When working at Toronto’s Daily Bread Food Bank, I became aware that too many immigrants were using foodbanks despite having education, training and experience that meant they could contribute to a better Canada. I also realized that Canadian food bank staples like macaroni and cheese were foreign to immigrants who required culturally appropriate foods.

Day 9 of the 12 Days for Good: HOSPITALITY 12 days 2013

Today’s the ninth day of the 12 Days for Good coordinated as a pay it forward campaign by the House of Friendship. On Twitter? Follow all the goodness by following #12daysforgood and contribute your own good deeds too!

Today’s theme is “Hospitality” which is described as to welcome warmly and with kindness and generosity all who enter our door and are new to our community; to share the gifts of our table.

That description made me think of people who are not only new to our community but new to our country.

Thanks for showing hospitality to immigrants

My experience in Toronto made a lasting impact on me. Back in Waterloo Region and working at the YMCA, I felt a strong affinity for the work of  YMCA Immigrant Services.  I understood how important their work was in helping get newcomers to Canada settled, oriented and working–both to the brave people who moved their life here and the community they made stronger. The many volunteers who helped that process impressed me.

For refugees who are forced to flee their homeland, Reception House Waterloo Region is normally their first stop when they arrive here. They provide temporary accommodation and help orient government sponsored refugees to their new life here including finding long term accommodation.

The Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre also plays a critical role in settling immigrants and helping them to adapt and prosper. It also helps new Canadians communicate with their community through providing language services and spreading cultural awareness through its Multicultural Festival.

I know there are also a number of other organizations that play roles in helping immigrants too–but I’m afraid I can’t mention them all.

Thank you!

Thank you to everyone involved with the good work of these organizations! Whether staff, volunteers or donors, you play a critical role in building a healthy community.

You’re living the 12 Days for Good themes–not only hospitality but equality, family, nutritionfellowship, health, peace, inclusion, togetherness and tomorrow’s theme of acceptance/tolerance. We appreciate all that you to to weave a tapestry that enriches our community.



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