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Community Services Committee (CSC) – Monthly Blog – Reflections on November Events

Pencil Drive (November 19) | By Maya Abr

On November 19, during our bi-weekly meeting, Rotaractors donated stationary supplies for our first ever Pencil Drive. We received multiple items, new or used, from pencils, pens, lined papers, notebooks, markers and were able to fill around 10 bags of supplies. We were even able to donate the coloring supplies that were used during our Youth expo event back in October. After the meeting, Rodayna and I went to the Toronto Kiwanis Boys and Girls club office to drop-off the items.

The Toronto Kiwanis Boys and Girls club provide after-school programs for 500 children and youth daily. They create a safe and fun environment for them to learn and grow and are always looking for donations to replenish their homework spaces. Their programs are centered on: literacy and learning, cooking and nutrition, physical activity, creative arts and personal development.

I would like to thank everyone for their donations, and hopefully in the future we would be able to donate to this organization again to help with their multiple programs.

Reflection on Senior’s Christmas Party (November 29) | By Jiajing Zhang:

I was really grateful to help out at the Rotary’s Senior Christmas Party this past Thursday. This was my first time volunteering for a Rotary event and I’d say it was a wonderful experience.

The luncheon was really well organized, with a lot of volunteers at every aspects to make sure things go smoothly and the seniors can enjoy their lunch and performances without any problems.

The Christmas party started with people singing Christmas carols on stage while seniors arrive and getting seated at their table. After the president’s speech, lunch was served. Then after lunch, the Santa and his helpers (elves) walked around tables, greeting everyone, taking pictures, and handing out candy canes. After the dessert is served, there was an elementary school choir with a group of super talented boys singing Christmas songs and sending their wishes to everyone in the room. After the event was over, there were also gift bags handed out to seniors; it was just great. My main task for that day was to be a table host and be a Santa’s helper. When being the Santa’s helper, I was just an elf running around handing out candies. Seniors were super delightful to see us and seeing how excited they are just make me feel so accomplished. I heard a lot of seniors saying this is the event they most looking forward to during the year and being able to help make their day made me really happy as well.

FYFB – November 24 | By Tiana Mae Piza:

When I moved to Toronto in July 2018, I couldn't wait to give back to a new community and meet likeminded individuals. Being familiar with the Rotary family, I eagerly found my local Rotaract Club and joined the Community Services Committee. I knew this committee would give me the opportunity to see the impact of my efforts first hand, while working alongside a passionate group. Our work with the Fort York Food Bank is a great example of this!

November 24th, 2018 was a rainy and cold Saturday, a perfect day to spend indoors surrounded by caring faces and warm food. I'm sure many of those in need felt the same way. So, I couldn't think of a better way to start the weekend than by volunteering at the Fort York Food Bank.

I arrived at the FYFB at 11:30am ready for the second shift. I was immediately greeted by fellow Rotaractors who had put in the hard work to make the lovely food for the day. After saying hello to both new and familiar faces, I stepped out to serve the hearty meal to the line of eager people.

Serving those in need at the Fort York Food Bank was extremely touching. Every interaction with those receiving the food was different. A few gushed about their favourite hobbies (excited to share their stories with someone), some were exploding with gratitude and others were happy to simply share a meal in good company. But the commonality amongst everyone at FYFB was the smile they reflected when handed a warm meal on that chilly Saturday.

I am grateful I had the opportunity to brighten the day of others by helping serve over 100 meals alongside the caring FYFB team.

I look forward to continuing to spread joy in the community at FYFB and through other Rotaract initiatives!

PS: The Certificate in the photos was given to us that day from the FYFB administration as a recognition to all our work with them

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