• Mother's Day celebrations at Abrigo

    11 May 2017 / Uncategorized / 0 Comment

    Musician Nuno Cristo performs at Abrigo's annual Mother's Day celebration

    The Abrigo Centre was proud to have guest musician and singer Nuno Cristo perform for a full house of seniors at our annual Mother's Day celebration. The colourful event featured wonderful food, music and dancing but around the festivities, Mr. Cristo performed an hour long set of classic Portuguese folk music much to the delight of his audience. His energetic music brought many onto the dance floor and Abrigo clients were singing along to a number of the songs in unison with Mr. Cristo.

    Mr. Cristo performed at Abrigo's Imagine the Possibilities Gala in March and we were delighted that he donated his time and talents to entertain our clients and give back to the community.

  • Sun Life visits for the United Way Day of Caring

    10 May 2017 / Uncategorized / 0 Comment

    An 8 member team from Sun Life volunteer their time to assist Abrigo seniors

    On Tuesday, May 9 the Abrigo Centre had the privilege to host an eight member team of volunteers from Sun Life who spent the morning volunteering their time to assist Abrigo's Life and Hope Educational and Recreational program for seniors.

    Their visit was part of the United Way Toronto York Region's Day of Caring - an annual event that sees corporate teams of donors to the United Way connect with the agencies and the people they support.

    Abrigo was participating in this important initiative for the first time as were many of the volunteers from Sun Life. The experience proved to be extremely rewarding for Abrigo and our clients. Not only did we receive help with food preparations, gardening on our rooftop patio and assistance with painting a new mural, our clients got the experience of connecting one-to-one with a community member who is engaged and willing to give back.

    During this short period of time not only were new friendships made, the Sun Life volunteers got a better understanding of the important work Abrigo does in the community and the impact it has on the people we serve.

    Our sincere thanks to the entire Sun Life volunteer team for spending a few hours of their valuable time with us!

  • Abrigo celebrates National Volunteer Week!

    28 April 2017 / Uncategorized / 0 Comment

    Annual recognition event celebrates the amazing achievements of 121 volunteers

    The Abrigo Centre held our annual Volunteer Recognition evening on Thursday, April 27 to acknowledge the enormous contributions of our student and adult volunteers.

    In the 2016/2017 fiscal year, a total of 121 volunteers contributed 15,205 hours of service to the agency. It's a remarkable achievement that allows the counsellors and staff members of Abrigo to assist more than 6,400 unique clients each year.

    Some of the programs that volunteers actively participate in include our Seniors Life and Hope program, the Community Development and Integration program, our Partner Assault Response program and Abrigo's huge annual spring Income Tax Clinic.

    The heart, dedication and commitment shown by our Abrigo volunteers is incredible. This agency could not provide all the programs and services we do at the level we do without their ongoing commitment and support.

    Thank you Abrigo Volunteers!

  • Abrigo will be closed on April 14th & 17th.

    07 April 2017 / Uncategorized / 0 Comment

    Good Friday and Easter Monday closings

    Please note that the Abrigo Centre will be closed on Good Friday, April 14th and Easter Monday, April 17th. Abrigo will return to normal business hours (9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) on Tuesday, April 18th.

    Just a reminder that drop-in intake hours for new clients remains weekdays from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

    Thank you.

  • Annual Abrigo Gala the Largest and Most Successful Yet

    08 March 2017 / Uncategorized / 0 Comment

    Over 300 Guests Celebrate the Accomplishments of Abrigo's Volunteers

    Abrigo Centre's annual signature fundraising event of the year, the Imagine the Possibilities Gala took place on Saturday, March 4 at LiUNA Local 183’s Gerry Gallagher Hall in Toronto. Final revenue numbers are not in yet but it is anticipated that this year's event will be the most financially successful Abrigo gala ever.

    Each year this wonderful event raises much-needed funds that go to support the programs and services provided to 6,400 clients each year. Community-minded donors like you make that happen. We thank all our corporate sponsors, silent auction donors and guests for their support.

    The evening started with a wonderful Reception performance by accomplished fado guitar players Nuno Cristo and Pedro Joel. The duo serenaded guests throughout the reception hour and later during dinner. Co-MC's media personality Mo-D and Telma Pinguelo from Camoes Radio ably guided the evening with both humour and a steady hand. Among the dignitaries in attendance were Davenport MPP Cristina Martins and Davenport City Councillors Ana Bailao and Cesar Palacio.

    In between a fabulous Silent Auction that included Platinum Leafs tickets, an autographed Jonas Valanciunas jersey and an extremely difficult to obtain Telsa 24-hour test drive, Abrigo paid tribute to our very generous donors.

