In late August, YOCISO began looking at ways to provide school supplies to youth clients in need.
“In these unprecedented times, many newcomer youth and their families remain at great risk due to COVID-19,” says Donnielle Roman, Manager, Youth Services/YOCISO. “Some of theses families were struggling and continued to be very isolated.
One day in late August, Donnielle found herself at Staples, purchasing supplies for YOCISO’s academic program, when a senior employee began chatting with her. As Donnielle explained YOCISO’s work with newcomer youth, the employee was so impressed that she decided to find a way to “pay it forward”. Staples quickly stepped up to provide a donation of school supplies to YOCISO.
Another local company, Maker House also made a generous financial donation to help with the purchase of additional school supplies.
This great news quickly got the ball rolling and YOCISO’s small team (Donnielle, Schnael, Salwa, and Daniela) worked together to coordinate the distribution of these school supplies.
The YOCISO team reached out to potential external networks, while continuing to foster relationships with community partners. They connected with partners – including YMCA-YWCA, Catholic Centre for Immigrants, Pinecrest-Queensway Community Health Centre, South-East Ottawa Community Health Centre, Ottawa Carleton District School Board, Ottawa Catholic School Board and Sandy Hill Community Health Centre – to quickly find newcomer youth who could benefit from these school supplies. All of this, with the beginning of the school year just a few days away!
“During the first week of September, we were delighted to distribute much needed school supplies, including backpacks, to 106 newcomer youth in 28 schools across the Ottawa area,” remarks Donnielle. “We could not have done this without our partners and the generosity of Staples and Maker House, for which we are truly grateful.”