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August 1, 2002
WYD blessings continue to touch community
Emergency Medical Services - The spirit of World Youth Day has extended beyond
the Papal visit and will reach the heart of the City's less fortunate.
Toronto's homeless will share in the generosity of a Toronto company that has
donated its services to clean more than 640 sleeping bags left behind by World
Youth Day pilgrims.

After the Papal Mass last Sunday, Toronto EMS paramedics noticed a large number
of sleeping bags abandoned at Downsview Park and took it upon themselves to
collect them, have them cleaned and distribute them to the homeless.

John Thompson of The Event Group heard about the issue and contacted Mark
Halberstadt of Faster Linen Services Ltd., who volunteered to clean the
sleeping bags. The sleeping bags will then be donated to Street Help, an
organization run by Na-Me-Res native men's shelter, which will distribute them
to the homeless.

"I was so impressed by the outpouring of support from the citizens of Toronto,
some offering to wash the sleeping bags in their own machines at home," said
Garrie Wright, Toronto EMS supervisor. "We were really happy when this company
offered to clean them at its own expense. And our paramedics deserve a lot of
credit for taking this initiative after a long, hot weekend taking care of
people at Downsview."

The sleeping bags will be presented to Street Help by Toronto EMS paramedics,
along with Mark Halberstadt of Faster Linen Services, at 10 a.m. on Friday,
August 2, at Faster Linen Services Ltd., 89 Torlake Cres., Etobicoke.

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