2020 has been a year like no other; the word “unprecedented” has been a part of our lives and our conversations, from the start of the year until these last few days. We send our condolences and sympathy to those who have lost a loved one to the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re also thinking of those who have been indirectly hit by the pandemic: those who had their work hours reduced; those who lost their jobs; those who had to close their business; the newly arrived immigrants who struggled to find their first job; the families who can’t see each other due to travel restrictions and public health orders – we’re keeping you in our thoughts.
Despite all the “unprecedented” changes, difficulties, and challenges of this pandemic, the Immigrant Centre team was lucky to find a silver lining of this pandemic: the support of one another. At the Immigrant Centre, we have lots to be thankful for:
- Our funders continued to support the Immigrant Centre and its programs, despite the financial hardship brought by the pandemic. We can’t thank them enough for their continued support; it is because of them that we were able to continue helping newcomers succeed through personalized settlement plans and community partnerships, amid a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic. Our sincere gratitude to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, the Manitoba Government, the City of Winnipeg, United Way Winnipeg, The Winnipeg Foundation, Westoba Credit Union, Share our Strength, Wawanesa Insurance, RBC, Bell MTS, and FoodRescue.ca.
- Our Board of Directors stood by our centre and staff throughout the pandemic, providing continued support and leadership. Additionally, they generously donated on various occasions to help us buy plexiglass barrier shields for our front-line staff. We sincerely thank you for your support, expertise, and generosity.
- Like everyone else around the world, we suddenly found ourselves in need of PPE including face masks, hand sanitizer, and sanitizer dispensers. We wouldn’t have been able to meet these needs without the generous donations of C. F. Enterprises (hand sanitizer dispenser); United Way Winnipeg and Patent 5 Distillery (hand sanitizer); and, Face Masks Manitoba and Mennonite Central Committee (reusable face masks).
- Finally, our biggest “thank you” goes out to the Immigrant Centre staff. Each of them went above and beyond to provide virtual and remote services, in addition to in-person services. But, that’s not all; we have endless examples of the kindness that our staff showed one another, in helping us make it through the pandemic. From teaching each other how to use Zoom and other platforms, to daily check-ins and updates, to virtual “exercise classes” to help colleagues stay healthy – all attest to our team being a big family, taking care of each other.
We wish happy and healthy holidays to all of our funders, partners, volunteers, Board members, staff, clients, and friends, and the very best for the New Year 2021!