You Are Providing Help When Tragedy Strikes

Elizabeth, pictured with House of Friendship staff Shahlaa, is finding meaning and purpose by volunteering at Forest Heights Community Centre, where she also receives food support.

Every week, Elizabeth volunteers to hand out food to her fellow community members at Forest Heights Community Centre.

“I try to keep my mind off my troubles,” said Elizabeth, with translation help from Shahlaa, a House of Friendship team member. “I like volunteering – it helps.”

Elizabeth came to Canada 20 years ago, leaving behind her war-torn home of Sudan. She came as a single mother to her children, while her husband chose to stay behind.

“I came because I was looking for a safe place for my children to grow up,” said Elizabeth. “But you never know what will happen.”

Though Elizabeth has worked hard over the past two decades to build a new, better life for her family, tragedy struck. Her youngest son, who was studying to become an engineer at University of Waterloo, was in a serious car accident three years ago. He’s been in a coma ever since.

His friends are graduating this year, but he cannot speak. He doesn’t wake up,” said Elizabeth, who visits him in hospital every day. 

Elizabeth struggles to speak English, and is more comfortable communicating in Arabic. Because of the language barrier, she has found it difficult to find work.

“I couldn’t go to work here; I was always struggling.” 

Because of these barriers, Elizabeth relies on the food support she receives at Forest Heights, help that is only possible because of you.

Elizabeth appreciates being able to pick up the food close to home, rather than having to get someone to drive her to pick up a food hamper. 

And by volunteering at Forest Heights, Elizabeth also experiences the joy of helping others, as she has been helped.

“It helps me a lot to be there, to love the people,” said Elizabeth. “I am helping them, but at the same time, they are helping me.” 

Your generous care and support makes it possible for Elizabeth to cope with one of the most difficult seasons of her life, without having to worry about her next meal. Thank you for stepping up to help families like Elizabeth’s!

Posted on: June 23rd, 2023

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