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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

DIVERSEcity CEO Neelam Sahota talks about supporting mothers at home and in the workplace for Mother’s Day



On Mother’s Day this year, let’s take time to not only celebrate mothers, but really acknowledge them. See them. Not just the smile on their lips, but the worry in their eyes. The exhaustion on their faces. The load on their shoulders.

The COVID-19 global crisis has highlighted the emotional, often invisible, workload that mothers carry. It has also increased that workload.

As we self-isolate in our homes, mothers are carrying the burden of homeschooling, often while working full-time jobs from home, in addition to the cooking, cleaning, shopping and so on.

Many are also still working outside the home, as leaders on health care’s frontlines, or working in essential or service industries, helping us all safely access groceries and essentials during this crisis. We are also seeing amazing women leaders rise up to battle this crisis at the policy level.

For all of them, traditional lines of work and home are being blurred, and it’s important we don’t dismiss or ignore the pressure mothers may be under now — and as we rebuild our workplaces after COVID-19.

As a mother myself, I remember the challenges of building a career in a traditional workplace when my kids were young. When I took on the role of CEO at DIVERSEcity with three children under the age of 12, I was fortunate to have a strong support network. But I still had to make accommodations and choose priorities for myself as a professional versus a mother. During this crisis, I can only imagine the strain working mothers of young children are currently under.

The Canadian Human Rights Commission says that COVID-19 is “having a disproportionate impact on women. Social and economic barriers have been amplified for racialized women, Indigenous women, migrant women, women with low income, single mothers and other women. They are at greater risk of job loss, poverty, food insecurity, loss of housing and domestic violence.”

The Commission recommends taking a feminist approach to re-establishing our workplaces. Canadian Women’s Foundation calls for us to invest in diverse women’s leadership opportunities and empower girls, asking us to imagine what women could achieve if we supported them to the fullest.

Flexible workplaces need to be more of the norm

As a leader of a social services organization, I want all my employees, especially mothers, to feel supported during this crisis. As we all continue to work from home, providing services to our clients through phone and virtual options, I want them to know we see them, we appreciate them and we will give them the flexibility they need not just during COVID-19, but as part of our permanent organizational culture. I would not be in my role today if I did not have flexibility in my career along the way. This is my commitment to working mothers in our organization. You don’t have to choose between being a mother and being a professional. Organizational cultures like DIVERSEcity’s need to be the equalizer and more of the norm in our workplaces today.

As for what’s next? Let’s use the lessons from this crisis to reimagine the 21st century workplace more thoughtfully. Let’s all be more flexible and more authentic to who we are and what we need as professionals, as parents, as humans.

To all the mothers holding things together for their families in these challenging times, have a happy Mother’s Day.

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Community Board

Seeking Yoga Instructors interested in giving classes outdoors in parks




Hi There!

Just wondering if there are any Yoga  Instructors interested in giving outdoor classes at Bakerview Park in South Surrey? It is an awesome, well tended park with lots of space for social distancing. Since Community Centers are closed and will remain so for the foreseeable future, activities like this would be great and popular, I bet. Specially with the weather getting nicer everyday. Anyone?

Contact if interested.

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Community Board

Consumer Choice Awards for BC announced. 17 companies from Surrey won!



Consumer Choice Awards for BC announced. 17 companies from Surrey won!

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Community Board

SFU Surrey engineering students use 3D printing skills to develop COVID-19 supplies



When the call went out that local hospital staff needed COVID-19 supplies, SFU Mechatronics Systems Engineering (MSE) students were eager to help using the high-tech skills they’ve been learning.

MSE Professor Woo Soo Kim and 60 students worked from home, designing and developing medical mask parts, using their personal 3D printers. Five hundred medical mask ear-savers, which help to eliminate pressure and discomfort, were given to Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) staff.

Kim says that engineers within the 3D printing community are looking for opportunities to give back during the pandemic. “COVID-19 is quite tragic, but because of this we can see how we can contribute to the community from the engineering perspective,” says Kim.

Now that SFU’s Additive Manufacturing Lab in Surrey has been cleared to open for essential work, Kim and graduate students, while following strict health protocols, are developing special door handles that allow people to open a door without using their hands. These supplies will be given to City of Surrey municipal workers.

“The City of Surrey has long recognized the expertise of SFU Surrey’s 3D printing capabilities,” says Mayor Doug McCallum. “When the COVID-19 pandemic began, we already had earlier discussions with SFU Surrey’s engineering professors on the department’s ability to utilize its 3D printing technology to produce critical personal protective equipment and other devices in response to COVID-19.”

“I want to commend the SFU Mechatronics Systems Engineering students and professors for the innovative and critical work they are accomplishing. We look forward to future collaborations on other 3D printed innovations that could protect our health-care workers and first responders during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

This project provides an opportunity for students to collaborate and put what they’ve learned in class to practice.

“I really wanted to help out in some other way, apart from the physical distancing,” says Nina Lin, VP of Internal Relations for the MSE Student Society. “Many other students had friends and family from other parts of the world, who are facing a bigger crisis, so they really wanted to help out. We’re all eager to assist our community and use our talents, skills, and knowledge to give back.”

Students will be able to apply their work to a directed study course for credit. Students also determined a way to cut down the time it takes to print the mask straps, from 33 minutes to nine.

SFU is harnessing its resources in other ways to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. To read about them visit

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Community Board

Chatime Bubble Tea Supports Surrey Memorial Front line



Chatime Bubble Tea Supports Our Front-Line Workers!

In the last few months, the BC lower mainland has rallied together in the fight against Covid-19. Whether it’s staying home, social distancing, or fighting the pandemic on the front line, our communities are doing their part. Chatime Canada BC has decided that the best way to support our great communities in these troubling times is to do what we do best: bring a well-deserved smile (along with a needed pick-me-up) to the courageous front-line workers facing this pandemic head on at the various hospitals across the lower mainland.

National Bubble Tea Day is April 30th, 2020, and as part of the weeklong Chatime celebration the team at Chatime Canada has decided to partner up with local hospital foundations to support the nurses and doctors working over the course of the week. Beginning this Wednesday, Chatime Surrey, Chatime New Westminster, Chatime West Broadway, and Chatime Langara will be donating over 420 bubble teas, worth $2,500, to the front lines at the following times and locations:

  • Wednesday April 30th @ 12:00pm        Royal Columbian Hospital
  • Wednesday April 20th @ 4:00pm          Surrey Memorial Hospital
  • Thursday May 1st @ 1:30pm Vancouver General Hospital
  • Tuesday May 5th @ 12:00pm Mount Saint Joseph Hospital

Jaivin Khatri, Director of Operations, British Columbia, says: “We at Chatime have been inspired by the tremendous local support and outreach we are seeing, and we sincerely hope that this can brighten the day of our front line workers, and in turn inspire more businesses in our local community to also get involved.”

Chatime is the largest teahouse franchise in the world with over 2500 locations in over 38 countries. Chatime Canada opened its first location in downtown Toronto in 2011. Since then, Chatime has expanded across Canada, and is creating smiles and memories one steep at a time.

For more Information please reach out directly to:

Jaivin Khatri

Director of Operations, British Columbia


Instagram: @chatimecanada

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