Archive for January, 2017

  • Volunteering Makes an Impact

    27 January 2017 / Uncategorized / 0 Comment

    Often on both the client and the volunteer

    By Marlucy Mandarino da Silva

    My husband suggested the Abrigo Centre as a possible location to volunteer. He was already familiar with the agency’s work and knew that staff members spoke Portuguese. That was especially appealing to me.

    I went to the agency, filled out a volunteer application form and the following week was delighted to receive a call from Abrigo’s Volunteer Coordinator Valeria Sales offering me an interview.

    When I met Valeria, I felt confident that I could do a good job and be an asset to Abrigo. During the interview, I was nervous because I welcomed the opportunity to occupy both my time and my mind as well as help others in need. It got to the point that I begged Valeria to give me the chance to volunteer… every day of the week if they needed an extra hand.

    I had a great first day. Abrigo’s free client Income Tax Clinic had just started and I was helping to complete supplement forms. I had the wonderful opportunity to meet and work with Grace, another Abrigo volunteer.

    In the two years since, it’s been nice to speak to individuals and families, get to know them and above all, be able to help them. I think that is one of the best things about Abrigo, you meet different people with unique needs and it is good to know that under the supervision of Abrigo staff, you make a positive impact on the client.

    National Volunteer Week is April 23- 29, 2017. Volunteers create a positive impact locally and across Canada. If you would like to volunteer at Abrigo, contact Valeria Sales, Volunteer Coordinator,

    (This is an edited version of a story appearing in Abrigo’s 2015/16 Annual Report)

  • Community Empowerment from the Ground-up: A Student’s Experience

    13 January 2017 / Uncategorized / 0 Comment

    Recent university grad is grateful for the opportunity to apply the knowledge she learned at Abrigo

    By Sara Moscatel

    I am very grateful and proud to have completed my fourth year placement at the Abrigo Centre. As a new alumnus of Ryerson University’s Bachelor of Social Work program, I have had the opportunity to see myself grow from a student to a professional thanks to the learning opportunities and support the Abrigo team has offered me.

    Initially, I came on board to shadow youth work and violence against women counseling but soon expanded my role into community development and government assistance programs. The opportunity to work at a multi-service agency has provided me the generalist education and experience I’ve sought, as well as experience working with multiple generations and age groups and often in my native tongue, Portuguese.

    The ability to apply my knowledge and education in a cross-cultural and multigenerational capacity has challenged me to adapt and build on theoretical approaches to case management and counseling and interpret how they operate in a Luso-Canadian framework.

    Since then, I believe I have become a strong advocate for community members and have been able to contribute back to the community that provided support to my family when my parents originally immigrated to Toronto in 1990.

    I look forward to seeing Abrigo grow and adapt to new challenges and demographics of a changing Luso community in the Greater Toronto Area.

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