This year, the holiday season will look quite different. As we prepare to celebrate safely at home, I encourage everyone to love thy neighbour and support those in need in our community.
Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to meet with incredible local organizations that provide physical, spiritual and mental health supports to our community’s most vulnerable.
Harvest Manitoba, formerly Winnipeg Harvest, will prepare thousands of hampers to be distributed across Manitoba. Harvest has seen a dramatic 30 per cent increase in the number of people needing food hampers since the pandemic economic lockdowns began. It quickly adapted its efforts and has been hard at work ensuring food hampers are delivered safely.
At a recent visit to Siloam Mission, I toured the newly opened Buhler Centre that supports those suffering from homelessness. This addition to the mission provides room for more beds, an expanded health centre, and more space for mental health, employment readiness and spiritual care supports.
During Thanksgiving weekend in October, I had the opportunity to volunteer at Union Gospel Mission as it hosted a socially distanced Thanksgiving dinner for guests at the mission. As the colder months approach, Union Gospel Mission is sharing sleeping bags, winter coats and gloves, hand warmers, toques and boots, with those in need.
I saw first-hand the dedication of staff and volunteers at Gwen Secter Creative Living Centre at Syd Glow Place, who have found innovative ways to continue engaging seniors facing extreme isolation because of the pandemic. They have created a meal program that delivers hundreds of hot meals to seniors in need in Winnipeg. They also shifted their programming online to help seniors stay connected.
Two more incredible organizations I have had the privilege of touring and learning about, are the Knowles Centre and Marymound, which are located right in Kildonan-St. Paul. These organizations provide youth a safe place to live with 24-hour professional support that provides them with opportunities to overcome unfortunate challenges they have faced. The young people gain skills for independence and a sense of belonging, while taking part in the educational and therapy programs offered.
I am proud to represent such a generous community in Kildonan-St. Paul. Together, we can help each other find strength and hope as we navigate this challenging time and do our part to support these organizations that are making a difference in our community.
Merry Christmas and happy holidays.
Kildonan-St. Paul constituency report
Raquel Dancho is the Conservative MP for Kildonan-St. Paul.