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Reid Stinson, one of the founders of Board in the House, is photographed on Jan 6 2021. The company offers various cheese and meat boards with a percentage of proceeds of sales donated to CAMH.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

The organizers: Jesse Herman, Reid Stinson

The pitch: Creating Board in the House

The cause: Raising money for Toronto’s CAMH

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A couple of years ago Reid Stinson and his friend Jesse Herman paired their interests in wine and cheese, and started organizing tasting events for colleagues at work.

The gatherings were a hobby, but when the pandemic hit they decided to do something on a larger scale for charity.

They organized “Board in the House,” a non-profit venture that offers wine and cheese kits. Each kit sells for up to $85 and contains a bottle of wine, a selection of meat and cheese, crackers, jelly and a game. All profits go to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health’s Gift of Light program, which encourages donors to buy items for patients ranging from a pair of socks to pet therapy and books.

“We know people are literally bored in the house and we wanted to bring an experience into their homes that they can feel good about but at the end of the day, and most importantly, supports CAMH,” said Mr. Stinson, who works with Mr. Herman at XMC, a marketing agency in Toronto. “We really think that mental health is so topical right now.”

At first the duo figured they’d sell a few kits to family and friends. But word spread and their list of clients quickly grew. They’ve now sold more than 360 Board in the House packs since launching in November and raised more than $5,000 for CAMH. A group of friends — Bekki Cait, Bennett Swan, Darci Jones and Amy Jenkins — have also volunteered their time to help.

The group has launched four kits so far and they plan to come up with themed packages for Valentine’s Day and other occasions. They also hope to raise twice as much for CAMH this year.

“I think we can grow off this past year and improve and make it better, and provide more of a positive impact for CAMH in 2021,” Mr. Stinson said.

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