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36 Local Charities & Thousands Of Individuals In Six Canadian Cities Receive Aid For Their Fight Against Poverty



7,000 care packages filled with food staples and personal hygiene items were offered to families and individuals in need in six major cities across the nation this past week, during Aid For Humanity visits of the Felix Y. Manalo (FYM) Foundation, the charitable institution of the Church Of Christ (Iglesia Ni Cristo or INC). 36 community organisations were also gifted monetary donations to help support the work they do for families in need.

Attendees received free items together with hot meals, prepared and served by volunteers from the INC at venues in Winnipeg, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver May 19-26.

“Every day in many parts of the world, there are lives to improve and souls to nourish,” said INC General Auditor Glicerio B. Santos, Jr. “Our Executive Minister Brother Eduardo V. Manalo and the Felix Y. Manalo Foundation do their best to make the INC a meaningful and helpful presence where poverty needs to be addressed.”

Each event began with a prayer, followed by a video presentation highlighting the different humanitarian projects of the Church and an introduction to the Iglesia Ni Cristo – a program of events seen similarly during the numerous community events held around the world by the Church Of Christ.

“These events represent the very best of our community, joining together in a common cause … to make sure that we’re making a difference, not just here at home, but around the world … you are teaching the lesson of giving,” honoured guest Michael Levitt, Member of Parliament for York Centre, said during his speech of appreciation at the Toronto event May 23.

Turtle Island Community Centre was the first gathering place for the Aid For Humanity week, where families of Winnipeg’s North End benefited from 3,000 care packages. The FYM Foundation also presented cheques of $2,000 CAD to support programs of the Norquay Community Center, the Ma Mawi Chi Itata Center, the Turtle Island Neighborhood Centre and the Knowles Centre.

Kevin Lamoureux, Member of Parliament (Winnipeg North), and Ted Marcelino, Member of the Legislative Assembly (Tyndall Park) were also on hand to present a Certificate of Recognition on behalf of the Province of Manitoba, honouring the INC for their humanitarian efforts.

“The Church Of Christ has demonstrated such strong leadership in caring for people, helping people that need the help,” Lamoureux mentioned. “I applaud the congregation and in fact the Administration of the Church Of Christ for the fine work they’re doing – (not just) today in Winnipeg North, but to compliment them on the aid for humanity that they do around the world.”

This was the INC’s second Aid For Humanity Event at Turtle Island Community in less than a year.

Following this, 1,000 care packages were prepared for Montreal community members who gathered at the DoubleTree by Hilton on May 20. Also receiving a $1,000 CAD cheque from the FYM Foundation were the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation, Orphan Sun (Soleil des Orphelins), Société de Développement Social, YMCA Montreal, The Open Door, Old Brewery Mission Hall, The Benedict Labre House (La Maison Benoit Labre) and Mile End Community Mission.

OTTAWA, May 21
At the Horticulture Building in Ottawa, more than 500 care packages were prepared for families of the region. Present to accept $1,000 CAD cheque donations from the FYM Foundation were the Matthew House Ottawa, Ottawa Food Bank, Le Gîte Ami, L’Ami de l’Entraide and Moisson Outaouais.

Just blocks away from some of Toronto’s poorest neighbourhoods in North York, families and representatives from the Flemingdon Food Bank, East Scarborough Storefront, North York Harvest Food Bank, and The Redwood Shelter came together May 23 at the National Event Venue at 1000 Finch Ave. W, North York, Ontario.

Each organization received a $2,000 CAD cheque from the FYM Foundation to use for their respective communities. Guests in attendance, many of whom are clients of the various shelters, benefitted from 1,000 care packages filled with canned foods and personal care items.

In a city where 1 in 4 children live in low-income families, Michael Levitt Member of Parliament for York Centre expressed his thanks: “I want to recognize Bro. Eduardo V. Manalo, the [INC] Executive Minister, for his inspiring leadership of this great event, along with all of the regional Ministers gathered here.”

