This year, the focus of the Outreach Committee was to build on what we started last year. Focusing on our key themes, we continued our efforts in the areas of Poverty Reduction and Welcoming New Immigrants.
Our partnership with the Teesdale Food Bank continued. During COVID, the need has been greater in our neighborhood, making the work of the food bank even more critical. Although we were not able to make regular monthly contributions, we raised money for the foodbank during Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Our congregation members gave generously towards special food items, as well as Thanksgiving and Christmas meals, which supported Teesdale’s work during those special festive occasions.
During Christmas, we sponsored a family of a single mother and two daughters and gave them Christmas gifts of winter jackets, hats, mitts, toys, and grocery gift cards. We did this in partnership with Holiday Helpers.
In the spring of 2020, we also participated in the Diocese of Toronto’s fundraising drive for FaithWorks, which is the Diocese’s wing for charitable programs. FaithWorks feeds, shelters, nurtures and befriends over 20,000 people in our communities and around the world every year.
Bede’s Buddy Program:
Last year we kicked off the Bede’s Buddy program where our members have the chance to be a “buddy” to a new immigrant individual/family. The goal of this program is for us to help newcomers settle down and support them in their first few weeks in a new country. We are partnering with the Local Immigration Partnership (LIP) of Scarborough in this initiative.
This year we completed the design of the program, the promotional material, and the documentation required to start offering the program through LIP’s agencies who would refer their clients to us.
We also completed an orientation program for 12 congregation members who have volunteered to be Bede’s Buddies.
Unfortunately, because of COVID-19 we have not been able to make faster progress in connecting with new immigrant families. We are continuing to do all the preparatory work required so we are fully ready when COVID-19 is behind us. Many thanks to Pastor Jennifer Schick, the Outreach Committee, and all members that supported this ministry through their prayers, encouragement, time, and resources.