Beachers Contributing to Our Community
The Beaches Sandbox was a dream of Jason Schuy and Paulette O'Leary. Their desire: to give back to the Beaches Community by creating a charitable centre that provides high-quality programs related to art, physical activity and fun. These programs would be tailored to families and people with special needs.
With the support of the Paul W. O'Leary Foundation, this dream has become a reality and we are thankful for the help of so many in the community that have contributed to making it possible.
Photo with the family - Payton, Paulette, Jason and Meghan (left to right)
Have you ever noticed how kids are drawn to a sandbox?
That intrinsic need to let their imagination run free, be creative and make carefree connections with others are exactly the reasons behind the name Beaches Sandbox.
As children, many happy hours are spent building castles with elaborate designs and as adults, the beach and the sand invoke a sense of calm - a place where all our stresses fade away and we can sit and clear our minds as we listen to the soothing sound of waves, embracing our inner child once again.
The Beaches Sandbox name reflects our connection to the community with its many beautiful beach areas, our commitment to providing quality activities which offer a perfect combination of creativity and relaxation and our inclusive programming that’s welcoming to all ages and abilities, just like a perfect spot in the sand!
"Let's have some fun! With 13+ years in the nonprofit and entertainment sectors, I have seen the positive benefits of social engagement, education and fun on the health of society.
From public events that bring people together for shared experiences to educational workshops that teach people new skills, impact hubs like Beaches Sandbox are a critical thread that weave together the different parts of our community and help us grow as individuals.
I am excited to make an impact in my neighbourhood, and to be a champion for smiling."
Senior Manager, Programming
"My passion for community engagement stems from my own upbringing in East York, where I participated in programs offered by various community centres. These experiences significantly shaped my identity, highlighting the transformative power of community involvement.
I've been involved in the planning and development of the Beaches Sandbox from its inception. Prior to my current role, I dedicated 12 years to being a childhood educator in schools and childcare centres in the Beaches and East York.
I firmly believe in the value of community centres as essential hubs that foster personal growth, connection, and empowerment for diverse communities."
Board of Directors
"I've been a Beacher for over 25 years and it's always been a dream to give back to the community I love so much.
Fun is so important in life. Like they say: if you can't have fun in life, what's the use? As a father of two, I see more than ever in my kids how it can fuel one's spirit.
I feel so honoured to be part of creating a special place, filled with joy and happiness. My hope is that it will raise the vibration of our community and ensure the Beaches is an even better place to live in the future."
"I loved growing up in a Toronto neighbourhood with a local community centre. It had kids to play with and affordable programming. I’m actually still friends with some of the people I met during those years. However, this isn’t an experience felt by all, which makes me so thrilled to part of an organization like the Beaches Sandbox. Those with different abilities have the opportunity to have enriching experiences.
My ‘day’ job is as Executive Director of Dream Community Foundation, a role that’s dedicated to improving the well-being of individuals, families and neighbourhoods; aligned with a focus on inclusive communities.
For the past 15 years, I’ve successfully lead corporate social responsibility portfolios in the financial and technology sector. Inspired by Jason & Paulette's vision, I’m looking forward to bringing this experience and supporting the growth opportunities for this unique organization."
"Throughout my career as a HR leader, I have been privileged to witness the incredible transformations that occur within inclusive environments. This experience has fueled my passion to create spaces that foster a deep sense of belonging and celebrate the unique strengths of each individual.
I am excited to bring my expertise to The Sandbox. By creating a place of inclusivity, people of all ages and abilities can participate in creative programs and unlock their potential, making a positive impact on the community at large.
Being an immigrant and a mother of two, I wholeheartedly understand the significance of community support in shaping lives. This drives my eagerness to dedicate myself to uplifting others. Together, we can build a dynamic and inclusive community where everyone is given the opportunity to thrive and fulfill their aspirations."
"I grew up in a rural town watching my father give back to the community. Whether it was volunteering or playing sports, Dad loved bringing fun and joy into everyday living; he was my hero.
Living this way, I knew I wanted to share this incredible gift with everyone I know and be an example for my two daughters who lived their whole lives here in the Beaches.
Living with abilities that are different than the typical person (having MS), I understand it's essential to have fun and live life to it's fullest. Disability actually created opportunity!
Living in the beaches for 30 years , it’s my awesome privilege to be able to create fun, inclusive experiences for all. I believe every person has something unique to offer. Great experiences happen when a community comes together, no matter what age or gift!”
"Growing up in a small town, I’ve experienced the positive impact that being part of an engaged and close knit community has on people of all ages.
Beaches Sandbox is a place that fosters connections, provides fun and accessible programming and helps to positively shape the Beaches community.
I’m excited to play a role in creating meaningful experiences for everyone who interacts with the Centre."
Secretary to the Board
"As a dedicated community advocate and resident of the Beaches neighborhood, it has been an honor to be a part of the team that has built such a warm and inclusive atmosphere at Beaches Sandbox.
With over 30 years of experience working for luxury hotel brands, I always valued the importance of creating lasting and meaningful memories for everyone who walks through the doors. By fostering acceptance, fun and accessibility Beaches Sandbox has helped create a stronger, more vibrant community for all."
"As a parent living in the Beaches neighborhood for the past 20 years, you know the challenges of finding high-quality inclusive programs in the community where kids of all abilities can just be themselves and have fun.
Witnessing the smiles and laughter of the children as they come through the Beaches Sandbox center is incredibly rewarding, knowing that the Sandbox is making a positive and lasting impact on their lives. The great thing about the Sandbox is that it also provides opportunities for seniors to have fun and learn new things too.
It’s exciting to be part of the passionate Beaches Sandbox team dedicated to helping out in the community. With over 25 years’ experience in finance in the software industry, it is refreshing to be involved at the Beaches Sandbox where even the numbers are fun! Thousands of smiles and still counting!!"