jane and finch

Marginalized Toronto neighbourhood finds way to hack Amazon for donations

In the 2022 and Toronto-based version of the Robin Hood story, a local community centre is utilizing a never-before-done tech twist to raise donations for the community. 

The Jane/Finch Community and Family Centre represents and works on behalf of Toronto's marginalized Jane and Finch community. In their new campaign, "Bill it Bezos," the Jane/Finch Centre has found a loophole that allows Amazon Prime members to donate to their community. 

Amazon owns live streaming service Twitch, and every month, Prime users get a free $3.50 to give to their favourite verified streamer. By subscribing to the newly created Jane/Finch Centre Twitch account, you can help raise money for the community in a way that's 100 per cent funded by Amazon. 

The donation doesn't cost Prime users anything, and you'll have the chance to donate Amazon's, and Jeff Bezos' money right under his "billionaire nose, in a completely legal way." 

The team at Toronto-based consultancy Angry Butterfly came up with the concept of the campaign, in hopes of raising awareness and reaching a younger demographic. 

Executive Director at the Jane/Finch Centre Michelle Dagnino told blogTO that the donations will be used to fund the centre's various programs and services, including mental health support, settlement services, financial empowerment programming, and more. 

"Our programs are created in response to the systemic gaps and inequity of social services offered in the Jane-Finch community," Dagnino said. "Donations are imperative to the sustainability of our work, providing us with the much-needed funds to support our programming." 

She said the Jane/Finch Centre is not asking people to necessarily support Amazon or sign up for Amazon Prime, but instead, to target people who already have a subscription and ask them to use their free credits towards a local community organization. 

If viewers don't use their free subscription credits, the funds go unused, and then go right back to Amazon. 

"This is a bit of a way for us to turn the tables on a company that normally brings no benefits to local communities," Dagnino explained. 

For more information on the Jane/Finch Centre, visit their website, and you can subscribe to their verified Twitch account here

Lead photo by

Derek Flack

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