Quietly Standing in the Gap
Standing in the gap to help vulnerable members of our community is noble work. But that can easily go unrecognized if you do not maintain a strong social media presence or online footprint.
On Saturday, September 28, 2019 seven community stalwarts who are quietly transforming lives and bringing hope to vulnerable populations of youth, seniors, women and men—both locally and overseas—were put in the spotlight by the A-Supreme Foundation at their grand charity gala in Toronto.
Dubbed the Diamond Citizen Awards, the recognition is given by the Foundation, biennially, to individuals and organizations that assist vulnerable populations to live with dignity.
Premier Doug Ford stopped in at the gala to congratulate the 2019 awardees, Dr. Anthony Sterling of Sterling Dental; Leila Springer and Winsome Johnson, founders of the Olive Branch of Hope; Dr. Lee Errett, Professor of global surgery at St. Michael’s Hospital; Valerie Johnson, and Courtney Grant of Caribbean Queen Restaurant.
Popular job board, Indeed Inc. was also recognized for donating over 40 laptops to the A-Supreme Foundation’s Tech Savvy workshops that help local seniors navigate the use of technology to keep up with everyday life and stay in touch with friends and family.
“We started out with two nominees this year and kept expanding the list as we reviewed the remarkable and life-changing work so many people in the GTA are doing,” said A-Supreme Foundation’s president Keisha Johnson.
The seven awardees were recognized for providing scholarships to community youth, educating Women of African Ancestry in the care and prevention of breast cancer, improving surgery capacity in middle and low-income countries and consistently stepping in to support community initiatives.
“We know the personal sacrifice serving others requires and for us this is an opportunity to bring the community together to show the awardees some appreciation,” Johnson added.
The A-Supreme Foundation was initiated by life-long friends, Vivienne Dixon, Vivienne Duet and Winsome Johnson in 2014.
The trio first founded a for-profit nursing agency over 10 years ago and later launched the Foundation to stand in the gap for vulnerable GTA seniors. Throughout the year, the Foundation hosts workshops that bring seniors together and connect them with professionals to address some of their most pressing needs. It also provides subsidized in-home care and advocates against elder abuse.
“Our driving philosophy is that because you are human you deserve to be treated with dignity,” Dickson said. That mantra is the impetus for the Buy Some Time campaign the Foundation also launched at its gala to raise $100,000 for in-home care.
“It [the campaign] literally asks donors to “buy time” for in-home care that is then gifted to frail, low-income seniors in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) who otherwise can’t afford it,” Henderson Ifill chair of the Foundation’s fundraising committee explained.
“We see the impact of this kind of intervention before it’s too late,” said Simone Thomas of Glendale Funeral Home and Glendale Memorial Gardens. They along with the Carpenters and Allied Workers Union Local 27 and the Jamaica National Bank were among the first corporate donors to support the Buy Some Time campaign. You can learn more or make a donation to the campaign at www.asupremefoundation.com
President, A-Supreme Foundation