Wow! What a year. As we make resolutions for 2023, it’s normal to look back at everything we’ve accomplished and review what we’ve learned from the year gone by.

Something that stands out for me is your unfaltering support. Donors like you have made so many amazing stories possible despite the challenges of another difficult year.

Thanks to you, we’re feeding more families than ever at the Marché, helping people create new lives in Canada, and even introducing a meaningful new program to help address a growing need in Montreal as our population ages.

I hope you enjoy the first newsletter of 2023 and take a real moment to relish all of the meaningful updates in these pages. From our special holiday events to all of the shelter, food and love you help provide each day—these impactful moments are truly because of YOU and your incredible generosity.

I’m so grateful for your kindness and compassion. Thank you for being such a steady and essential part of the incredible community we have here in Montreal. I can’t wait to see what 2023 brings!

Sam Watts

CEO/Executive Director

How You Helped Anippe Start Over in Canada

Anippe remembers trying to ignore the loud rumbling of her stomach as she sat at the breakfast table with her two children. They both had grimaces on their little faces, clearly upset about having to eat oatmeal for the fifth time that week.

Tears would well up in her eyes. Between scrimping, saving and skipping her own meals, there was still barely enough food to go around.

Three years had passed since Anippe had made the decision to immigrate and start over in Canada. As a single mother, she wanted to build a better life for herself and her kids. Being bilingual in French and English, Montreal seemed like the natural choice.

Back in Egypt she had a career as an engineer for 14 years, so it never crossed her mind that getting a job in a new city would be so challenging. Yet, despite having a bachelor’s degree recognized in Québec and achieving status as a permanent resident, she still couldn’t find work.

When food costs started soaring, Anippe knew she couldn’t keep trying to get by all on her own. It was time to ask for help.

That’s when she discovered Welcome Hall Mission.

The first time she walked through our doors, it was to visit Marché Bon Accueil, our free grocery store. As she walked down aisles filled with fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products, frozen meats and other healthy foods, she felt a wave of relief.

Not only could she feed her family, she’d now be able to put something delicious and nutritious on their plates.

From this moment on, Anippe wasn’t alone.

After registering with the Marché, she opened up to us about her difficulty finding work. From there, she was referred to our career counsellors who helped her improve her resumé, job search techniques and interview skills.

“With their help, I started to understand that I needed to send my resumé to all companies in need of my qualifications, speak French during phone conversations and customize my resumé to the position I was applying for at each company.” ‑ Anippe

With a little guidance, she gained all the confidence she needed to create a successful plan. It goes without saying that once she was fully equipped, it wasn’t long until Anippe found a job in her field.

Today we’re happy to report that she’s been so successful, she’s even planning to buy a house in 2025!

“Finally, after looking for three years, I was offered a position within a large Canadian company,” she shared gratefully. “I now feel secure in my career, am financially stable and able to plan for the future.”

The support you gave Anippe will have an incredible long-term impact. Thanks to you, she’s now able to create the promising future she wanted for her children. Helping their family today means her kids have everything they need to step into a better and brighter tomorrow.

Thank you so much for empowering Montrealers to break free from poverty and live the lives they deserve!

Introducing Compassion Pathways—Urban Health Project

We’re thrilled to announce that we’re starting a new pilot program to serve the elderly in our community!

This innovative program is designed to improve the quality of life for low-income seniors who are experiencing vulnerable health conditions and other barriers to local services.

Our new pilot program will not only deliver nourishing groceries, but will also provide in-person check-ins for elderly people who do not have family or social networks in the city.

Each person in this program will receive home visits with someone dedicated to making sure they have what they need.

An important part of this service will be to make sure people can access health care services. This may include help with scheduling appointments, transportation to and from visits, and even accompanying people in order to take notes, ask questions and advocate for their health.

We’re dedicated to helping every Montrealer, and with your generosity, we’ll be able to support seniors in our city. Thank you!

Showcasing the Impact of Our Local Youth

This Thanksgiving, we were so proud to see local youth give back to the community. The St. George’s kindergarten class worked together to donate 50 Thanksgiving dinners to our Macaulay Pavillon guests, while also taking an important moment to reflect on all the things they are thankful for.

As part of their Christian Service Program, a class of 18 students from Loyola’s High School recently spent the day volunteering their time at the Mission. Our volunteer department was very impressed with their work ethic and are so grateful for their help in changing the lives of those we serve.

It’s so inspiring to see young people getting involved in the community and helping others. Every time someone shows kindness and compassion, our city and the world beyond becomes a better and brighter place. Thank you!