Who We Are

Engage and Change is a charity that was created to foster good citizenship and encourage healthy communities by giving back. Engage and Change gives people and companies the opportunities to do hands on group volunteer projects that assemble and build kits to assist in the alleviation of poverty. These kits are then distributed to the local communities through frontline social service agencies and homeless shelters directly to those in need.



Our Mission

To assist those in need in our communities by promoting, identifying, and developing partnerships between individuals, for-profit, and not-for-profit organizations. We will stand out from other charitable organizations by designing events that will engage individuals, who will contribute their time, and businesses who will contribute money and product. They will assemble kits containing supplies for everyday survival that will be distributed, through not-for-profit organizations, to those who need them. We will inspire people and businesses to engage in a hands-on experience with a tangible outcome that will change the daily lives of people in our communities.


Board of Directors



Jody Steinhauer

Founder of Engage and Change & President and CBO of Bargains Group


As President and CBO (Chief Bargain Officer) of The Bargains Group, Jody Steinhauer has mobilized her award winning discount wholesale and promotional products company to revolutionize the business landscape.

Pioneering her belief of “giving back makes good business sense”, Jody Steinhauer uses her network of resources and leveraged buying power to aid every company and not for profit agency that she touches to maximize their buying dollar. She is also often sought out for speaking engagements due to her 30 years of successful entrepreneurial experience, and has been featured in various media outlets, and is an official Huffington Post blogger.

A tireless not for profit advocate, Jody is the founder of Project Winter Survival and Project Water, two annual initiatives that help thousands of homeless throughout Toronto. Jody and the Bargains Group also supply hundreds of similar projects across Canada.

“Engage and Change” is Jody’s most recent focus which aims to bridge the gap that exists between the growing need for resources in Canada’s social sector and the abundance of this country’s intellectual capital that remains heavily untapped. This initiative will engage and enable citizens of all ages to donate their time to their local community primarily through nationwide integration in school curriculums and sponsored group engagement events.

Jody’s passion for helping others has expanded to include a social enterprise wing: Kits for a Cause. Inspired by Engage and Change’s signature events, with a focus on social impact, Jody has built a model for companies to support their local community. Kits for a Cause provides turn-key solutions for businesses to engage their employees while solving local community services’ needs for resources. Her model of “brokering goodness” has worked with some of the top industry leaders in both the corporate and philanthropic spheres.

Jody’s achievements include:  Rotman Canadian Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Canada’s Top 40 Under 40, Toronto Board of Trade-Business Excellence Award, Kaufman Community Award, FLARE Magazine Volunteer of the Year-two time finalist, PPPC Award for Humanitarian of the Year, Women of Influence Local Hero Award, Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Culture Award-two time finalist, Canada’s Profit W100 Recipient, and recipient of the TD Paul Croutch Award.




Rhonda Best

Secretary-Treasurer, Engage and Change & Retired Partner, KPMG Enterprise


As a Partner in KPMG LLP’s private enterprise group, Rhonda provides business advisory services, including audit and tax, to privately owned companies in the real estate and consumer market sectors and not-for-profit corporations.

During her career, Rhonda has been a Human Resource partner and is currently the Senior People Leader in the GTA Enterprise practice. As the Senior People Leader, Rhonda is involved in policy and strategic decisions, recruiting, performance management and pay planning. Rhonda has practiced in several offices having started in downtown Toronto, Yonge/St. Clair, Vaughan and currently North York.

Recognized for Community Leadership by KPMG LLP in 2014, Rhonda has been involved with Engage and Change from its inception and is currently the Secretary-Treasurer of its Board of Directors. Passionate about this grass roots organization, she has recruited KPMG staff annually to work on Engage and Change’s initiatives, Project Winter Survival and Project Water. The KPMG team is very competitive and she works hard alongside her colleagues to get the job done!



Sonia Vaknin

Director of Tax, HS & Partners LLP


Ms. Vaknin is a Lawyer and Tax Specialist with a business degree from York University and law degree from University of Western Ontario. She is the Director of Tax at HS & Partners LLP Chartered Professional Accountants; and owner of Vaknin Law Professional Corporation. Sonia provides strategic business advisory services to entrepreneurial clients. Sonia’s areas of expertise include Business Succession and Estate Planning, Management Consulting and Restructuring, Mergers and Acquisitions. Sonia has appeared on T.V. business talk shows and has been a keynote and/or guest speaker at multiple events on various business and tax topics. Sonia is also President of Charger Foundation (dedicated to improving the lives of underprivileged children); and sits on the board of the national charity, Engage & Change (facilitating corporate opportunities to give back to their communities and assist in the alleviation of poverty). Sonia is active in many philanthropic endeavours, including volunteering in a college mentorship program for business and accounting students.



Sue Mercer

Event Manager, Engage and Change & Founder, Step In Marketing & Event Solutions


A solutions-driven Senior Strategist with cross-functional expertise in Marketing, Event Planning and General Business Management and a unique ability to understand brand challenges and solutions from both a client and agency perspective. Clients trust her – not only because she has many years of proven brand expertise but also because she has been a client herself. Recognized for innovative solutions and flawless execution, Sue approaches everything she does with unmatched enthusiasm and dedication.

While by no means her only interest, Sue is a lifelong foodie and culinary ambassador. Her commitment to the food industry was more than just a happy accident as she, in fact, grew up in the restaurant business. She’s served customers, washed dishes, cleaned the flat-top and peeled what felt like a million apples for her Mom’s deep-dish apple pie, a customer favourite at her parent’s central Ontario based diner and banquet hall. When people tell you that the food industry gets in your blood, it’s absolutely true!

Her Mom also instilled in Sue a need to be kind to others, which was reinforced every year during the “Martin Family Orphan Christmas”, when Mom and Dad would invite everyone they knew who would be alone during the holidays to share a feast on Christmas Day! As a result, Sue grew up dedicated to giving back and has been involved in many charitable causes including:

Chair of a Corporate United Way Program

Wish Grantor for the Make-a-Wish Foundation

Volunteer for Easter Seals, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Heart & Stroke Foundation,

Daily Bread and Second Harvest Food Banks

and now ….

Engage and Change!

As a natural collaborator, Sue is passionate about human dynamics and the synergies associated with bringing people together to think, build, innovate and execute with excellence. She is equally adept at both the creative and analytical sides of brand communication strategy and skilled in leveraging relationships and partnerships to maximize synergies.


Rob Hoosein

Marketing Consultant, Engage and Change and Founder, Elixir Marketing

As a founder and principal of Elixir Marketing, a multi-award winning agency, Rob Hoosein has been a leader in the marketing communications industry for more than twenty years.  Rob’s passion is to hone in on what makes people interested in a product or service and focusing on that, create and implement great ideas to help his clients break away from the pack and stand out in a fiercely competitive market. 

Rob is bringing his marketing and social media skills to Engage and Change to spread awareness of the homelessness issue in southwestern Ontario and to expand our donor base. Since October 2017, Rob has been an active participant of the board of directors of Entrepreneurs’ Organization (Toronto), the only global organization providing entrepreneurs with peer-to-peer learning and connections to experts. 

Rob has also volunteered at Eden Food for Change.  Rob loves life and believes that we can all make a difference in each other’s lives.  Rob is a family man with wife Francoise, their children Kyle and Mackenzie, and their dogs, Storm and Isis who bring joy to his life.