The donors: David Molyneux and Hugh Latif
The gift: Bringing music and worship to homeless people
The cause: The Followers Mission in Toronto
Hugh Latif has been playing the guitar for more than 40 years as a hobby and he used to jam for fun with his friend, David Molyneux.
After one session, Mr. Molyneux asked if Mr. Latif would join him in playing music at a weekly men's group meeting at the Followers Mission church. The church is in a rough part of Toronto's downtown and it reaches out to homeless people, prostitutes and drug addicts. "I went once on a Thursday evening for a couple of hours and I got hooked on it," said Mr. Latif, a management consultant and author.
That was three years ago and ever since, Mr. Latfi and Mr. Molyneux, who is a Toronto-based architect, have been singing and worshiping with a group of men at the church Thursday nights. They play gospel music, serve refreshments and offer words of hope. Sometimes only a handful of men show up and their problems can seem overwhelming. But over the years, Mr. Latif says he has seen people turn their lives around. "You feel good about saving people from where they were, because they are caught into a net and they can't get out of it," he said. "When they see just brotherly love and singing, they get encouraged."