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.
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
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.
ALL IT TAKES IS ONE ITEM PER PERSON!!
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.
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.
The New Life Neighbourhood Centre provides the following food and meal programs:
Clients can pick up meal boxes (bags of grocery) on Tuesdays and Thursdays of every week between 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Single, double, and family-size groceries are provided.
Pre-registration is required and can be done in person. Identification and income statement must be provided at the time of registration.
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.
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.
The Centre partners with the Optimist Club of Oshawa to provide weekly snacks to schools for children who arrive at school without a breakfast or lunch.
We hand out hygiene packages quarterly in the months 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.
New Life Neighbourhood Centre is pleased to provide this update on our new offsite partnership with DRIVEN.
DRIVEN provides access to multiple supports at one location for women experiencing abuse and all forms of violence. On-site partners are available on Mondays from 8:30am-4:30 pm to provide support. Off-site partners can be accessed over the phone from the DRIVEN clinic. To view a full list of partners and services please visit the DRIVEN website www.durhamdriven.com. Walk-ins and appointments are welcome. The last walk-in or appointment time is 3:15pm.
Women are able to access DRIVEN’s services over video chat from the NLNC on Mondays between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Call 1-877-723-3905 to book a video chat appointment.