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Kerrin Churchill

June 4, 2024

I was invited to present a speech at the SCHC charity auction recently as a senior volunteer at the Active Living Centre, and reminiscing on the journey that led me here filled me with immense gratitude. Six years ago, after wrapping up a fulfilling 40-year career in social work, I felt a pull towards giving back to my community in a more hands-on way. Little did I know that joining SCHC would not only fill my days with purpose but also introduce me to a vibrant community of like-minded individuals.

One of the most rewarding experiences has been helping launch the Creative Space Scarborough program alongside my dear friend Susan. Supported initially by a New Horizons grant and now sustained by the dedication of volunteers, CSS has been flourishing. From a humble beginning with 29 participants on the roster last year to an inspiring 41 this year, the program has become a beacon of creativity and community engagement.

One of the highlights of my time working with SCHC has been participating in various programs and activities with our CSS and ALC members. Among them, the Dim Sum lunch, visiting the Sri Lankan temple, and exploring the Doris McCarthy house are cherished experiences. These outings offer opportunities for leisure and exploration and serve as avenues for learning about the incredible talents and generosity within our community.

CSS’s impact extends far beyond our centre’s walls. It provides much-needed space for artistic expression in Scarborough, where such opportunities are often limited. Witnessing the growth and enthusiasm of participants as they explore various forms of art is truly heartening. Moreover, the program fosters intergenerational connections, bridging gaps between seniors and younger community members.

Reflecting on my involvement in programs like CSS, I am reminded of the challenges many seniors face, including isolation and loneliness. These initiatives have offered a sense of purpose and belonging and served as antidotes to the solitude that can sometimes accompany aging. Through shared experiences and camaraderie, we find joy and meaning in our community.

One special memory to me was the poem we wrote.

I extend my heartfelt gratitude for your support to potential donors and bidders at our fundraising event. Your contributions enable us to continue our vital work, including initiatives like the CSS program. With your help, we can further enrich the lives of seniors in Scarborough and nurture a community where everyone thrives. Together, we can make a difference, one meaningful interaction at a time.