Nearly 1,000 individuals came together for the next Aid For Humanity even of the nation at the Howard Buffalo Memorial Center. 1,000 bags were prepared for families in the Maskwacis region. Representatives from the Samson Cree Nation, Ermineskin Cree Nation, Louis Bull First Nation, Montana First Nation, Samson Cree Nation Food Bank, Maskwacis Outreach School, Samson Youth and Sports Development, Ermineskin Food Bank, Samson Friendship Centre, Maskwacis Health Foundation, Louis Bull Food Bank and Montana Food Bank were present as beneficiaries of a $2,000 CAD cheque from the FYM Foundation to support their work in the community. Also present to support the Aid For Humanity event were Minister of Indigenous Relations and Member of the Legislative Assembly Hon. Rick Wilson, Montana First Nation’s Chief Leonard Standingontheroad and Samson Cree Nation’s Chief Vern Saddleback.

More than 1,000 guests were welcomed onto the grounds of the INC’s Burnaby house of worship at 5060 SE Marine Drive in British Columbia, the final event of the week’s Aid For Humanity tour and largest INC humanitarian event to date in the region.

Because the poverty rate in B.C. is among the worst in Canada according to the Government of British Columbia, the Aid For Humanity event, like in the others, contributed monetary donations in support of the Progressive Housing Society, Mom2Mom Child Poverty Initiative and the Surrey Food Bank.

“Organizations like the Church of Christ are invaluable,” said Executive Director Feezah Jaffer of the Surrey Food Bank. “Donations of money and food go a long way … partners and communities like the INC do make an impact on our clients and our community. To see the camaraderie and community spirit, to see the love between the congregation members, it’s so wonderful to see events like these.”

B.C. attendee Beluarbo Marx, who received a care package containing personal hygiene essentials and food items said, “I’ve been in Canada since April. Starting off in a new country, it’s so difficult, so it’s really nice to receive this kind of package. I feel so happy and everyone is so friendly.”

INC’s socio-civic programs like this aim to strengthen the bond between the congregations of the Church Of Christ and the communities in which they serve. Global humanitarian projects, most especially in North America, are set to continue and all the more increase – a result of the INC’s growing membership and availability of houses of worship worldwide.

“We’ve heightened our assistance efforts for immigrants, indigenous peoples, female lone-parent families, members of racialized groups, persons with disabilities and other sectors where poverty incidence is higher based on Canadian population statistics,” said Santos Jr. “Our focus, like before, is on the needy and vulnerable.”

In October 2018, the INC’s continued humanitarian work was also recognized in the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba.

For more about the Church and its activities, please visit

This article was submitted by a reader from the Surrey Community. You can submit your own community story, press release, event or public notice directly to our Community Board today! We also have advertising and promotional options for businesses.

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Community Board

Two Immunization Clinics Opened This Week in Surrey



On November 2, two large immunization clinics offering accessible flu vaccines opened in Surrey. Jointly operated by Fraser Health and the Surrey-North Delta Division of family practice, these clinics will provide flu vaccines to the Surrey-North Delta community, during the upcoming two to three months they will be in operation.

The clinics will be operating in two locations – at the Newton Urgent Primary Care Centre and at the Axis Primary Care Clinic in Cloverdale and will offer vaccination services by appointment only.

The two organizations have worked together to implement these clinics in a very short amount of time in order to meet increased community demand.  These clinics are available in addition to the traditional channels of pharmacies and family physicians providing flu vaccines to their patients.

The clinics will be open to everyone and will accommodate individuals struggling with barriers to access, such as low-income individuals and those without a family physician.

Those wishing to receive a vaccine will have to be free of any COVID-19 symptoms, and screening will be conducted at the vaccination sites before each appointment. Appointments can be booked online at, where patients will also be able to select the time and location of their appointment.

Spots are expected to fill quickly, so organizers recommend booking as soon as possible.

About the Surrey-North Delta Division of Family Practice

Established in 2010, the Surrey-North Delta Division of Family Practice is comprised of nearly 400 physicians at various career stages, 40 resident doctors and 200 Medical Office Assistants from across Surrey and North Delta.

The Surrey-North Delta Division of Family Practice brings together family doctors to enhance the delivery of health care services in the community. It is a member-driven non-profit society, created by and for doctors, who understand the needs and realities of serving a community as large and diverse as Surrey and North Delta. The Division is funded by the Government of BC and Doctors of BC.

More information about the SNDFP can be found here:

About Fraser Health

Fraser Health is responsible for the delivery of hospital and community-based health services to over 1.8 million people in 20 diverse communities from Burnaby to Fraser Canyon on the traditional territories of the Coast Salish peoples.

Their team of nearly 40,000 staff, medical staff and volunteers is dedicated to serving patients, families and communities to deliver on our vision: Better health, best in health care.

