Early registration starts for Christmas Bureau hampers

Mission Christmas Bureau – Wish Campaign is launching nicely in the community with a team of new and experienced volunteers . . . and early registration of Christmas hampers starts on Oct. 23 (see poster below).

The Rotary Clubs of Mission already provided support at the MCSS Festival of Light: Diwali where they collected donations for the MCSS Food Centre and Christmas Bureau, and for that we express a huge THANK YOU!

You may have seen our key volunteers at Diwali, including Bureau coordinator Lesley Drown and Debbie Dauost from our MCSS Seniors programming as pictured below.

For more information on the Mission Christmas Bureau, click on our Webpage here, our donation page on the Website (select MCSS Christmas Bureau) here, our Food Centre and Christmas Bureau Facebook page here, and the general story introducing our Christmas Bureau (which appeared in the Mission Record) here.

For more information, contact our MCSS switchboard at 604-826-3634.  The Christmas Bureau will be setting up its temporary festive office next door to The Source at The Junction Mall in November.

Best of the season to you all!

Volunteer leaders Mika Brosseau and Lesley Drown are enthusiastically planning for the 2017 season of Mission Christmas Bureau.

What a Festival of Light: Diwali it was! Wow!

Exceptional Diwali entertainment for Diwali at Clarke Theatre.

Many hands make light work, and the support from the community through volunteerism and sponsorship helped make the 2017 version of Festival of Light: Diwali one of the best ever. It was also an opportunity to celebrate Mission’s 125th birthday.

Some 20 sponsors made it all possible, and the 21 community and commercial booths in the marketplace foyer helped make the event even more special, including the new turban tying demonstration by Khalsa School of Mission.

1,000 small lights adorned the gates at Mission Clarke Theatre for Diwali.

“I was particularly impressed by the volunteer teams from Heritage Park Centre and Mission Secondary, plus the helping hands of Mission Rotary Club who collected six huge totes of non-perishable food for the MCSS Mission Food Centre and Christmas Bureau,” said Festival of Light: Diwali organizing committee chair Rick Rake who is also coordinator for the Mission Local Immigration Partnership based at MCSS.

“The entertainment (from Bollywood Dansations and Hurricane Korean Drummers to Abbotsford Arts Academy and Dasmesh Punjabi School) was spectacular,” said MCSS executive director Sanjay Gulati. Also performing were Garba Dancers, Correctional Service of Canada (Pacific Region) Community Pipe Band and Learning Stars Arts Academy.

Raj Patara of Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation learns about turban tying from a member of Khalsa School in Mission during Diwali.

Members of the public raved about the ethnic food cooked at Abbotsford Sikh Temple with ingredients for 1,000 people donated by Mission Save-On Foods (thanks to manager Dawn Haig). 1,000 bottles of Kirkland water were donated by Abbotsford Costco. 1,200 samosas were donated by Mission J’s Pizza and Ajay Construction.

When the theatre doors swung open at 6 p.m. for the eight stage acts, our two emcees Abbotsford Coun. Kelly Chahal and Satti Grewal with a lot of support from our new stage managers Alex Rake and Maria Buganska and Clarke Theatre personnel, made the show operate super smoothly.

Patrons arrived to the Punjabi music of LiLi music van (provided by Mission Regional Library) and 1,000 glimmering lights put up by our MCSS crew and students from our New to Canada program.

Everything from shoes and dresses to jewelry was on sale in the Indian marketplace.

Rick Rake’s Diwali organizing crew included Sanjay Gulati, Satti Grewal, Raj Patara, Monica Grover, Jean Konda-Witte and Ken Herar. To see Jean’s photographic album of the event, click here:

Lead sponsors this year were University of the Fraser Valley, Mission Save-On Foods, Mission 125, District of Mission, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (through Mission Local Immigration Partnership) and media sponsors Mission Record, Abbotsford News and Punjabi Patrika. Thank you!

Team unloads four commercial-grade cauldrons of Indian food cooked at Abbotsford Sikh Temple at Heritage Park Centre for Diwali. Food was donated by Mission Save-On Foods.

