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John Amendola

2014 Vaughan

“I was destined to give because many people gave.”

John Amendola is a first generation Canadian from a Southern Italian family and was born and raised in Oshawa. As an only child of a single mother, life wasn’t easy. On occasion, some organizations offered assistance and as a result he learned humility and responsibility at a young age. Although his mother had some health problems as well, her resilience was a great example for him.

John moved to Toronto at the age of 21, worked at Auto Trader and then The Toronto Sun. There, he was involved with Sheena’s Place and worked with high profile entrepreneurs. Seeing them find fulfillment in giving inspired him to aspire to do the same. Now, at 35 years old, John is the owner of five Snapd newspaper franchises in different cities, focusing on community based advertising, public relations, marketing and networking initiatives.

“Generous people helped me and my mom. I want to give back and not always just with money, but my time as well. A Combination of that and also seeing people I looked up to, people who started their business out of their garage and are now multi millionaires, give back. This caused me to decide that if I am to have any degree of success, I need to give back.”

John believes that giving back involves more than just writing cheques, it is giving your time and energy.

“If I believe in a cause, I will go above and beyond, but there has to be meaning.”

Four years ago, John wanted to do more than small gestures of giving. He attended the Hospice Vaughan AGM and learned more about the organization. John was a board member of Hospice Vaughan for the first year. Once he realized what Hospice did in helping people deal with death and bereavement, he jumped in with both feet —particularly after listening to the stories of how Hospice has touched lives and how those who have benefitted from the counselling were given a new lease on life.

John saw the evidence of how bereavement counselling benefited his own grandmother after the loss of her husband. Counselling and support can be life changing and many that benefit maintain that Hospice saved their lives in helping them to carry on. To John, this is the most rewarding part.

John has now served as the organization’s president for the last three years and hopes to serve another term. What started out as a board meeting once a month has grown to be about 20 hours a month.

“My portrait was taken at the Hospice Building because of my commitment and passion for Hospice Vaughan. I learned humility because I had so much to learn. My

wife will tell you that my involvement with Hospice has been one of the important underlying factors that has contributed to my success in the last decade. It has taught me a lot about life, how the world works and not to mention the business aspect of it”

What started as a belief in an entrepreneur's responsibility to give back, ended up being a hands on experience and such an important part of John’s life. His ultimate goal is to bring a residential hospice the City of Vaughan.

“It comes down to seeing and hearing that it actually does work! My time and energy is worth it.”

John set out on a mission to educate the public about the essential services provided by Hospice. It is commonly thought that Hospice is limited to Palliative care, but people are often not aware of the other services provided by Hospice. In York Region, Hospice also focuses on grief and bereavement counselling and in home care. They offer spousal, child, seniors and outreach support programs. Registered Nurses lend a hand to family members who are caregivers.

Through Snapd, John has also found a vehicle to showcase how generous the communities he’s embedded in truly are. John’s professional and personal lives have merged, in terms of community service. His business venture allows him to inspire communities to make a positive difference in the lives of those around him.


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