Archway Stories

Every year, thousands of people walk through our doors seeking support and resources. Here are a few stories of how we’ve played a role in assisting members of our community as they forge a path forward.

A Mother’s Struggle to Save Her Son from Gang Life

“That Could Have Been My Son” She was a newcomer to Canada who arrived as a young bride and moved in with her large, multi-generational family. But her “new life” has had its share of challenges for Surjit*. * Real name withheld Her husband struggled with substance...

Danielle Miller shares Brave Story

We are incredibly grateful that Danielle Miller of The HABIT Project shared her story of post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety with This Is Brave, and allowed us to share it with you. We encourage you to read her recount of living in fear and feeling brave again...

Claudia – From a Mexican Circus to Living in Canada

Claudia’s life has been full of challenges. At age 12 she was kicked out of her home in Mexico and lived on the streets for over a year before finding a welcoming family in a traveling circus. At the circus, Claudia did everything from selling popcorn and cleaning...

From Abuse and Addiction to New Career Opportunities

John* was nine-years-old when he first used hard drugs and started his decades-long struggle with addiction. ‘Shooting up’ was a way to deal with his horrific childhood, which included sexual abuse by his father. He ran away at age 11 and after trying to shoot his...

Pairing Her Loves of Teaching and Children

Before immigrating to Canada in 2012, Amandeep had worked as an elementary school teacher in India. Despite having a Master’s Degree in English, she found it difficult to find a suitable job here, since her teaching credentials were not transferrable. She ended up...

A Career in Caring

Elizabeth was always on the “lucky end” of lay-offs until that luck ran out in 2017. While she enjoyed her work at production companies the industry wasn’t always stable and didn’t provide additional training or opportunities for advancement.As a single mother in her...

There in Crisis

Bridges The Bridges program seeks to bridge youth services to clients that have aged out of government care. "We had a 22 year old girl who was fleeing domestic abuse, couch surfing, unemployed and very distraught from the traumatic experience of being alone through...

Hope Restored

Like many of us, Navor wants nothing more than to provide for his family. That’s why, in 2010, he started coming to Canada—first for five to six months at a time, then for eight. “I came because I wanted to help my family,” he tells us. “I have a daughter, sister, and...

From Volunteer Match to Lifelong Friends and Co-workers

Perfect Strangers In her homeland of Colombia, Claudia was a lawyer with a busy career and family life. Everything changed when she immigrated to Canada with her husband and young son in 2009. Unable to speak English and without her family and friends, she found...

Seeking a New Identity in Music

Harley loves performing hip-hop on stage. But there is one song that he can’t bring himself to perform in public. While he can sometimes write and record a song in less than half an hour, this particular song took months to write and record. Once recorded, he waited a...

Breaking the Cycle: A Young Father’s Story

Abused, addicted, abandoned. Daniel’s young life has been full of challenges, though you wouldn’t know it immediately by looking at his cheerful smile. As a child, he experienced physical abuse at the hands of his father. When he began to fear for his life, he...

Saying ‘Yes’ to a Great Opportunity: Nicholas’ Story

Twelve-year-old Nicholas was bright – and bored. Despite his abilities, the nature of an average school day at Abby Middle just wasn’t working for him. His Vice Principal, Ian Levings, saw Nicholas’ potential and connected him with the Youth Education Support (YES)...

Outstanding Volunteers: Dawn

Dawn is a dedicated volunteer with our Community Connections program and through her volunteering, she's developed a friendship with Jolin, a newcomer to Canada. They have now been friends for over the 8 years and Dawn remarks, “there are times when I think I get more...

Volunteering is a Shared Learning Experience for Don

As a surgeon and GP for 40 years, Don was used to a full schedule. When he retired and moved from Terrace to Abbotsford, he knew he wanted to keep busy. After searching online for local volunteer opportunities, he got in touch with Abbotsford Community Services. For...

Helen Offers a Helping Hand for the Family Centre

Helen Meyers has been an invaluable asset to Abbotsford Community Services over her last 18 years as a volunteer. Originally, she lent her time to our Lunch with the Bunch program, but since 2001 she's dedicated herself to the Family Centre.Twice a week Helen helps...

Outstanding Employment Mentor

With a passion for the community and an eagerness to both share with and learn from others, Sieglinde is a volunteer with a true desire to help others succeed. An Executive Recruiter with Valley Personnel Ltd and an Adult Educator with years of experience in Human...

Outstanding Volunteers: Patricia

When we requested stories of amazing volunteers to feature, LINC instructor Rosanna was quick to mention Patricia, who volunteers as a teacher's assistant in the LINC program to newcomers learning the English language. She has volunteered in this role with several...

Outstanding Volunteers: Joshlyn

Joshlyn is an outstanding volunteer at our AbbotsfordWORKS employment office. She regularly volunteers because she likes having the opportunity to give back to the community. She also gains valuable work experience in the social services field through her involvement...

Answering the Call to Volunteer

Sandy Strowbridge was thinking about how he could give back to his community, and the idea of driving people to their medical appointments kept popping up. He wasn’t sure how to get started, but after a conversation with a friend, he was directed to the Seniors...

The Cost of Loneliness

Loneliness is impacting the lives of seniors in Abbotsford. According to Simon Fraser University, one in five is lonely. Loneliness is now shown to be just as detrimental to life expectancy as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Currently, 17% of Abbotsford’s population are...

The Incredible Journey: Ryan’s Story

Just before Ryan’s 21st birthday, he became the father of a baby girl   “I was a very young dad,” recalls Ryan. “It’s kind of a lonely life when you’re that young. None of my friends had kids, so not a lot of people understood what it was like.” Feeling alone and...

Meet a Few Amazing Ladies

Left: Jie (China) - currently working towards her Hydraulic Engineering certification in Canada Middle: Precious (Philippines) - secured a job as a casual as a Behaviour Interventionist Right: Mireia (Spain) – administrative support for a wealth management company...