Why We Give

We are committed to making a difference in young people’s lives. To achieve this, we collaborate with charitable partners who support those experiencing mental health issues and homelessness, creating healthier and stronger communities together.

Studio 180 Theatre

Looking Toward a Brighter Future

We believe that everyone has the right to positive mental wellness and access to safe housing. To make this a reality, we nurture collaborative relationships with our community and charitable partners – our AMDF Family – approaching youth mental health and youth homelessness with effective solutions and compassionate care. Focusing on early intervention and prevention, our goal is to create personalized, community-focused, and sector-wide transformations that eliminate barriers for young people across Ontario to achieve successful and healthy lives.

“We started AMDF at our kitchen table in 2002 with the purpose of helping others, making a meaningful difference. It’s been truly heartening to see AMDF grow over the years developing strong relationships with our charitable partners. Our goal is to help create sustainable change through active collaboration that will have a lasting positive social impact.”

– Aubrey and Marla Dan
Who We Are

Our Story

The 2020s

  • COVID-19 inspires AMDF to expand and introduce our first open call for submissions
  • AMDF’s staff doubles in size and charitable gifts increase by over 200%
  • 2022: AMDF celebrates 20 years of giving!
  • 2024: AMDF introduces new ways of giving through Nurture, Inspire, & Transform Grants

The 2010s

  • AMDF’s philanthropy evolves to support access to education, healthcare, and the arts, including endowments to Canadian Hadassah-WIZO, Queen’s University, and Tel Aviv University
  • 2016: Alyse Bernbaum becomes AMDF Executive Director
  • AMDF prioritizes funding for Youth Mental Health & Youth Homelessness
  • 2018: AMDF gives its first Youth Mental Health gift to Stella’s Place
  • 2019: AMDF gives its first Youth Homelessness gift to Covenant House

The 2000s

  • 2002: AMDF is founded by Aubrey & Marla Dan
  • Aubrey & Marla focus on major gifts and endowments
  • 2003: The first endowment in honour of Marla’s father is given to the Reuben Cipin Healthy Living Community, Baycrest Centre Foundation
  • 2006: Major gift in memory of Aubrey’s mother is given to the Judy Dan Research & Treatment Centre, Ontario Wound Care Inc.
  • Other endowments and major gifts are given to Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and Western University

Our Impact in 2023:

39
Youth Mental Health programs
12
Youth Homelessness programs
14
Endowments, and Heart Gifts