This year at Pure Yoga Ottawa, we’ve offered our very first scholarship to our September yoga teacher training course, by way of paying it forward. Applicants had to demonstrate a desire to do good in their community.
We’re thrilled to announce that the winner of this scholarship is Amy Wannamaker. Read on for some inspirational information about Amy’s welcome hampers for refugee families new to Ottawa:
Neighbour to Neighbour
Neighbour to Neighbour works to support newcomers and refugees by providing Welcome Hampers filled with essential day-to-day items, as well as raising funds for Immigrant Women Services of Ottawa, an organisation that directly supports immigrant women. By providing a platform where community members are able to work together, a small donation contributes to a big impact. By each giving a little, we can give a lot.
Last year, Amy and a colleague coordinated a Welcome Hamper for a family of refugees from Syria. She was amazed at what an impact they were able to create by using their best resource – their own network. By simply reaching out to the community, they were able to provide a beautiful gift of non-perishable food items, clothing, toiletries, toys, diapers, a $400 gift card to Walmart, and more.
Every year, Ottawa welcomes newcomers to our community. They have fled their home countries for the safety of their families and receive minimal support from the government. Their homes are often empty of furniture and basic household belongings. They lack enough clothing, furniture, and food to meet their needs. A gift of basic household items that many of us take for granted, can make all the difference in building a new life.
We have the opportunity to be the kind of neighbours we would hope for during difficult times. Together, we can contribute to a lasting social impact and build healthier communities. Just by working together in our own backyards. The strength of this program is engaging the generosity that already exists in our communities.
Amy’s plan is to grow the movement by implementing multiple approaches. This includes, directly supporting newcomer families by coordinating Welcome Hampers for 10 families, fundraising for the Immigrant Women Services of Ottawa, and promoting the growth of a Welcome Hamper movement by spreading awareness and encouraging community members and groups to build their own hampers.
Congratulations Amy, we were so impressed by your hard work and your plans to expand this great community initiative to help people. We are so happy to be able to support you in your journey and look forward to welcoming you to the September Yoga Teacher training and watching your fantastic operation expand!