A Women’s Place: Supporting Women in Extraordinary Circumstances


A women’s organization that offers practical and emotional support through programs that enable women to take greater control over their lives.

Gift the Code 2017 is a remarkable opportunity for Sistering to work with leading edge digital problem solvers to help the team better serve our community – participants, supporters, volunteers and donors – and realize our Vision. We are very excited and grateful.


Sistering’s vision is a world where all women, in all our diversity, are safe, respected, valued, treated with dignity and afforded equitable opportunities to thrive and participate in inclusive communities. Adapting to new technologies is the cornerstone of our 2017-2020 Strategic Plan, the tenets of which include:

  • Developing partnerships and collaborations to enable the achievements of our goals
  • Evolving and optimizing series to ensure impactful responses to women’s needs
  • Influencing social and systemic change to improve the lives of vulnerable women

Sistering’s programs include a low-barrier 24/7 Drop In, an Outreach Drop In in Parkdale, Housing and Case Support, Harm Reduction, Peer Outreach, Employment Support, Inspirations Studio and Spun Studio social enterprises, and individual and systemic advocacy. Through a number of partnerships, Sistering’s 24/7 Drop In provides on-site primary healthcare that includes a primary health clinic staffed with three family doctors and three psychiatrists, which is open three days a week with evening support; and a trauma-informed psychotherapist who offers counselling two days a week. At the Drop In, participants also have access to a settlement worker and an immigration lawyer.

Challenge Statements

Create a solution that enables interested volunteers to get a realistic understanding of what Sistering’s volunteering opportunities entail.

Sistering works with clients who are in the midst of their recovery journey. As such, there are many situations that can be intense for staff and volunteers, and require a certain level of training for workers to be adequately prepared. In order to ensure that the investment in training volunteers is worthwhile, it is important that potential volunteers have a thorough understanding of what the opportunities will entail. This solution will give potential volunteers that understanding.

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Create a solution that enables the public to donate physical items to Sistering.

There are many needs for physical items among the clients that Sistering serves, and there are many eager donors who want to donate needed items. The challenge can be making a match between what is donated and what donations are needed. This solution will improve the understanding of what items are needed, and allow donors to donate those items easily.

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Create a solution that enables Sistering to display upcoming events and current volunteer opportunities to interested volunteers.

There are many existing and prospective volunteers who reach out to Sistering inquiring about how they can be involved and support the work that Sistering is doing in Toronto. It takes valuable time for Sistering staff to share all the upcoming events and current volunteer opportunities with each interested volunteer. This solution will present a current overview of upcoming events and volunteer opportunities. Interested volunteers can then browse at their convenience to learn about the opportunities, and the required skills and training.

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Design a solution that enables Sistering to digitize the sign-up process for volunteers to work their events and other volunteer opportunities.

There are many volunteers who help make the work of Sistering possible. Coordinating volunteers between all the areas where work is needed and when volunteers with the necessary skills and training are available can be a very time-consuming process. This solution will automate the process of matching qualified and available volunteers with time slots and opportunities that are available.

Download challenge resources

Sistering Representative

Charlotte Empey, Community Liaison

Charlotte is currently working as Unit Director, Community Liaison. She has a long history in senior publishing roles, most recently as Editor-in-Chief of Metro English Canada. Through her work, she helps define communications goals and objectives and identifies the audience psychographic – the key to understanding who they are and what kind of stories will move them most. She also develops a strategic plan and manages a team of cross-platform professionals to create stories that cut through the clutter and capture hearts, minds and the collective imagination.

Capital One Charity Champion

Jean Stewart, Senior Software Engineer

I have extensive professional experience in the development cycle of software and a strong handle in translating business requirements into technical design. As a Developer, I am proficient in Java, database, back-end service architecture and implementation.

Capital One Charity Champion

Mahtab Sabet, Senior Software Engineer

I am a Full-Stack Developer at Capital One, working primarily with Java, C# and JavaScript, as well as Angular and React for front-end work. Outside of work, I’m a passionate game developer, working with C# in Unity.