As the cold days of winter descend upon us, staff of CIUSSS West-Central Montreal have demonstrated their readiness to extend a warm hand of welcome to those in need.
Across our network’s sites, employees responded generously to an appeal from the CIUSSS to donate hats, coats, boots and other winter articles for asylum seekers confronting their first winters in Canada.
Their donations filled bins across seven facilities—the result of a successful partnership between our CIUSSS and the Welcome Collective, a charity that teams up with Montreal’s local community “to provide immediate help to the city’s most precarious refugee claimants,” according to the group’s website.
In late December, representatives from the organization toured our sites to collect the contents of the donation bins, which were filled to overflowing.
“It’s touching to see this gesture of support from our staff,” says Christine Morin, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Officer for our CIUSSS, and the instigator of the project. “It speaks to the concerns we have toward people who are vulnerable and who arrive in a strange new land with few resources.”
Melanie Rudnitsky, of our Employee Engagement and Recognition Program of the Human Resources Directorate, helped organize the clothing drive and says she’s touched by staff’s spirit of giving.
“I get goose bumps when I think about the outpouring of generosity from members of our CIUSSS community,” she says. “They took it upon themselves to help people who have fled their country. It speaks to their humanity.”
Ms. Morin says she’d like to build on the success of the inaugural partnership with the Welcome Collective. The group works closely with the Regional Program for the Settlement and Integration of Asylum Seekers (PRAIDA), which is overseen by our CIUSSS.