    Gala events would not be possible without the support of our corporate sponsors. In particular, our thanks need to be extended to this year's Presenting Sponsors LiUNA Local 183 and LiUNA OPDC under the leadership of Mr. Jack Oliveira and the Canadian Council of Construction Unions. As well, Abrigo is profoundly thankful for the support of Mr. Manuel Da Costa and his firm Viana Roofing & Sheet Metal Inc. for joining us this year as the Platinum Sponsor.

    The 2017 gala featured a tribute to the 80 or so volunteers who ensure that our clients get the best care and service possible all the while assisting Abrigo staff members along the way. A video tribute to our volunteers was prepared and it was introduced by Mr. Da Costa. The highlight of the night was an incredible speech delivered by 12-year Abrigo volunteer Donzilia Veiga. Mrs. Veiga brought the house to its feet with inspiring remarks about what it means to be a volunteer at Abrigo.

    Once the formalities came to a close, the dance floor was filled for the rest of the night with bodies moving to the non-stop party music of The Sound Parade.

    Our sincere thanks again to all who attended and supported the Imagine the Possibilities Gala.

    Abrigo Volunteer Donzilia Veiga

    Nuno Cristo and Pedro Joel

    Mo-D and Telma Pinguelo

    Ed Graca, Abrigo Executive Director

    Silent Auction items

    The Sound Parade

  • Abrigo receives funding for new elevator through Ontario 150 Community Capital grant

    08 February 2017 / Uncategorized / 0 Comment

    MPP Cristina Martins announces gift at Abrigo

    On Tuesday, February 7, Davenport MPP Cristina Martins came to the Abrigo Centre to publically announce a grant of $136,000 to Abrigo to help fund our new elevator project through the Ontario 150 Community Capital Program.

    The Ontario 150 Community Capital Program is a $25 million fund that provides one-time funding in 2016/17 to support the repair, renovation or retrofit of existing community facilities - the public places and spaces where Ontarians come together to celebrate, create, play, learn and support one another.

    "Our government is helping Davenport celebrate this milestone in a way that is meaningful to our community. This investment will put a spotlight on our region, help those who need it most, and continue to build Davenport up", said Ms. Martins.

    None of this would be possible without the initial financial support of $110,000 provided to Abrigo for the elevator project by LiUNA Local 183, LiUNA Ontario Provincial District Council, LiUNA International, the Canadian Council of Construction Unions and the Benefit Plan Administrators Limited. As always, we thank them for their generous support.

    Abrigo Centre Executive Director Ed Graca was on hand to accept from Ms. Martins a plaque commemorating the Ontario 150 Community Capital Program gift. “With the additional funds provided from the Ontario 150 Community Capital Program we can now move Abrigo’s new elevator project forward. Over the last year, community support for the elevator has been strong and we thank all our donors for their support. This Ontario 150 commitment allows us to reach our goal and soon we will be able to provide safe and easy access to our second floor programs for all clients,” said Mr. Graca.

  • 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.

  • Make your donation to Abrigo before year end!

    23 December 2016 / Uncategorized / 0 Comment

    There's still time to support the Abrigo Centre in 2016

    As we approach the end of 2016 there is still time to make a difference for the women and children who turn to Abrigo for support when they come face-to-face with an abusive relationship.

    Please consider supporting the 775 women who receive counselling in Abrigo’s Violence Against Women program each year. With your gift of $25, $50 or even $100 to our holiday Emergency Fund campaign you will help provide counselling services and emergency provisions like food, rent or transportation to women in need.

    Many women have experienced immeasurable change in their lives since receiving counselling at Abrigo. Often they are released from the daily fear they experience and slowly rebuild a better life for themselves and their families.

    Donating to the Abrigo Centre is fast, easy and secure. Simply click on the CanadaHelps Donate Now button on the top right corner of each page and you can immediately make a donation to the women who need emergency provisions to take that first step to a better life. Once your donation is complete you will be immediately issued a tax receipt for your gift.

    There's still time to support Abrigo in 2016 and get a tax receipt for this year. Make your donation today. Thank you for your support!

  • Abrigo is closing for the Holidays

    23 December 2016 / Uncategorized / 0 Comment

    The Abrigo Centre will be closed the week of December 26 - 30, 2016

    As is our annual tradition, the Abrigo Centre will be closed the week between Christmas and the New Year. This year our offices will be closed the week of Monday, December 26 through Friday, December 30, 2016.

    Normal business hours will resume on Monday, January 2, 2017 at 9:00 a.m.

    On behalf of the Board of Directors and Staff of the Abrigo Centre we wish you a safe and happy Holiday Season!

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