what we do?

Together We Stand Foundation is a nationally registered organization created by proud Canadians Rick and Lillian Ekstein. Their efforts began in 2017, when the Eksteins donated 1,500, $50 prepaid visa gift cards to military families with loved ones deployed overseas. This gesture was to thank them for their dedication and sacrifices. Given the positive reaction to this gesture, the Eksteins formed Together We Stand to annually honour and recognize Canadian troops and their families –particularly while separated during the holiday season.

To show appreciation in 2018, 2,550 Family Gift Boxes containing gift cards and coupons from a variety of corporate and private donors were distributed to each military family with a loved one deployed abroad.

The concept of Together We Stand is the creation of Rick and Lillian Ekstein of Thornhill, ON. Both are proud first- generation Canadians whose families were victims of the Holocaust. The Eksteins are passionate in their belief that Canada is the best country in the world and are deeply appreciative of the sacrifices members of the military make to preserve our freedom.

To show their appreciation, Rick and Lillian wanted to do something meaningful to thank our Canadian troops. Understanding the importance of family and the emotional strain on spouses and children when troops are deployed, they decided the best way to say thank you was to do something special for the “behind the scenes heroes” – the family members who find themselves separated from their loved ones during the holiday season.

Together We Stand is proud to work in partnership with the Department of National Defense and Support Our Troops. Learn more.