Sponsorship also came from Agassiz-Harrison Community Services, Sunrise Rotary Club, SARA for Women, United Way of the Lower Mainland, Swing Optical, Mission Fire Rescue Service (first aid), Abbotsford Costco, Ajay Construction, Mission J’s Pizza, and United Defense Security Ltd. (Paul Sharma).

Pictures of the event tell the story nicely. And front-page coverage in The Mission Record newspaper following the event was a big surprise. To see The Record’s coverage, click here. 

The Punjabi Patrika Oct. 20 edition featured two half pages of coverage, one in Punjabi and the other in English! 

If you want to be part of the excitement of Festival of Light: Diwali 2018, contact Rick Rake at Mission Community Services Society (rick.rake@missioncommunityservices.com).

Front page Diwali coverage in the Mission City Record on Oct. 13.

‘US and Them’ night: Realities of homelessness showcased

Mission Stone Soup Collaborative presented the documentary film ‘US and THEM’ Tuesday night at the Heritage Park Centre cafetorium as part of Homeless Awareness Week, an initiative with representation from Mission Community Services Society. Included on the panel held during the event was Tracy, the manager of MCSS second-stage Rivendell facility.
The film reveals how the homeless are not faceless apparitions wandering the streets. They are people who find friends and family that “we all know in our communities, who need our support,” said organizers.

The film shatters misconceptions about why people end up on the streets, and reveals whey the “pull yourself up by the bootstraps” narrative is heavily flawed.
Admission was free and was attended by more than 100 people.
Goal of ‘US and THEM’ is to educate as many people as possible on the realities of homelessness, and to encourage proactive solutions.

Seniors Slipper Swap helps prevent falls, injury

Mission Community Services Seniors Department was involved this week with the first Slipper Swap project in Mission, in partnership with Fraser Health, the Division of Family Practice and the Mission Seniors Centre.
Forty-four seniors registered for the program where they received new slippers in return for their old ones.
Aim of the program is to prevent falls at home, thus the potential for injury is reduced.
Seniors who registered but who could not come to the event will have their slippers delivered to them by participating staff members.
Staff from Fraser Health’s Falls Prevention Program were on hand to educate and inform.

Enjoy the food, live entertainment Oct. 11 at Diwali

Diwali: Festival of Light 2017 is almost here. We hope to see many of you at the event at 5 p.m. on Oct. 11 at the Clarke Theatre and the Heritage Park Centre cafeteria for free ethnic food, two hours of live entertainment and a foyer of 21 commercial and community booths. Mission Community Services Society (MCSS) is humbled by the financial and in-kind support it has received so far for the event.

Among donors providing more than $1,000 support in funding and services are: The District of Mission, Mission Save-On Foods, Mission 125, the University of the Fraser Valley, MCSS, and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (through the Mission Local Immigration Partnership).

Generous contributors include the Mission Sunrise Rotary Club, United Way of the Lower Mainland, Agassiz-Harrison Community Services, AJay Construction, Mission J’s Pizza, Abbotsford Costco, SARA for Women, Clarke Theatre, Swing Optical, Mission Fire Rescue Service and United Defense Security Ltd. (Paul Sharma).

Media sponsors are the Punjabi Patrika, Mission Record, and Abbotsford News.

Satti Grewal and Kelly Chahal are emcees for Diwali this year in Mission on Oct. 11 at Clarke Theatre.

Commercial booths appearing in the foyer marketplace include dynamic jewelry, clothing, optical, henna and salon vendors. Among community groups appearing are Fraser Valley Child Development Centre, SARA for Women, Literacy in Motion, WorkBC/Mission Community Skills Centre, District of Mission (community surveys), Mission Library (LiLi mobile music), Cycling for Diversity, Costco, University of the Fraser Valley, MCSS settlement/food centre team, Dasmesh Punjabi School, Division of Family Practice and Save-On-Foods.

UFV special events manager Betsy Terpsma, and graphic designer Auriel Niven, are providing support in many ways, including creating the Festival of Light: Diwali poster this year.

Contact Festival of Light: Diwali organizing committee chair Rick Rake at rick.rake@missioncommunityservices.com or call 604-826-3634 for more details.

Serving on this year’s Festival of Light organizing committee are Rake, Sanjay Gulati, Satti Grewal, Raj Patara, Monica Grover, Jean Konda-Witte and Ken Herar.

