As winter approaches, many of us expect to spend several months indoors, scurrying from home to car or bus, to work or school or shopping, and back. For many newcomers, especially those from warmer countries, winter is challenging and isolating.
But there is joy to be found in winter, especially if we are able to take advantage of the many outdoor recreational activities available in the Toronto area. Skating on the hundreds of public rinks. Tobogganing in our many parks and ravines. Enjoying multicultural seasonal celebrations. More challenging sports like skiing, snowshowing and curling. Roasting marshmallows on an open fire.
This is what CultureLink’s WINTEGRATION CLUB is all about.
We engage newcomers of all ages in pro-social and healthy outdoor recreational activities from December through March. Volunteers play important roles in making these events fun and accessible. But we need help from community members like you, to add a little spice to the Wintegration Club.
Please consider making a donation this month, of any amount. We aim to raise $3,000 to make winter a little warmer for 200 newcomers this season. To give you a few examples of the joy your donation can create:
- $25 will buy hot chocolate and cider for 15 hikers
- $60 will rent skates for 15 first-time skaters
- $500 will introduce curling to 25 newcomers!
CultureLink Settlement Services is a charity and all donations are tax-deductible. You can donate on via CanadaHelps, which automatically generates a tax receipt emailed to you. (Select the “Wintegration Club” on the drop-down menu to direct your donation to this program.)
You can also mail or drop off a cheque to our office:
CultureLink Settlement Services
2340 Dundas Street West, Suite 301
If you need some extra inspiration, here is what some of our participants told us last year:
“Before we joined Wintegration Club at CultureLink, we passed our time on weekends by visiting shopping malls in Toronto. After we registered for Wintegration Club, every weekend came to be so exciting. I experienced my first tobogganing, ice skating, maple syrup festival, and participated in Humber River hiking and Coldest Day of the Year Bike Ride. We explored Toronto and even Bronte. We came to know each other and shared our stories with other Club members. Thanks those workers and volunteers from Culturelink for getting us involved in Wintegration Club that really has integrated us so much even in such a bitter cold Canadian winter.”
“Thank you for having my family as a part of the Wintegration 2013 of Culturelink. The Maple Syrup Festival that we experienced with you was an excellent way of knowing more about the Canadian way of life and it was also effective in making us appreciate and learn a truly Canadian tradition. We really enjoyed the activity that made us really connected to the richness of Canada’s history and natural resources and also made us realize one of the best ways to enjoy winter. We will always remember the efficiency and dedication demonstrated by Culturelink staff.”
“Just like a Olympic slogan ‘The Important Thing Is To Participate’, I believe CultureLink and our team volunteers wonderful job offers ‘new immigrant’ great opportunities to live with more positive, social attitude. In my near ten months immigrant experiences, Wintegration benefits me moving on instead of focusing on my imperfect English, unemployment and lonely life.”
For more information about the Wintegration Club, including a full report about last year’s pilot program funded by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, CultureLink and Sport, please visit our website:
All the best for the holiday season!