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London Tim Hortons franchises donate $33K to fund for those impacted by Old East Village explosion

Tim Hortons store owner Chris Sparling with Kate Graham, a volunteer with the Old East Village Community Association (left to right) and London Tim Hortons franchise owners donating money to the OEVCA fund to support those impacted by the London gas explosion.
Tim Hortons store owner Chris Sparling with Kate Graham, a volunteer with the Old East Village Community Association (left to right) and London Tim Hortons franchise owners donating money to the OEVCA fund to support those impacted by the London gas explosion. Sawyer Bogdan / 980 CFPL

With a donation from Tim Hortons franchises in London, the Old East Village Community Association fund for those impacted by a recent gas explosion in the neighbourhood has reached more than $150,000.

Twelve franchise owners with the help of Tims corporate office raised a combined total of $33,000 in the wake of the recent incident on Woodman Avenue in London’s Old East Village.

READ MORE: Emergency workers clear streets and sidewalks after London explosion

Chris Sparling is one Tims franchise owner whose location stayed open to provide shelter for those evacuated and coffee and food for volunteers and first responders.

Sparling said he is proud of his staff, who started helping people before he even knew what had happened.

“Everyone just jumped in right away to make sure we were there to help where we could and provide whatever we could to the first responders in the control centres and community centres,” he said.

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Sparling said all franchise owners stepped up to help, including the Tim Hortons corporate office, which matched all the funds raised by franchise owners.

He added that being a part of the community and helping out where they can is what Sparling’s businesses are all about.

Kate Graham, a volunteer with the Old East Village Community Association, said it’s been inspiring to see everyone who has stepped up to donate.

“This entire two-week experience has just been such a good news story for London. It’s a story of a community coming together to support one another. The Tim Hortons owners banding together to make a contribution is really inspiring,” Graham said.

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READ MORE: $50,000 raised for Londoners impacted by Old East Village explosion to be distributed, OEVCA says

Some of the funds have already been made available, but Graham said the rest of the money will be distributed on a needs basis to help with costs not covered by insurance.

Those wanting to help can still make donations to a Libro Credit Union account set up by the Old East Village Community Association and Life Spin.