City's grassroots heroes honoured
They make non-profit groups work Grants foster efforts to improve city
Nobody really noticed when Francis Soropia started visiting other transgender and transsexual people at home to talk about HIV/AIDS or when she stood before a Catholic women's group, answering their tough questions about homosexuality. No one saw that she persuaded 30 Asian transgender and transsexual people to come to the latest HIV/AIDS drop-in at Asian Community AIDS Services.
But that all ends tonight when the Toronto Community Foundation honours Soropia, along with six others who are active in the city's grassroots non-profit organizations, with its first annual Vital People grant. A cheque for up to $5,000 that will go toward developing their leadership and management skills and — perhaps most important — will recognize the efforts they've all been doing.
"This is what I need to do, help others," said Soropia, 40, who had surgery to change from a man into a woman several years ago.
These seven people find the money to pay the bills. They show up early. They go home late. They lie awake at night, hatching plans and solving problems.