Together Project
Blog
Photo: Sarah Bodri

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Newcomers and volunteers working together to build more welcoming communities.

Interview with TD Welcome Group Volunteer Jas Bassi

When Jas Bassi joined TD Bank Group (TD) in 2020, she began her career in consumer protection. While she helped people during her day job, she felt inspired to help others outside of work, too. 

She was excited to find out about the TD Ready Commitment,  the Bank’s corporate citizenship platform, and the opportunities it offers for colleagues to volunteer with local community organizations.

“Working at TD can be really rewarding, and I love that TD supports so many initiatives that colleagues can get involved with and give back to the communities where we work,” she said. 

When her manager forwarded her an opportunity about Together Project, a MakeWay charitable initiative, Jas saw that this was a perfect opportunity to honour the people who had helped her own father forty years ago.

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Flashfood & Too Good to Go: Two Free Apps for Low-Cost Food

In Toronto, Mississauga, Ottawa, and Surrey BC, two free apps are providing innovative options for low-cost food: Flashfood and Too Good to Go.

To explain how refugee newcomers and volunteers who are seeking low-cost food in their neighbourhoods can use these apps, we spoke with Together Project volunteer Sue Anderson.

As an avid user of Flashfood and Too Good to Go, Sue is eager to share these opportunities with others. “I’m always trying to save money, and these are great!” she said.

For more, click here!

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A Guide to Clothing and Food Banks

With the coming winter weather, many newcomers are seeking community resources to keep them warm and nourished. We’ve made a list of food banks and clothing banks currently accepting clients in Central Toronto, East York, Etobicoke, Mississauga, North York, Scarborough, Ottawa, and Surrey.

With food banks offering free delivery, online food banks that allow clients to select items in advance, and an organization that gives free snowsuits to children, and two free apps that promote low-cost food, we’ve found a wealth of resources to share. Check it out here!

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Celebrating Community Health and Well-being Week with CCI Ottawa’s Anneke van Nooten 

For Community Health and Well-being Week, we’re shining a spotlight on our partnership in Ottawa with CCI!

For this article, we spoke with Anneke van Nooten, Client Support Services Program Coordinator.

With her enthusiasm for community health, Anneke reflects on winter challenges for Ottawa newcomers, the lasting impact of committing to help others, and how the Welcome Group Program gives both volunteers and refugees a chance to contribute to community health and well-being.

“The impact of the commitment is huge— particularly for somebody who’s coming as a refugee, who had to leave their country, whose government wasn’t supporting them, whose family wasn’t supporting them— something went wrong for them. So when a complete stranger makes a commitment and they stick by it, that means something.”

Check it out here!

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In-Person English Classes Are Back!

We’ve made a list of in-person and hybrid LINC and ESL classes in East York, Etobicoke, Mississauga, North York, Scarborough and Ottawa to help newcomers find the class for their needs. Check it out here!

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“Socializing Builds Trust”: Afghan Newcomer Zamarin and Group Lead Natasha on the Welcome Group Experience

When Natasha Comeau ended her role as Together Project’s Program and Communications Coordinator, she was eager to see the other side of Together Project and join as a Welcome Group volunteer.

“As a coordinator, you’re looking at big pictures, anything and everything that could come up with a newcomer. I was ready to tackle a hundred different things, and then I realized that they needed help with like, three things,” she said. “It’s given the group an opportunity to really focus on what’s important to the couple.”

Natasha’s Welcome Group was matched with Zamarin, an Afghan who had worked as an administrative assistant in a government position in Kabul, and her partner, Milad, who had worked as a civil engineer.

For this article, we connected with Natasha and Zamarin to share both sides of the Welcome Group Program experience.

Check it out here!

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