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In Memory of Debbie Jenkins

It is with great sadness that we are sharing with our community the passing of one of our community members, and Community Advocacy Program Mentor, Debbie Jenkins.

Debbie was an amazing person: compassionate, patient, knowledgeable, and helpful to all our community and well-loved by all of her colleagues in the Advocacy Program, the Tax Clinic volunteers, and staff at The Stop. She had a way of making people feel comfortable while ensuring they had the information they needed.

She began volunteering at The Stop’s Food Bank in 2010, heard community members talking about their tax problems, and became passionate about preparing community members’ income tax returns for free. Debbie later took the 2014/2015 Community Action Training course and became an Advocate. In 2017, she became a Mentor until her tenure ended in July 2019. Earlier that year, Debbie worked as the Interim Tax Clinic Coordinator. She returned to work on the Community Advocacy Program’s 12-Year Review & Renewal project that October. In 2017, Debbie also participated in Table 91 ( part of the Toronto Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy) where she contributed to making positive systemic change with Social Planning Toronto’s micro-grants program. As part of her leadership in Financial Empowerment and social justice issues, Debbie provided assistance to the mothers-to-be in our Healthy Beginnings program, which helped a significant percentage to access benefits for their children they would not otherwise have been able to receive.

Debbie’s last role at the Stop was as the Interim Financial Empowerment Coordinator – Virtual Tax Clinic in June 2021. She had most recently developed an in-depth specialized manual for tax-clinic volunteers so that others may help community members with their taxes.

Her warm and welcoming smile and presence will be missed by our Advocates, staff, volunteers, and broader community. We are so thankful for everything Debbie gave The Stop and our community.

Debbie’s Milestones at the Stop:

Community Volunteer – Debbie began volunteering at The Stop’s Food Bank in 2010 

Community Action Training  (CAT) Trainee – 2014/2015

Peer Advocate – 2015-2017

Peer Mentor – 2017-2019

Pioneer of the current CVITP Tax Clinic at The Stop CFC which was a huge success in ensuring Community Members received the tax returns they were entitled to.

Senior Peer Researcher – 2019-2021

Free Counselling Resources:

https://www.woodgreen.org/services/programs/mobile-crisis-services/

https://toronto.cmha.ca/types-programs-services/community-support-programs/

https://www.torontocentralhealthline.ca

https://mciconnect.ca

https://info.mindbeacon.com/btn542

https://toronto.cmha.ca/family-support/