A year-end message from OCISO Executive Director, Leslie Emory.
It has certainly been an exhilarating year at OCISO as we got busy with our many programs and community engagement activities while spending the year celebrating 40 years of our work in the community.
We launched the 40th celebration in the spring with OCISO employees and legacy members in attendance at a “trip down memory lane” party held in the Market.
This was followed by our Run For A New Start campaign at which we had the largest number of volunteers running of all the teams and raised record funds in support of the newcomer clients we serve.
Through the summer, we held volunteer and employee appreciation barbecues with the support of private sector partners and reminded stakeholders of our work in the community at client and community engagement events.
Our 40th signature celebration took place in mid November. I must say, it was a spectacular event with over 200 attendees, all of whom have played a role in OCISO’s history.
We enjoyed delicious food, wonderful entertainment and a beautiful visual and oral recounting of 40 years of our community work.
We reconnected and rekindled our passion for the work that we do in the community.
Over the year, we had the opportunity to reconnect with many current and former employees, clients, board members, volunteers, donors and community partners who have played key roles in the formation and ongoing work of the organization.
This was so incredibly rewarding for us and supported us to fill in gaps in our knowledge of the who, what, when and how of OCISO’s history. NB: you can click here to browse some of the fascinating 40th anniversary stories written by our OCISO pioneers.
We also celebrated where we are today and renewed our commitment to achieving OCISO’s vision of an Ottawa in which all newcomers contribute their unique skills and gifts, strengthening and transforming our community life.
Those of us who work at OCISO recognize that the organization is imbued with a special quality of commitment and passion to our clients and to each other. This deeply caring nature has a life of its own and we learned over the past year that it has existed since the organization’s inception.
Several former employees and volunteers spoke of this and of how they remained connected to their colleagues over the years, much like family members.
As we move into the holiday season, I would like to express my deep gratitude to the many OCISO employees, volunteers and community partners, past and present, who have made this a deeply meaningful year as we continue our collective work in support of newcomers to our community.
Wishing you all a restorative and joyous holiday season.