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Celebrating Canada's 2SLGBTQI+ Communities

IN Community: The 519 Calls For An Army Of Lovers

Help them respond to the urgent needs of the LGBTQ2+ community during the COVID-19 crisis…

By Jumol Royes

The 519 is marshalling an army of lovers and it needs you to answer the call.

As Toronto’s flagship LGBTQ2+ community centre, The 519 is doing everything it can to meet the diverse needs of the community during the COVID-19 crisis. With the cancellation of the Green Space Festival, its largest fundraising event of the year, the agency urgently needs your help to continue to provide programs and services critical to the survival and well-being of the city’s LGBTQ2+ population.

While all regular programs and services have been cancelled, that hasn’t stopped The 519 from transforming its operations to serve people in their time of need.

“The 519 is on the frontlines responding to the devastating social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis,” says Stacy Kelly, director of philanthropy. “We’re providing essential services to vulnerable LGBTQ2S communities and our neighbourhood including daily takeaway meals, phone check-ins, settlement supports, crisis counselling and eviction prevention.”

Many of us are used to showing our support for The 519 by attending the annual Green Space Festival. That option is off the table due to the current crisis. To help fill the gap, the agency is putting out a call for an army of lovers (that means you!) to mobilize by providing both monetary and in-kind donations of food and supplies to sustain and expand its critical, community-based response to the pandemic.

“With the cancellation of Green Space Festival in June, we have lost one of our most significant sources of operating revenue,” says Kelly.

“That loss, combined with the required cessation of our productive enterprises like our café, catering and education and training courses, means that The 519 is facing significant financial challenges. Our ongoing COVID-19 response for our community members is unfunded and requires urgent support so we can continue to serve the most vulnerable and marginalized people in our communities.”

Online donations are currently being accepted through a Secure Donation Page here!

To host a fundraising drive or make an in-kind donation, email:

For more information about The 519’s continuing services during COVID-19, visit:

This year, the perk of supporting The 519 isn’t getting to party; it’s about helping to keep people healthy and safe.

JUMOL ROYES is a Toronto-based storyteller and communications strategist with a keen interest in personal development and transformation and a love of all things Real Housewives. Follow him on Twitter @Jumol and on Instagram @jumolroyes.

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