Reflection – Bike & Bites, 23 September
By Rahul Rai
On Sunday, September 23rd, the Rotaract Toronto team met up in beautiful downtown Toronto united for the purpose of raising money for the Toronto Foundation for Student Success. Their mission is to enable children to learn by removing physical and social barriers and providing nourishment to them. By providing food, medical care, emergency funds and after school programs for children in need, the TFSS helps them succeed in school and in out of school endeavors.
The team met close to lakeshore to start the bike ride to Sir Casimir Gzowski Park. Over this half hour bike ride we got reacquainted with wonderful downtown Toronto on a warm summer day. The Lakeshore bike path in Toronto is a great mix of modern roadways and park areas. When we arrived at the park we gathered around with some food and engaged in team building activities like spike ball and volleyball. We reacquainted ourselves with existing members and welcomed new ones. We discussed the importance of coming together for the community.
The Bike and Bites was a roaring success because it was extremely well planned by the organizing team, attracted several interested members, was a fulfilling experience for all who participated and had community uplift and support at its heart. It was the kind of creatively planned event that is incentive but still has more to offer.
Reflection - Fort York Food Bank, 29 September
By Buse Tuncel
I joined Rotaract Club in August 2019. During my second meeting, I saw the CSC opportunity with foodbank and immediately sent an email to Rodayna.
On September 29th, Kimberly, Muna, Rodayna, Gina and I met at Fort York Food Bank at 8:30. The morning crew was in charge of food prep and cooking and afternoon shift was in charge of serving and cleaning up. That day, we had an amazing companion with us; who is a Rotarian and our head chef: Errol! He immediately showed us where things are and formed smaller groups with different tasks. Some of us were gathering the ingredients and others were chopping vegetables. I started with onions (it was quite a challenge to not cry at 8:30am☺). Errol was not only volunteering there with us, but also was teaching us useful kitchen skills and giving useful tips on how to make things faster and tastier. After prepping the ingredients, I quickly moved to meal prepping part. “You are in charge of pasta and chicken nuggets”, Errol said to me. After cooking approximately 6 boxes of chicken nuggets and 8 bags of pasta; my task for meal prepping was complete. It is serving time!
I immediately moved to serving section to serve coffee and tea. As I was serving, I made couple of friends along the way including Maria from Portugal who came to Canada 45 years ago. “You look Portuguese” she said to me. I told her that I was not and encouraged to take another guess. She couldn’t guess my background correctly but she shared her story as an immigrant here and taught me life lessons that I could not even imagined. As she was leaving the foodbank, Maria gave me a gentle squeeze on my shoulder and that moment I remembered again, why I did this and everything (including all the tears from onion) was worth it. I am extremely grateful for this moment with Maria, extremely grateful for Rotaract and Rodayna for this opportunity and Errol for his patience with us. I cannot wait to meet Maria again!