safety.”
 
This is a win-win all around! You can earn miles with your Aeroplan credit card and at the same time support a worthy cause helping LGBT people in need around the world.
 
Well, summer is almost here again, and we’re gearing up to celebrate another Pride season across North America. TD and Aeroplan are celebrating by building on  the success from last year and have expanded their charity from Toronto, to include Vancouver and Montreal. Pride festival goers in these three cities will have an opportunity to interact with TD team on-site to hear more about how Aeroplan Miles will continue to help save lives around the world. .
For more details of this year’s campaign, please visit: http://www.td.com/corporate-responsibility/diversity/serving-diverse-needs/lgbta/lgbta.jsp
 
Celebrate Pride With Us
We invite you to come out and celebrate Pride with TD this summer. As usual, we have an array of exciting activities you can participate in, from our TD Music Stage with top entertainers to our ever popular TD dancers and TD Boys & Girls onsite doing numerous activities. And, of course, my absolute favourite: We invite you to come and march with us in the parade, which includes hundreds of TD employees, family and friends—and, in my opinion, we have the best floats every year.
 
TD is #ForeverProud 365 days of the year!

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