All posts by Noel

Peanut Butter Drive

Tanzel Picard and her children Blaze, Xavier and Kaira heard that the New Life Neighbourhood Centre was in need of peanut butter. They took the initiative to start a Peanut Butter Drive on behalf of the Centre. They collected from friends and other homeschool families. Many people donated jars of peanut butter for a grand total of 425 jars. Thanks to their effort this peanut butter will help the food bank families and individuals for 6 months.

Backpacks for the Homeless

On Monday, February 26, the New Life Neighbourhood Centre in partnership with the Durham Region Ontario Homeschoolers joined together to provide backpacks for the homeless filled with necessities such as food, warm accessories and toiletry items. They met at Memorial Park and provided hot chocolate and treats for all as both children and their parents had the opportunity to talk with individuals of the community and provide them with 2 bags. It was a great opportunity for children and adults to understand what homelessness is like.

Thanks to all who participated.

A volunteer’s letter for Christmas Stockings

The following letter was written by Mistie Roberts in support of the Centre’s Christmas stocking drive that she and her family has done for over 20 years:

Dear Friends and Good-Hearted People!

My family and I have been working with the New Life Neighbourhood Center in Oshawa (a not-for-profit community service that operates a food bank and also provides Christmas hampers, etc. to needy families) for well over 20 years now with the Christmas program.

The part of the Christmas program we assist with, is purchasing items that we put into stockings for local children (newborn up to 21 years old). Most of the stockings go to children who have an illness and their families are struggling. Giving these children, a Christmas is an amazing feeling. For some, it is their last Christmas, for others it is the only present/stocking from Santa they will get this year.

We are looking for anything you would put in a stocking for a child. You probably have items in your home that never expire, and you are not using in your linen closet, nursery or bathroom cabinets collecting dust. Or small toys and books in your child’s room that have never been played with. UNUSED ITEMS ONLY PLEASE, e.g.:

  • books, small toys, stuffies, decks of cards, small board games, crayons, pencils, paper, crafts, colouring books, McDonalds toys
  • hats, mitts, socks, scarves, baby towels, sleepers, receiving blankets, rattles
  • perfume, lipstick, eyeshadow, nail polish, aftershave, toiletries
  • packs of batteries, cards, poker chips

I am asking you to take a look and see what’s in your home that is not needed and would be great for a stocking. If you could help out that would be AMAZING!! The most important thing I am asking is that you pass this letter on to other friends and family. Every new contact we get and every item we receive is dear to us and the children we help out.


If you are interested, please call or text me: Mistie Roberts – 905-922-0595. I can do porch pick-ups or whatever works for you!!

You can also help by donating funds to purchase items for the stockings. Make your cheque payable to the New Life Neighbourhood Centre and you will receive an Income Tax Receipt. Indicate “Stockings” in the memo area of your cheque. Or donate online.

Any assistance you can give will be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance for your generosity. You will have the joy that comes from knowing you have helped to make a difference in the life of a child in need this Christmas.

Youth Rally 2015

STAND Youth Rally 2015On Saturday, October 31, Kingsway College in partnership with New Life SDA Church and New Life Neighbourhood Centre held a Youth Rally at 5 pm at 33 Olive Avenue, Oshawa. The event was attended by students from Kingsway College as well as youth from other churches in the Durham area. Also in attendance were individuals from the community nearby who had been invited by the students.

Motivational speaker, Jeremy Anderson, encouraged and challenged those present to be the best they can be. Mayor John Henry also  attended in support of the youth and the event. Following the event everyone enjoyed soup and sandwiches provided by Chef Will.

Earlier that day the students partnered with Neighbourhood Centre volunteers to distribute hot coffee and 100 care packages to the homeless and those in shelters in downtown Oshawa. They also extended an invitation to the individuals that they met to join them at the rally.

See images of the event below.

2015 Community BBQ

The annual Community BBQ was held on Saturday, August 8 and although rain threatened to dampen the spirits the day turned out great. Pastor Frank Dell’Erba of the New Life Church kicked things off by welcoming everyone. The praise band provided their usual excellent musical presentation.  There were interactive games and everyone had a great time together as they munched on the burgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob, and other goodies. Special guest in attendance included MPP Jennifer French, Mayor John Henry, Councillor Doug Sanders, Police Chief and Officers from Central East Division. Thanks to the many volunteers who helped to make the event this year a great success. Visit Snap Oshawa’s website for more pictures of the event.