Providing Diwali stage management services are Alex Rake and Maria Buganska. Volunteers from a variety of places, including Rotary Sunrise Club and Mission secondary school leadership teams, are helping serve food, setting up, taking down and assisting wherever possible.

The doors open at 5 p.m. with a free ethnic meal served during the event until about 8:30 p.m. Live stage entertainment begins at 6 p.m.

Look for Garba dancers (Hindu), Hurricane Drummers, Abbotsford CSC pipers, Abbotsford Arts Academy, Dasmesh Punjabi School, Learning Stars Arts Academy, and the final act of the night at just after 8 p.m., the Bollywood Dansations.

A henna artist and Khalsa School’s turban-tieing team are added features in the theatre foyer.

MCSS Christmas Bureau – Wish Campaign continues legacy from 1972

 

 

With new ideas and a freshly-minted team of volunteer leaders, the Christmas Bureau – Wish Campaign at Mission Community Services Society (MCSS) is already well into its planning for the 2017 season.
“We are continuing a legacy started in 1972 of community engagement and supporting people who need our help,” said the bureau’s new coordinator, Lesley Drown (on the right, above), whose excitement is obvious.
The seasoned volunteer has lived in Mission for 27 years and is a retired teacher-librarian raised in Kemano and Kitimat who knows the value of volunteerism and is recruiting new people every day.
Working with her this year is Mika Brosseau (on the left, above), Christmas Bureau – Wish Campaign fundraising team leader, relatively new to Mission but experienced working with motorcycle toy runs and Children’s Hospital fundraising in Alberta. “I want to get to know Mission. I love Christmas and helping kids . . . it’s all about the kids.”

Advanced hamper registration for the Mission Christmas Bureau – Wish Campaign begins Oct. 23, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday to Friday at MCSS main office on Second Avenue (604-826-3634). Cutoff is Nov. 10 and then registration continues at its Christmas Bureau – Wish Campaign storefront when it opens Nov. 13 in Unit 142 at Mission Junction next to The Source.
Not only is the campaign all volunteer run to reduce overhead, but this year it will also support vulnerable seniors and singles. Needs are assessed based on the low income threshold posted in provincial government guidelines, said Drown.
Donations can be submitted online on the MCSS website (www.missioncommunityservices.com) donation page, in person at its Second Avenue office (33179 Second Ave.), at MCSS Food Centre (32646 Logan Ave.) or through various community events ranging from the West Coast Express Santa Toy Run and Mission Candlelight Parade to the Festival of Trees and other major Mission Santa drives. Watch the MCSS Christmas Bureau – Wish Campaign Facebook page and MCSS web page for all the details.

Drown said the Mission Christmas Bureau – Wish Campaign is continuing its historic partnership with the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau which provides valuable support from Squamish to Harrison.
Drown and Brosseau said the Mission Kitchens/Christmas Bureau – Wish Campaign features a minimum target of $100,000 in 2017. Also working with them this year are Lexi Richards of MCSS Mission Kitchens/Food Centre; Debbie Daoust of MCSS seniors programming and Annie Charker of the MCSS New to Canada program.
“We are looking for new toys, clothing and non-perishable foods this year in addition to the generous donations of cash,” said Drown.
“It’s never too early to start talking about Christmas, especially when you are planning to help others.”

Support network for Mission Festival of Light: Diwali Oct. 11 is huge!

Ethnic buffet meal provided by Save-On-Foods will be served at Heritage Park Centre cafeteria. It’s free! Bring the family!

Mission Community Services Society (MCSS) is thrilled with the financial and in-kind support it has received so far for the Diwali: Festival of Light event set for Oct. 11 at the Clarke Theatre.

Among donors providing more than $1,000 support in funding and services are:  The District of Mission, Mission Save-On Foods, Mission 125, the University of the Fraser Valley, MCSS, and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (through the Mission Local Immigration Partnership).

Generous contributors include the Mission Sunrise Rotary Club,  United Way of the Lower Mainland, Agassiz-Harrison Community Services, AJay Construction, J’s Pizza, Abbotsford Costco, SARA for Women, Clarke Theatre, Swing Optical, Mission Fire Rescue Service and United Defense Security Ltd. (Paul Sharma).

