Your support means Rosy has a circle of friends.
Think back to some of the most important and defining moments in your life. Maybe it was graduation, or getting that first real job. Maybe, even, it was the time the doctor called, or the day you had to say bye to a loved one.
What do all of these experiences have in common? The solid presence of family and friends—people who are there to cheer you on, celebrate your successes, and walk with you through the valleys.
Now picture those moments again—only without those closest to you. What would life be like?
For many families who attend the Guildford Family Resource Program, run by United Way supported Options Community Services Society, this scenario is not hypothetical. It’s reality.
Take Rosy’s family, for instance.
Since December of 2014, this young mom and her two kids, Alina and Alan, have been avid participants of the Guildford Family Resource Program. Rosy appreciates the opportunities that the program provides for her children to play, learn, and, most importantly, interact with others.
“I love this baby area because he can play safe,” she says, referring to a special area enclosed by baby gates and padded with colourful mats in which Alan is happily exploring.
“My daughter can play with the [older] kids. For her, it’s very important to socialize because we are alone. We don’t have family here. All of my family are from Mexico.”
It’s not only her children who benefit from the program though – Rosy herself cherishes the community she has found at this vibrant neighbourhood hub.
“When you are a newcomer, it’s so hard,” she shares. “You don’t have friends at the beginning and what you need is support; you need people you trust….So when you find this kind of program, you feel like you have found your own family, your own circle of friends, and you are part of it, where you can share and get that confidence that you need to get success in this new adventure.”
“We have lots of immigrant families that are first generation out here,” says Gloria Zelaya, one of the program’s long-time Family Support Workers. “They don’t have friends. They don’t have people to count on.”
“Here,” she says, “they find that.”
Shaping our community: Amanada
Amanda believes that everyone who lives here should feel like they have a place here. Like Rosie and her family.
Click here to read Amanda’s story.
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