In Memory of Bill Clarke


On behalf of the New Life Neighbourhood Centre, I would like to express our deepest sympathy on the passing of Bill Clarke – a father, friend, and brother. He was a thoughtful and caring man who will be missed by many.

I have had the pleasure of working with Bill and spending time in conversation with him and I can truly say he had a heart of gold. Bill was always thinking of others and was always ready and willing to help out at the Neighbourhood Centre whenever he could. He could be seen mopping the floor, washing dishes, making the coffee, and putting out pastries for clients, loading and unloading food supplies, and stacking shelves. You name it no task was too small or too large for Bill. As long as he was serving others he was happy.

Bill loved life. His children and grandchildren meant the world to him. He often spoke about them and of his plans to visit them this year.

We miss you Bill! But we know you are now resting from your hard labour so rest in peace as your memory lives on!

As one Unknown Author puts it “death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.”

Ann Thompson
Director, New Life Neighbourhood Centre

On Tuesday, July 7, Bill Clarke passed away at his home in Oshawa. Bill was a volunteer at the New Life Neighbourhood Centre and was a kind and friendly face to the many people he worked with as well as clients who came to the Centre.

A memorial service was held to remember and honor his life on Monday, July 13 at 11:00 a.m. at the New Life SDA Church, 33 Olive Avenue in Oshawa.


Help us Help our Neighbours

Hunger is an ongoing challenge for many in Canada. According to Food Banks Canada’s Hunger Count report for 2014, over 840,000 Canadians turn to food banks every month. More than 36% of those were children. Oshawa is no exception and in many ways the numbers are greater compared to other communities across the country.

In 2014 the New Life Neighbourhood Centre continued its efforts to help the less fortunate in Oshawa and surrounding communities by providing services to as many clients as it could. For a small food bank it:

  • served 2236 pancake and continental breakfasts
  • distributed over 1200 personal hygiene packages
  • distributed 60 care packages to homeless individuals during the winter
  • distributed groceries to 366 households (1347 adults and 534 children)
  • served over  500 meals at our annual BBQ
  • served  over 350 meals at our Christmas Dinner
  • distributed over 300 toys and Christmas stockings

The people helped included families with children, employed people whose wages are not sufficient to cover basic living essentials, individuals on social assistance, and Canadians living on a fixed income including people with disabilities, and seniors. Thanks to all our volunteers, donors and supporters for helping us to make a difference for many who would otherwise go hungry.

The New Life Neighbourhood Centre is operated completely by volunteers and relies on the goodwill of donors and supporters for its operation. In order to continue providing the services we offer we conduct various food drives and food bank fundraising events.

You can help us help our less fortunate neighbours by:

  • donating money to purchase supplies for the food bank,
  • participating in our food drives,
  • sponsoring a family,
  • attending and supporting our fundraising events, or
  • volunteering your time at the Centre or at our events.



All of our staff are unpaid volunteers. Our volunteers come from the congregation of the New Life Seventh-day Adventist Church, as well as other faith communities, and concerned people in the Durham area. They all have in common a desire to help the less fortunate people in the area.

Please contact us if you would like to become a volunteer.

Meal Programs

The New Life Neighbourhood Centre provides the following food and meal programs:

Meal Box

Clients can pick up meal boxes (bags of grocery) on the first Sunday of every month between 10:00 a.m and 12:00 p.m. Single, double, and family-size boxes are provided.

Pre-registration is required and can be done by calling 905-404-2004 and leaving a message.  We will return your call as quickly as possible. Identification and income statement must be submitted at the time of registration.

Continental Breakfast

A continental breakfast is offered on the second Saturday of every month between10:00 a.m and 10:45 a.m. This is a free breakfast program which includes bagels, spreads, muffins, fruit, cereal, hot and cold beverages. Pre-registration is not required.

Pancake Breakfast

A pancake breakfast is offered on the third Sunday of every month between 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.   It features pancakes, sausages, French toast, hash browns, boiled eggs, applesauce, fruit, hot and cold beverages. Pre-registration is not required.

School Snacks

Our School Snack Program provides weekly snacks to schools for children who arrive at school without a breakfast or lunch.

Cooking Classes

Cooking classes run from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on the first Tuesday evening of each month following the meal box distribution.   The focus is to help individuals and families prepare nutritious meals on a budget.

Hygiene Packages

We hand out hygiene packages quarterly on the first Sunday of March, June and September during our meal box distribution.  Hygiene packages are also given out with our Christmas Hampers in December.  These bags contain toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, soap, etc.