WIN is delighted to have been part of connecting groups and participating in the distribution of over 1000 cards!

In December 2020, a fabulous holiday card project took place. Students made beautiful inspirational cards for older adults within several communities.

WIN received festive cards from Saint Raymond’s Centre and Explorations, through the EMSB (the English Montreal School Board) cards were received from 11 schools. (John Grant, John Caboto, St. Monica, Pierre Elliot Trudeau, Westmount High School, Leonardo DaVinci, Willingdon, Bancroft, Mackay Centre, Sinclair Laird and Carlyle).

Our Network Member, REISA, actively collected cards from four east-end schools including Honoré-Mercier, while other members within Lester B. Pearson, Beurling Academy, Riverview Elementary and Verdun Elementary, spear-headed card collections through to Montreal’s south-west end.

From Almage in east-end Montreal to the west-island other lucky recipients included Extra Miles senior visiting Program, Montreal West Community Centre, New Hope Meals on Wheels, NDGSCC, Resilience Montreal (via Rotary Club of Montreal West and NDG) as well as residents of Henri-Bradet and Saint Andrew’s residential centers.

The impact was beyond expectations. The holiday season is not always easy for many, especially during these pandemic times. Many elders of Montreal had their spirits lifted by these visually and mentally inspiring hand-made gifts, as were seen by their faces upon delivery, and the letters of thanks, have shown! Intervention workers were told by clients that the cards were their favorite gifts. Some revealed the card was the only gift they received. The students were very supportive and demonstrated great empathy with such words as “You are important!”, “Covid go away!”, and “You are loved and appreciated”.

As we approached February 2021, the success of the Holiday Cards and significance of Valentine’s Day inspired WIN network member, Nadine of St. Raymond’s Center, to initiate an impromptu Valentine Card collection. In about a week, 3 schools delivered over 225 beautifully crafted cards to WIN! These cards linked John Grant school with Cummings Centre Drop-in program, St. Monica’s school with St. Andrew residence and École St-Raymond and the Comité Jeunesse de N.D.G.- Centre Communautaire de St. Raymond Afterschool program children and staff with the seniors social housing building next door.

WIN is proud to be a part of projects like these. Fairly simple, yet strongly impactful. The youth of our communities were given an opportunity to remember others, especially our precious elders, who have paved the way for them. Our elders felt thought of and included, when so much is frightening and unknown. Another path towards a more inclusive and dignity filled community has been made.