We Care, formerly known as Friends of We Care, unites a network of Member Sponsor organizations and industry supporters with one common goal: bringing joy to kids with disabilities. As the Charity of Choice of the Foodservice and Hospitality Industry, we partner with companies to raise money through fundraising events and initiatives to send kids with disabilities to fully accessible Easter Seals summer camps across Canada.
Originally backed by manufacturers, distributors and operators, our network has evolved to include many other businesses supporting the foodservice industry. Member Sponsors are an integral part of our organization; their annual membership fees cover all our operating expenses. That means 100% of funds raised go directly to providing life-changing camp experiences for Easter Seals kids.
Since 1983, We Care has raised $25.5 million – that’s 96,000 days at camp! We run fundraising events across the country, including golf tournaments, bowling challenges, ski days and our annual gala. Through sponsorships, event participation, and direct donations, We Care raises more than $1 million annually. We also support several third-party initiatives. We are proud to have enriched the lives of thousands of kids, and built a strong, generous industry community that works hard to let kids focus on their
We Care was founded in 1983 when Gary Wright, a respected member of the Foodservice industry, planted the seed for an organization dedicated to helping children with disabilities. Gary’s son Cory was born with Cerebral Palsy, and he believed Cory or any child with a disability should have the same opportunities as those without.
Gary encouraged a group of co-workers to come together to host the first We Care fundraiser, a casino-style Monte Carlo Night that raised $18,000. The organization grew each year, gaining more and more support from the industry.
In 1990, Bruce Curtis became the part-time Executive Director of Friends of We Care. Bruce and the Board of Directors worked tirelessly to raise $100,000 for Easter Seals despite declining industry support and only 9 member sponsors. By 1996, Friends of We Care grew to 51 member sponsors and annual donations of $500,000.
Kevin Collins became the Executive Director in 1999. Kevin exemplified Friends of We Care’s mission. Born with cerebral palsy, he attended Easter Seals camps for eight summers. During his tenure as Executive Director, Friends of We Care raised more than $20.5 million and established a national presence for the organization. In 2017, Kevin accepted the position of President and CEO of Easter Seals Ontario.
Tiana Rodrigue took on the Executive Director role in 2017, after many years working at both We Care and Easter Seals Canada. She led the reimagining of the We Care brand, introducing a new modern logo as well as taking the ‘Friends of We Care’ name back to the original ‘We Care’. Tiana continues to build connections with current and potential supporters and seeks to grow We Care’s support within other sectors of the industry.