Fernanda Dias and the team at Saskatoon’s Aurora Reproductive Care came up with a beautiful idea this holiday season: instead of colleagues purchasing Secret Santa gifts for each other, they would extend their gift giving to the community. Partnering with Global Gathering Place, their staff generously offered to give warming & self-care items to higher-needs adult students in GGP’s Literacy classes.
Fernanda, Aurora Reproductive Care’s Lab Director, said the reason for choosing GGP is personal to her:
“Being an immigrant myself I truly know all the mixed feelings associated with starting a life in a new country; I get the hard side of this change and even though I am not a refugee I do deeply empathize with every single one of them. I often say that we gain so much immigrating to Canada but we also lose so much and is a silent loss. I believe, that deep down, all immigrants wish they could have the same life that we have here but in their own homes. At the bright side, there is always hope and gratitude to be in the beautiful country with all the Canadians that welcome us.”
As a small business, their team momentarily doubted the impact that this holiday gift giving would have, “especially when so many people need so much,” said Fernanda.
“To gain motivation to act, we referred to following quote from Mother Teresa: ‘We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But if the drop was not in the ocean, I think the ocean would be less because of the missing drop.’ We truly hope our “drop” does make a difference in the ocean.”
We have no doubt the Aurora team’s drop is making a difference! The gifts were received with joy by GGP’s Literacy students—refugees and immigrants who start the class often lack literacy in their native language and in English. These thoughtful gifts will not only help clients warm themselves and practice self-care, but they will also serve as a reminder that the clients are welcomed and valued in our community.