Using art-based projects can be a powerful way of bringing a community together to help others, and to raise awareness of the challenges people in our city face when it comes to hunger. That’s what we aimed to achieve with our neighbours when we started DailyFlag for DailyBread, a month-long community art project. Neighbours in The Beach designed, made and displayed one flag each on their front lawn. Unveiled daily in our neighbourhood and on our website: www.dailyflagfordailybread.wordpress.com, each flag was then auctioned off online to the highest bidder from December 1st until January 12th.
Inspired by a neighbourhood “advent windows” project held in our old neighbourhood in London (UK), we wanted to bring a similar tradition to our new neighbourhood in Toronto (Canada). Three years ago, with the help of some talented friends, we made numbered paper flags that we stuck on poles on our front lawn each day from December 1st to 25th and then published photos of them on our Facebook pages. Friends and family from around the world followed our little project and started asking to buy them. We decided to offer them to the highest bidder and donate the money to Daily Bread Food Bank. We sold off about half the flags and raised $600.
By 2011, it was an official fundraising event that we called DailyFlag for DailyBread and the project was a terrific success. We asked 24 other houses on our street to take part and raised over $5,500 and over 700 pounds of food that included flag auction sales, donations from other neighbours and local businesses and students from Williamson Road Junior Public School.
This year we’re doing it all again, and we’ve set a goal of $7,500. Thirty-two houses in The Beach will creating and auctioning off flags. You can start bidding online at www.dailyflagfordailybread.wordpress.com from December 1st to January 12. Come down to The Beach to see the flags up close from December 1st to January 12th on Leuty and Violet Avenues.
– Benedict Hilliard & Michelynn Laflèche, DailyFlag for Daily Bread organizers and flag makers.