Author Archive

The end is just the beginning

August 27, 2010

So my ten-week contract at the Emergency Food Hamper Program expires today and, technically, I am supposed to write a “farewell article”. But I don’t see this as a farewell, but rather, I see the end as just the beginning.

First and foremost, I never liked goodbyes. I think the word has been misused by so many people. We shouldn’t say “goodbye” to anybody unless it’s on the day that we leave this world, because chances are, with modern technology, you are likely to see the other person again sometime in life. Thus, I prefer to say “see you all later” to everyone who works at the hamper program.

The past 10 weeks working at EFHP has been excitement, fulfillment, and a incredible learning process. I want to thank all of the staff members and volunteers from the bottom of my heart. I want to thank Matt C., Michele, Melissa, Raymond, Matt G., Nadir, Anton, Salvador, Allison and Lianna for all your help, friendship, work ethics, and warm personalities. (more…)

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Where did all the jobs go?

August 27, 2010

After five weeks, 120 surveys, countless conversations with patrons, and many, many, photocopies, Lianna and I finished the patron survey for the summer of 2010. It seems to be a victory for both of us at the first glance, but we’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg. What comes now is the daunting task of synthesizing all the data and information collected through the surveys, covering a wide variety of issues such as job security, government pensions, education, service quality at the food hamper program, and some household information.

In the beginning, I was struggling to come up with a specific topic to pull out of the survey and focus on for a blog post while reading through all the results. After an hour of pen-biting and bird-watching at my desk, I went to our program supervisor, Matt, for some advice, who also happens to be a master at MS Excel. With help from him, I realized that the issues of education and employment go hand in hand with one another, and thus, I’ve decided to use this opportunity to present and discuss some interesting results we found from the surveys concerning patrons’ education and their employment status. (more…)

Chandler-Mowat Community Centre: Unity in Diversity

August 26, 2010

On Thursday August 5, Lianna and I visited the last community centre, Chandler-Mowat, to complete our four-part series along with, Sunnydale of Waterloo, Courtland-Shelley and Kingsdale of Kitchener. When our program supervisor first introduced us to this assignment, he pitched it as “a process to profile four community centres operated by House of Friendship”. Neither one of us had any idea what it meant exactly to profile the community centres. However, by the end of our visit to Chandler-Mowat, the 20-year-old community centre, it is safe to say that all four locations share one thing in common: food is being used as a means to build meaningful relationships and strong communities. (more…)

Building a Community – One Young Soul at a Time

July 29, 2010

“Young”, “vibrant” and “energetic” were the first words that projected into my head when Lianna and I arrived at the Courtland-Shelley Community Centre. It’s not a typical community centre like YMCA, nor a two million dollar facility that you visit for your weekly workout. Low-key and modest, the centre sits among a neighbourhood of 69 townhouses, only distinguishable through its sign that reads “Courtland-Shelley Community Centre.” (more…)

Passions Driven Life

July 13, 2010

Hi everyone, my name is Lucas Lu and I am one of the Summer Student Special Projects assistants here at the Emergency Food Hamper Program. I am thrilled to be given this opportunity to work here alongside many amazing staff members, and the chance to learn from people that come from different social and economic backgrounds.

Just a little bit about myself. I have just finished my third year of the business program at Wilfrid Laurier and have one more year to go before I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! My two biggest passions in life are technology and social innovation. They are seemingly two very isolated fields, but if we dig deep enough, we will start to see their roots are all interconnected in every way possible.

Technology can truly change the way we work, live and interact with one another. The birth of computer technology and the internet made this even more evident. In the summer of 2009, I started a new technology venture with a few friends that aims to create a dashboard for researching, collecting and managing information. Through the process of building a business, I was given many opportunities to expose myself to many of the latest technological inventions that bear the potential to make our community a better place to live for all. (more…)