TOGETHER WE CAN DO SOMETHING INCREDIBLE THIS CHRISTMAS!
Every year at Commons we commit ourselves to take the generosity inspired by the Christmas story andpoint it at those we can help. This year our goal is to raise $50,000 to invest in four specific areas.
Thank you for considering how you can participate.
This year, we met the first recipients of our Commons Scholarship for young moms finishing High School and heading on to post-secondary studies. Louise Dean School, across the street from our Kensington Parish, works to ensure that young mothers are able to complete their high school with a combination of education and services partnered to help families thrive. Commons provides resources to the hot meal program, we supply pharmacy gift cards for mothers to ensure they can access prescription medications throughout the year and we have created a Commons Scholarship which takes graduating students through up to four years of post-secondary education. The first two recipients of our scholarship are both enrolled at the RIEL Institute which provides training programs with sensitivity to Indigenous cultural and spiritual needs. Certificate programs are available such as an Office Specialist Program, Aboriginal Youth Connections, and Aboriginal Family and Youth Support. Our Advent campaign this year will help to continue our ongoing partnership with Louise Dean and ensure that our scholarship recipients are able to continue their studies.
In both Kensington and Inglewood we have strong existing partnerships with local agencies working toward healthy, vibrant neighbourhoods. This Advent we are continuing those partnerships and adding Christmas hampers for families struggling in the current economic climate. In Inglewood 10 families will receive hampers through the Alexandra Centre and in Kensington another 20 families will receive hampers through Made by Momma. Both organizations have let us know that the need has outstripped last year considerably and we are jumping in to help ensure families are able to experience an unexpected Christmas.
With our ongoing partnerships in Kensington we are investing in Aurora on the Park where your generosity enables a First Nations Elder to regularly meet with and support the tenants of the accessible housing complex. Through Highbanks Society we are helping to provide specialized programming to young moms raising their children on their own. We are assisting Made by Momma to provide wholesome nourishment to mothers and young children facing adversity. And we are providing the resources for the Fresh Food Basket at Hillhurst Community Association to meet the needs of families through the winter months when the program is stretched to capacity. This year we are also adding supports through Horizon Housing which provide affordable, integrated, supportive homes to low income families and individuals with special needs in our neighbourhood.
In Inglewood this year we are providing new resources to the Jack Long Foundation which provides community based affordable housing for seniors and the Alexandra Centre which provides community supports throughout the year in Inglewood.
Refugee resettlement has become a significant part of our investment in peace over the past four years. Last year, we welcomed an Eritrean refugee family from Sudan and have worked to help this mother and her four children start a new life in Calgary after suffering incredible loss. Funds raised this year will help us prepare for the reunification of this family and their father who we have applied to bring to Canada to join them. We also have ongoing supports for a number of refugee families and you can get involved here.
In Zambia this year, between monthly sponsorships and one-time donations we were able to support 125 orphans and vulnerable children in the community of Kalende. We have a team traveling from Commons to Kalende in July 2020 to learn from and encourage the community. While the team will fund their own travel expenses, part of our Advent campaign will provide the resources for this year’s in-community project. You can find more information at www.commons.life
Finally, our Advent Campaign provides the resources that care for those in the Commons communities and neighbourhoods that need help each year. This takes the form of intervention when housing is at risk, grocery and food security for families and individuals needing support, along with financial counselling and crisis support where necessary. Often these stories are delicate and private but it is an honour for our community to help where we are invited and a significant part of our role in the neighbourhood.
TOTAL COMMITMENT $50,000
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In each of these ways, for those across the world and for those we sit across from at coffee shops, when we extend our grace beyond our immediate circle and toward those in need, we reflect the story of Jesus and the generosity he invites us to receive. Your gift means the world to someone.
ALL GIFTS GIVEN TO THE ADVENT CAMPAIGN WILL BE EARMARKED FOR THESE PROJECTS.
May you have a blessed Advent as we wait together for the Christ child to arrive.