According to a recent report by the United States-based Social Progress Imperative, Canada ranks seventh amongst 132 countries on a Social Progress Index. In the second annual report, which evaluates 12 attributes in the categories of Basic Human Needs, Foundations of Wellbeing and Opportunity, Canada placed well ahead of the United States and the United Kingdom, which ranked 16th and 13th respectively.
In fact, in the category of Opportunity, which assesses personal rights, freedom and choice, tolerance and inclusion, and access to advanced education, we placed second only to overall first-place winner New Zealand.
The report follows many other studies that have lauded the quality of life Canadians enjoy, a characteristic that prompts thousands of refugees each year to look to our country for a fresh start.
For almost 25 years, Toronto’s Christie Street Refugee Centre has helped these newcomers get back on their feet as they begin a new life in Canada, and recognizing the important contribution it makes to our city, Greater Toronto REALTORS® support this organization through the Ontario REALTORS Care® Foundation.
The Centre, which offers services in three areas: shelter and support, an outreach program, and refugee sponsorship, plays an important role in setting up new arrivals for success.
“Many of the families that we serve come from very violent and turbulent situations in their home countries and communities. Christie Refugee Welcome Centre seeks to provide stability, a sense of peace, and a sense of order as they establish roots in Canada,” says Executive Director Linda Moorcroft. “The residents really develop a strong sense of community with one another and that translates into the communities where they choose to live.”
To make their start a little more comfortable, Greater Toronto REALTORS® recently provided a grant that has contributed to bathroom renovations, transforming them into beautiful, energy efficient facilities.
Moorcroft says that as a result of beginning their new life in a home with dignity and respect, many families get involved in the community once they are able to forge their own path.
“To hear that the parents are learning English, that children are enrolled in schools and that the family is active in their community is exceptionally rewarding.”
There are a number of ways you can support Christie Street Refugee Centre. A $25 donation for example, provides a new backpack complete with school supplies to a child refugee. Every person who stays at the shelter receives a new bed-in-a-bag consisting of a comforter, sheet set, pillow and towel; a $50 contribution makes this effort possible.
Volunteers are also welcome to assist in the kitchen, the computer room and with tutoring, to name just a few roles. Gently used clothing and household items along with new personal grooming products are gratefully accepted as well.
To learn more about the various opportunities to offer your support to this very worthy organization, please visit www.christiestreetrc.com, and to learn about the many ways that Greater Toronto REALTORS® contribute to the social fabric of our city, please visit www.TorontoRealEstateBoard.com