I'm Colleen Stevens, NeighbourLink's Outreach Worker. I wanted to take a moment to tell you about a part of NeighbourLink that is slightly intangible and difficult to encapsulate in an image but has been highly impactful to many Willowdale families. That is the work of our Community Care Team, a small group of two staff members and five volunteers who provide relational-based care to neighbours experiencing a variety of difficulties.
Neighbours in need of support will reach out to us by phone, through a referral from another agency or, through our 'get help form' on the website. The request for help is followed up with a phone call or email which allows our neighbour the opportunity to tell their story and us the opportunity to listen. This year we made over 831 client care calls. I see these conversations as more than just a phone call but a connection between two souls. These neighbours sit in my heart and these conversations have resulted in everything from soup being brought to an elderly neighbour, rides to the hospital for a sick man who speaks little English, and a safe space for a woman to cry before working together to find a path forward.
As a community care team, we serve Willowdale by checking in with the recipients of the food hub and mobile food delivery, visiting homes, praying together, shopping for groceries, and brainstorming referrals to support agencies. While most intake requests are for referral to food support, we also refer clients to:
Drives to medical appointments
Meal trains for families in crisis
Children's summer camp
This has been made possible thanks to your support, Neighbour. A dream of the Community Care Team would be to grow this network of neighbours helping neighbours and provide formal Wrap Around Services to families in our community!
You can help this small but mighty team continue caring for our most vulnerable neighbours by making a tax receiptable donation to our 75K End of Year Giving Campaign at www.neighbourlink.org/donate
On behalf of the clients that I carry close to my heart, thank you for supporting our work.
NeighbourLink North York