Lesley Sims

Lesley Sims

2014 Innovation Award - York Region

360 Kids

Nominator Comments:

Lesley came up with an idea that would raise dollars, but more importantly raise awareness around youth homelessness.  In having community leaders experience a night in the shoes of a homeless youth, she created enormous awareness around the issue. 

Lesley provided leadership to our team to shape the event in a short amount of time.  In the span of two months, she has 15 leaders confirmed and raised $30,000.  More importantly she created huge buzz around the premise which received coverage on Breakfast Television, 680 news, York region media, as well as massive social media coverage. 

Many events raise dollars, but few events leave the participants with an experience that changed their lives and views of the streets of York Region. 

While raising $30,000, the expenses were minimal as the fundraising was done online by the participants and the costs were very low.

This event is to become our signature event, and will be event better in year 2.  It wouldn’t have happened without Lesley’s vision and leadership.

Lesley has been a fundraiser for over 25 years.  As an ED, I come to her with many crazy thoughts and challenges, often pushing the envelope.  Instead of running, she meets these ideas head on, and takes them to greatness. 

She is successful at her job as she truly believes in what she does.  She is fearless in promoting our agency and her work ethic knows no limits.

She is always the first one there and the last to leave at any of her events, and this one was no exception.  Lesley was awake for 48hrs making this experience come to life.

Participants in the 360Experience described it as a life changing experience, and many of them continue to share their stories from a night on the street.

The amount of awareness and goodwill this event brought to the issue of youth homelessness was enormous. 

Because of Lesley’s efforts, there will be fewer kids on the streets and a greater effort to make sure every kid matters. In preparation for this event, Lesley didn’t sleep and then spent the entire night making sure the participants were safe and taken care of, for a total of over 48hrs without sleep.  Throughout she never complained, didn’t ask for any special treatment, and kept the energy in the room high.  Right down to every detail, she had it covered.  Participants felt taken care of and reported back that it was an amazing experience.  This was due to Lesley’s leadership and dedication.

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