“Sandwich Run, Shoebox Part 1 and 2. Each word is simple on its own but awfully obscure when strung together. Seriously, how do you exactly run a sandwich? And the two parts to a shoebox: wouldn’t that be the box and the lid? As it turns out, they are codenames for James Bond missions, ugh I mean, Tic-Tac-Toronto (TTT) programs.
I got a chance to uncover what goes on below the surface of these exciting and meaningful programs when I first joined TTT planning committee in March this year. For example, Sandwich Run is a program where participants prepare and deliver sandwiches to homeless people in Toronto. Giving food is a simple gesture but it goes beyond that; it opens the door to which we can interact face to face with a homeless person. During planning and research I have come to understand homelessness, but it wasn’t until I spoke to a homeless person that I fully feel and relate to them. I learnt about their lives and struggles, and realized how similar we all are, despite our completely different housing situations.
Behind the scene, each program, including the Sandwich Run, is the fruit of hundred of man-hours in discussions, planning, brainstorming, and preparation by the TTT team, most of whom are volunteers with fulltime job or school. Weekly meetings can be taxing as the team generates ideas for the underlying theme and debates on how to best deliver the theme to our participants, in addition to the time spent on researching and preparing the material for the program. I was initially perplexed by the amount of energy and devotion of these volunteers, but I soon discover why – it’s their love for our city and its people.
It has been the mission of TTT to connect participants to our beloved city, Toronto. More importantly, TTT has enabled me to connect with myself through the exploration of my surrounding. I experienced it in my interaction with the homeless. I learn more about myself through working with the team. To this aspect, I think I can proudly say to my fellow TTT team – Mission accomplished.”