In the late 70s’ my mom and I left Vietnam as "Boat people". We then stayed in a refugee camp in Hong Kong for almost 2 years. I was too young to remember the misery in the camps. I cannot imagine how hard it was for a single mother in these places.
In the early 80s, my uncle sponsored us to come to Quebec. Although our new home was a thousand times better than the refugee camps, my mother and I arrived in Montreal in winter with only a bag of summer clothes and some pictures. We had to overcome the culture shock, language barriers and were "without a penny", as we say in Quebec. We were not out of the woods yet.
Fortunately, to our surprise, several organizations came to our help. Even being young, I still remember the food baskets and colourful clothes of the 80 that we received from the church. These volunteers were great. Not only have they fed us and given us clothes, but more importantly, they gave us a chance to a better life.
Today, through Kanvass Home, my partner and I decided to pay it forward. Kanvass donated over $ 7,000 in furniture to the new Maison D'Haiti complex, which was inaugurated on October 28th 2016. This super center helps not only the new immigrants but also its community.
To all nonprofit organizations and thousands of volunteers, I tip my hat and thank you for your generosity and time. For those who benefit from it, do not forget to give back. A small gesture that goes far!