Happy 45th anniversary, Mission Community Services Society!
MCSS has a rich history, and is celebrating at the same time Mission marks its 125th anniversary and Canada fetes its 150th birthday.
MCSS has humble beginnings on the second floor of the old Recreation Centre in Mission. It was launched in 1972 by Glen Barkman (director) and Barbara Wightman (assistant director/secretary) with a mandate to provide services more effectively to people they served and to develop new programs to meet the needs of the community.
They started with programs like Emergency Transportation, Meals on Wheels, a Workshop Activity Centre and Family Life Groups.
The Christmas Bureau was formed later in 1972 with Phyllis Hickson, R. Lyons and Barbara Wightman who headed up the committee.
Programs that followed were an Emergency Baby-sitting Service, Tutorial Assistance, Parents Anonymous and Carefree (a program for pre-school children with disabilities). There was also a program, which was held in conjunction with the library, in which volunteers distributed books to people with limited mobility and to those in hospitals and nursing homes.
Mission Community Services moved its offices to the local hospital which had been closed in 1965 and operated from this location until building its head office in 1999 where it currently sits on Second Avenue, next to Mission Museum.
Since its inception in 1972, MCSS has maintained a focus on helping fellow community members who need assistance to cope with the realities of life.
What started out as neighbours helping neighbours has evolved into an organization offering 28 different programs.
The programs may have changed over the last 45 years, but the focus has not. The organization’s vision remains: Helping people, changing lives, building community, says its current executive director, Sanjay Gulati.