What a year 2023 has been! At Archway, our community and around the world, it’s been a period of growth, challenges, beautiful stories, joy, sorrow, curveballs and more.
Thank you for walking alongside your neighbours by being a part of the Archway community. Despite the rising costs of living for all of us, thousands of you decided to be generous and kind. To fight for justice, opportunities and equitable access for all.
I’m grateful to all of our supporters, volunteers and staff who created access to counselling supports for children, youth and adults, supported newcomers with integration services, created employment opportunities for individuals with diverse abilities, provided access to food for thousands and much more.
While the holidays are normally a joyous time, things can feel heavy when we know there is so much suffering both globally and right here at home. My heart is with all the people and nations longing for nonviolence, order and peace. My heart is also with those experiencing a lonely, traumatizing holiday season, who may be estranged from, or without, loved ones close by. For others, the focus is on staying alive rather than celebrating the holidays.
Only you can decide how to reconcile the light and darkness, the joy and the sorrow that is ever-present. While we should not and cannot ignore suffering and injustice, we can also take enough time this holiday season to turn our focus to the pockets of joy and kindness that are all over the place if we look for them.
And through your support of your neighbours, you are spreading joy and building community locally. Thousands of children, seniors and youth will have a gift on Christmas morning letting them know that there are people who care about them. People have healthy food, better mental health, meaningful employment, and a place to belong because you believe that doing your part to raise the tide ends up lifting all the boats.
Abbotsford Canucks Team Members Volunteering at the Archway Christmas Bureau Toy Room
As we navigate the realities of a divided and unjust world, let’s be kind and compassionate to ourselves, our loved ones, colleagues and neighbours. We cannot solve all problems, but we can work towards the world we want to see by modelling love, acceptance, openness and kindness.
In a world full of violence and anger, people like you — people who care — are more important than ever before. Our community is so fortunate to have so many helpers and doers like you.
So thank you, friends. Thank you for everything you’ve done and everything you will continue to do for this place we call home.
I wish you and your loved ones a peaceful and restorative holiday season and a healthy and happy New Year.
For me the greeting is “Merry Christmas!” For you it may be the same, or perhaps it’s “Happy Kwanzaa,” “Hanukkah Sameach” or a “Happy Winter Solstice!”
However you celebrate, I wish you and yours much love and gratitude,
The Prospera Youth Angel Tree initiative collects gifts for youth in need in partnership with the Archway Youth Resource Centre.
Central Executive Officer
Archway Community Services