Meet the Founder


Volunteering has always been a part of my life. My mother has been an Event Coordinator and volunteer for most of my life. Planning was in my blood. In my earth 20's, she began working at a rehabilitation centre for homeless families. While I have never been ignorant of the struggles that so many North Americans face, I had never done the financial math of how difficult it would be to start again as a single woman, with or without children.

"As a professional theater actor, making large financial contributions was unfortunately not possible. Not was a permanent position as a volunteer. So I began to ask myself, what can I do? What could I contribute that could truly help another person?"

The answer came while handing out soap samples at a trade show - one of the many jobs I took as a young actor. My boss let me keep the leftovers, and the idea sparked. The idea of a gift bag, filled with essential items, for good health and hygiene.

I began to make calls to other promotional firms, magazines and beauty companies, all of whom were inspired by the idea, and happy to donate. My friends and the theater community were also supportive, as this was an affordable way to give back to those who need it.

The first time I handed a HopeTote to a resident of a shelter in Toronto, I saw the importance and effect of this kind of project. Not only did it relieve a financial burden, on both the individual and the shelter, but it was a care package. from on woman to another, which said... you are important, you are special and you are loved.

HopeTotes is an ever growing organization. I am fortunate enough to have an incredible team of individuals and volunteers who have joined me on this venture.

We will continue to inspire each other and find new ways to help women across Canada feel beautiful, confident and cared for.

Heather McGuigan

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