Media sponsors are the Punjabi Patrika, Mission Record, and Abbotsford News.

Satti Grewal and Kelly Chahal are emcees for Diwali this year in Mission on Oct. 11 at Clarke Theatre.

Commercial booths appearing in the foyer marketplace include dynamic jewelry, clothing, optical, henna and salon vendors.  Among community groups appearing are Fraser Valley Child Development Centre, SARA for Women, Literacy in Motion, WorkBC/Mission Community Skills Centre, District of Mission (community surveys), Mission Library (LiLi mobile music), Cycling for Diversity, Costco, University of the Fraser Valley, MCSS settlement/food centre team, Dasmesh Punjabi School, and Save-On-Foods.

UFV special events manager Betsy Terpsma, and graphic designer Auriel Niven, are providing support in many ways, including creating the Festival of Light: Diwali poster this year.

It’s not too late to climb aboard the Diwali festival train.  Contact Rick Rake at MCSS if you can assist or have a suggestion.   Contact Rake at rick.rake@missioncommunityservices.com or call 604-826-3634.

Serving on this year’s Festival of Light organizing committee are Rake, Sanjay Gulati, Satti Grewal, Raj Patara, Monica Grover, Jean Konda-Witte and Ken Herar.

Providing Diwali stage management services are Alex Rake and Maria Buganska. Volunteers from a variety of places, including Mission Senior Secondary School lead by its amazing leadership team, are helping serve food, setting up, taking down and assisting wherever possible.

New to the Festival of Light: Diwali organizing team this year are Jean Konda-Witte (pictured at left with Karen Laing of MCSS), Raj Patara of Fraser Valley Healthcare Foundation, Monica Grover, and Ken Herar of Cycling for Diversity.

The doors open at 5 p.m. with a free ethnic meal served during the event until about 8:30 p.m.  Live stage entertainment begins at 6 p.m. with Satti Grewal and Abbotsford City Coun. Kelly Chahal as emcees.

Look for Garba dancers (Hindu), Hurricane Drummers, Abbotsford bagpipers, Abbotsford Arts Academy, Dasmesh Punjabi School, Learning Stars Arts Academy, and the final act of the night at 8 p.m., the Bollywood Dansations.

Alex Rake, with Maria Buganska, provides stage management services for this year’s Festival of Light: Diwali.

 

 

Lacey Developments, Telus donate backpacks with school supplies

MCSS settlement worker Annie Charker displays one of 20 school supply backpacks delivered to our offices on Aug. 28 by Lesa Lacey of Lacey Developments Ltd. based in Deroche.

Thank you Lacey Developments and Telus Foundation for this wonderful donation.

MCSS is working with Lacey Developments and the Telus Foundation to help make this kind of support for newcomers occur annually.

 

 

MCSS invited to Temple to see Trudeau

By invitation of MP Jati Sidhu, representatives from Mission Community Services Society were invited to see Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on May 19, the Friday before the Victoria Day long weekend.

Trudeau spoke on multiculturalism and acknowledged a ‘black day’ in history.  More than 250 people gathered for the event at the heritage Gur Sikh Temple in Abbotsford.  When he arrived he was provided with a tour of the temple to learn of its history.

Federal Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan also attended with other Members of Parliament, special guests, and local civic politicians.

After his speech, Trudeau posed with members of the crowd, shared a few words with them and was on to the next scheduled stop.

Coverage of the event and video is HERE.

A full MCSS Facebook album of images is HERE.

Lining up sponsors for Festival of Light: Diwali

An organizing committee of community members chaired by Rick Rake, Local Immigration Partnership coordinator for Mission Community Services Society, has already begun work for Mission Festival of Light: Diwali, set Oct. 11 at Clarke Theatre.

Mission Record newspaper has published a preliminary story about the event HERE:

Interested sponsors are encouraged to contact Rake at rick.rake@missioncommunityservices.com.

Our lively emcees for the 2017 Festival of Light: Diwali are Kelly Chahal and Sati Grewal. Diwali is set for Oct. 11 at Clarke Theatre.