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Surrey social enterprise leader Harsh Thakkar is an RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant of 2020



Multiculturalism is one of the things Harsh Thakkar loves most about Canada. But it comes with its share of challenges, like language barriers, which can keep newcomers feeling left out. That might explain why Thakkar, head of DIVERSEcity Interpretation and Translation Services in Surrey, B.C., is so passionate about communication across cultures. “Language should never be an obstacle for anyone in a country as diverse as Canada,” says Thakkar, who is one of this year’s RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Award winners.

Thakkar oversees a team of more than 300 interpreters and translators who help clients communicate, especially in the health care and court systems, in more than 88 languages. Under his leadership, he has grown the business to include rare languages, Indigenous languages and even American Sign Language (ASL). “We are proud to be a designated provider for provincial and municipal government interpretation and translation needs,” he says.

And the kicker is that it’s all for a good cause. DIVERSEcity Interpretation and Translation Services is a social enterprise, certified by Buy Social Canada. That means its profits go toward the good works done by its parent charitable organization, DIVERSEcity Community Resource Society, which helps immigrants, refugees and vulnerable populations.

Knowing his work is helping immigrants is poignant for Thakkar, who came to Canada from India as an international student in 2001. He faced his own challenges, juggling his business studies with being a peer mentor, while trying to gain work experience, even though international students were then limited in their ability to work off campus.

“This also made it more difficult to secure work experience points to later qualify under the skilled immigration category,” he says. “This motivated me to run for campus student representative. After winning the election, I went to the Parliament of Canada to speak about allowing international students to work off campus.”

Thakkar, who’s thrilled the rules have improved since then, says, “It’s important to stay positive in the face of challenges. The most important attribute that helped me achieve my goals is my personal drive and ‘can-do’ attitude and maintain enthusiasm even when things get tough.”

The same lessons apply in business. Professionally, Thakkar has developed a reputation as a charismatic, optimistic leader with organizations like the Vancouver International Marathon Society before coming to DIVERSEcity.

Thakkar, who also manages DIVERSEcity’s CELPIP Language Testing Centre, says he wants to continue to grow in his current role and take every opportunity to support newcomers to Canada, including mentoring international students in his personal time.

“As immigrants, we are surrounded by a lot of challenges, but don’t let those stop you from moving forward,” he advises. “A positive mindset is what’s going to allow you to succeed in your goals in Canada,” he says. “Honestly, we are so blessed to be in a country where people care about each other, so all you have to do is go out there and talk with people.”

And if they speak a different language, Thakkar can help you with that!

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Shakti Film Festival 2020



Shakti Society is a nonprofit society committed to empowering women, families, and children through community forums, Shakti Awards, annual wellness days, and other activities. Our mandate is to support all members of society, especially women, in finding their power and voice to become strong leaders and advocates for themselves and the community. We have introduced various initiatives that help ‘awaken the power within’ and create dialogue around feminism and gender equality. The Shakti Film Festival is our latest undertaking in our mission to increase and acknowledge women’s contribution to our society and their representation in film.

Shakti Society has addressed the influence of media and films on violence against women and we will be focussing and promoting films that showcase women in strong roles as well as filmmakers who are often marginalized due to various barriers, like race, color, finances, language, disability, sexual orientation and various health issues including mental health.

Due to the current pandemic, we will be hosting our inaugural film festival in a digital format where films will be screened over two days, October 10th and 11th, in honor of the International Day of the Girl Child. We will be inviting film and media personalities as well as community leaders to engage in action-oriented discussions about the role that media plays in shaping society and how we as consumers of media also play a big part in creating our culture.

This year’s program is set for October 10-11, 2020, and will consist of films that will include:

  • 1 Feature Film: 60 mins or longer
  • 1 Documentary Film: 45 min or longer
  • 1 Short Film: up to 20 mins
  • 1 Student Film: up to 8 mins

People of all genders are welcome to submit their films as long as a woman holds one of the following positions within the filmmaking team: Director, Writer, Cinematographer or Producer.

Films must fall within one of the following themes:

  • Violence Against Women
  • Political Participation of Women
  • Women and Environmental Challenges
  • Race, Gender, Identity
  • Men and Boys as Allies

The Submission Deadline is September 30th, 2020.

