Metro Morning

Single mother slashed in the face, other east-end moms mobilize on Facebook to raise money and gifts

After a young mother in the east-end was slashed in the face by a complete stranger, a Facebook group of moms in the area mobilized to help.

More than $1,000 raised after post written on Facebook

Alicia Taylor has a baby and works two jobs. East-end mothers heard her story and decided to raise money for her after she was allegedly attacked. (Alicia Taylor)

It was just after 3 a.m. 

A young, single mother was walking on the north side of Danforth Avenue, just east of Pape Avenue, after a night out with friends before a complete stranger began to yell at her, then slashed her twice in the face with a knife, Toronto police say.

She fell backwards and blacked out, losing a litre of blood. The next thing 24-year-old Alicia Taylor remembers is waking up in a hospital bed.

Tiffanie Yarema, a member of the East Toronto Young Mothers Facebook group, heard about it first on the news and wanted to help. 

"My heart was breaking for her because I thought, you know, as a single parent ... there are probably so many times through her life that she feels that things are not going the way she wants them to and then she's out trying to have a nice time with her friends and she gets randomly attacked," she said Monday.

Yarema discovered Taylor has a five-month-old baby and is working two jobs to make ends meet. She works full-time for Canada Post, and also works as a bartender.

That's when she reached out to what she calls her "tribe," a Facebook group of 2,400 women she has never met. 

Toronto police say this 24-year-old single mother was slashed twice in the face and lost a litre of blood on June 25 in a random and unprovoked attack. (Alicia Taylor)
"One woman has quoted it as being our 21st century village. So I thought I'm going to post something about this. Maybe we could do something nice for her. I thought maybe we could make a basket or take her out for lunch or something like that ... and the response was crazy."

Treats, gift cards and money started pouring in. The group raised about $1,000 in value and finally got to meet Taylor on Sunday night.

"She was very overwhelmed by the support," Yarema told CBC Radio's Metro Morning.

"Being a single mother and young, you face harsh criticisms and judgments every single day. We wanted to meet with her so she knew that the moms all in the neighbourhood were supporting her."

'This is what we do'

Yarema said she wasn't surprised by the outpouring she received for the mother.

"This is what we do, like, on a daily basis. There could be a mom who's sick and she's stuck at home and people will be dropping off Gatorade on her porch."

This attack resonated with the young mothers, especially since police have not yet located the man responsible.

He was last seen fleeing westbound on Danforth Avenue, then northbound on Pape Avenue.

Police say the man is believed to be black and was last seen wearing a black hooded sweatshirt.