With the current lockdown in Toronto, accessories brand Zvelle had to close their recently opened shop in the city, but rather than dwell on the struggles of being an independent retailer, owner Elle AyoubZadeh is refocusing her energy back to those who matter most and giving away 28 pairs of shoes to Healthcare Workers – one for each day of the lockdown. We caught up with her to learn more!
Describe your charity/non-profit in a few sentences.
For the duration of the lockdown in Toronto, Zvelle is gifting one pair of shoes every day to a healthcare worker. For 28 Days, Zvelle is celebrating healthcare heroes by gifting one pair of shoes a day.
What problem does it aim to solve?
We’d like to bring some joy to our beautiful city right now and celebrating women who are dedicated frontline workers is one way to do that.
When did you start/join it?
We first started our Healthcare Heroes gifting campaign when the first COVID wave hit, and Canada and many countries in the world went into lockdown. We wanted to celebrate the sacrifices of our healthcare workers and lift their spirits. We decided that we had beautiful shoes and we can use them to remind healthcare workers of better days to come and send them a gift that they can cherish. We are proud to have sent over 400 shoes to healthcare workers in Canada and the United States this year. Our Toronto Healthcare Heroes Gifting campaign is a continuation of what we did earlier this year.
What made you want to get involved?
As a company, we have been philanthropic since day one and generosity is one of our brand values. We believe in doing what we can when we can; it was a simple decision to use our life’s work to bring joy to the world.
What was the situation like when you started?
In Toronto, overall, it’s a challenging time for businesses being closed and the rising COVID numbers putting pressure on the healthcare system. The mood is down, and we wanted to change this.
How has it changed since?
It’s been a joy to send out shoes to healthcare workers and seeing how happy it’s made them. We are so proud of this.
What more needs to be done?
We can all do what we can no matter how small we think our action or effort may be. Generosity is something we can all use right now, so send that email, text or make that call to let someone know you are thinking of them and vote with your dollars always.
How can our readers help?
Join us on social media and help us celebrate healthcare heroes in Toronto. Follow Zvelle and share our updates about the healthcare heroes we are celebrating each day and each week.
Do you have any events coming up?
We are going to have 4 new Zvelle In Conversation interviews coming up that can be watched on YouTube.
Where can we follow you?
PAY IT FORWARD: What is an awesome Toronto charity that you love?
I think there is not one choice this year. I am personally voting with my dollars this year and supporting local and independent businesses in our neighbourhood. At Zvelle, since the start of the pandemic, we have done everything we can to support our independent and family-owned suppliers who are counting on us to pay their employees and support their families.