Awards & Prizes

  • Best Film – $100
  • Best Student Film – $100
  • Best Documentary Film – $100
  • Best Short Film – $100

Films can be submitted at

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Community Board

Vancouver based cleantech startup secures supply chain with Nissan North America



Moment Energy, a Canadian cleantech startup, secured a supply chain with Nissan North America earlier this month. This marks a key milestone for the company as they are the only Canadian company working with Nissan towards creating a circular economy for electric vehicle batteries. Through this supply chain, Moment Energy aims to reduce diesel consumption in remote communities and work with renewable energy providers to store clean energy.

While the demand for renewable energy such as wind and solar is increasing, there remains a gap for sufficient energy storage. Traditional storage can be expensive and involves the depletion of raw materials. Moment Energy fills this gap by repurposing electric vehicle batteries for sustainable energy storage.

“We’re very excited to work with Nissan towards creating a more sustainable future.” said Sumreen Rattan, Co-Founder, Moment Energy. “This puts us on the road to not only efficiently deliver renewable energy to remote communities but also prevent these batteries from producing toxic waste in landfills. We at Moment Energy are delighted to be at the forefront of the development of clean technology.”

“Moment Energy is proving that second-life Nissan LEAF batteries can continue to have value outside of the vehicle.” said Mark Thorpe, Director Business Planning & Development Aftersales, Nissan North America. “As a global pioneer in electric vehicles, Nissan is dedicated to discovering and promoting new ways to use EVs to achieve a better future.”

Moment Energy is now engaging with battery manufacturers and renewable integrators to bring second life energy storage to market. They are also seeking partnerships for off-grid pilot projects. For more information or partnership opportunities please contact Sumreen at

About Moment Energy

Moment Energy is a Vancouver based startup that was founded to make energy storage more accessible.

The founders, Sumreen Rattan, Gurmesh Sidhu, Gabriel Soares and Edward Chiang met in the Mechatronic Systems Engineering Program at Simon Fraser University where they co-founded an electric race vehicle team, Team Phantom. They leveraged their passion for clean tech and entrepreneurship into the creation of Moment Energy.

To learn more about Moment Energy, visit their website at

1 – circular economy – an economy following the principles of reduce, reuse, repurpose, and then recycle

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Community Board

Rally Against Police Murder July 4 Surrey BC



Vigil for Ejaz Choudry and Rally Against Police Murder 
We demand and public inquiry into how Police Murder are handled. 

The Al-jamia Mosque in Vancouver and Coalition Against Bigotry will hold a prayer vigil on Friday June 26th at the Al-Jamia Mosque at 655 West 8th Ave during at
during Friday Juma prayers at 1 pm to mourn the murdered of Choudry, a 62 year old South Asian man struggling with his mental health by the police in Malton Ontario on Saturday June 20th.

Because it a 50 person limit in the Mosque, people can join and online solidarity prayer vigil on Facebook. Please can pray in their own way and time or have a moment of silence to think about the tragic murder of Ejaz Choudry.

Then join West Coast Cop Watch and Coalition Against Bigotry-Pacific for a Rally and March Against Police murder and abuse on July 1st at 1 pm at the Central City Mall where the Independent Investigation Office of BC is located, to protest the lack of police responsibly and accountability of the murder and abuse by the police. We demand a public inquiry into how police murders and handled in BC. We want to remember Chantel Moore, Ejaz Choudry Kyaw Din, Tony Du, Navarone Woods and many others, mostly Indigenous, Black and People of Colour who have been murdered or abused by the police.

Kyaw Din, who also struggled with his mental health like Ejaz Choudry was also murdered by the RCMP in Coquitlam last year in his home. The Din family held a rally outside the IIO office and Surrey City Centre in February demanding answers from the IIO. They don’t even know the name of the police officer who killed their brother. We also remember Tony Du who was murdered by the Vancouver Police, a Vietnamese, Chinese man also struggling with his Mental health. The police officer who shot Du did hot get charged with murder.

We also Navarone Woods, a Gitxsan indigenous man murdered by the Skytrain Police. The Coroners Jury and also asked for better mental health support during police incidents.

We ask people to wear masks and keep 2 meters distance. We will march to the RCMP E Division Headquarters and then end with a potluck physical distance picnic in Green Timbers Urban Forest.

We acknowledge that this event is being organised on the occupied, traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples – specifically the Musquem, Squamish, Kwantlen, Semiahmoo, Stolo, Musqueam, Katzie and Qayqayt Nations.

For more information, contact Imtiaz Popat at 604 396-2072

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