Laura Hesp is someone who considers herself "for the people." Whether it's fighting for her co-workers rights and equality, marching the streets in protest, using her social media for social change or feeding and clothing people in the community, her focus is always on others.
Although Laura is educated in Child and Youth Work and Public Relations, her passion is food, philanthropy and writing. Her philosophy is that if she can get someone to do it, she can take the time to learn it. When it comes to photography and graphic design, she's a major amateur but determined. Expression of any kind, of any passion, of any dreams is what gets her through the day.
In March 2016 Laura's father passed away. He had experienced quite a few traumatic years living in shelters and on the street and eventually this lifestyle and his personal choices lead to his death. The way this death was handled by authorities and undermined by those around her lit a fire so bright it would be impossible to put out at this point. Immediately following his death Laura solidified her purpose of giving to her community. Since she started her career in restaurant management, she had a lot of connections in the industry and started to reach out to her peers and past co-workers for help. It started with Local Public Eatery in Liberty Village and grew to being partnered with local television production companies and several restaurants. By the summer You Are Loved (a branch of Inclusive Love Inc.) had provided thousands of fresh, healthy meals to Toronto residents and curated over 10,000 seasonal items of clothing that went to dozens of local charities and shelters.
In the spirit of keeping monetary donations out of her business model, Laura began to sell "Love Tee's" online and through local shops to support the initiative. The proceeds would help provide transportation to pick-up donations and food, fund events in the city or make small donations to local shelters or individuals on the street.
We wanted to personally thank Local Public Eatery for hosting our clothing donations, Saving Hope for providing hundreds of meals to our community, Community 54, Fairmont Royal York, The Mens' Shop & The Baffi Collection for carrying our shirts and helping us raise money.
Thank you to each and every person who has graciously supported and shown love to the cause. To each person who purchased a t-shirt, showed up at an event, sent messages of encouragement or helped us raise money; Thank you does not do justice. You all have helped us fulfill dreams of our own and given a little piece of humanity to those who deserve it the most.