Chris and Mit* and their two children, then 5 and 7 years of age, moved to Calgary from an eastern European country 4 years ago to escape the armed conflict and with hopes to make Canada their new home. The parents were excited to be members of the vibrant community of Calgary and their kids were looking forward to making new friends.

The family however was also aware that making a fresh start in a new place was not going to be an easy task. They visited many agencies looking for information about accessing public transit, housing, job searching, and their children’s education. Soon it was December and they were unsure how they could provide Christmas for their kids. It was a stressful time.

Meanwhile, they learned about Closer to Home’s West Central Community Resource Centre (WCCRC). During one of their visits to the WCCRC, they learned about Closer to Home’s annual Adopt-a-Family initiative and decided to register. Fortunately, CTH was able to find a donor for the family.

When they found out that they were adopted, Chris and Mit could not be happier. “It was like somebody took the burden off our shoulders,” recalls Chris. They were so thankful.

The kids loved their Christmas gifts and so did the parents! But it meant more for the family. “We found a connection with the community. We noticed that Calgarians have warm hearts and they care about their fellow community members,” says Mit.

Fast forward three years. Chris and Mit are deeply engaged in their community. Mit volunteers in various programs at the WCCRC including Family Café, a joint program with Brown Bagging and Women’s Group. Chris also serves as a board member at their community association.

They were moved and inspired by the support they received and that is why they committed to giving back to the community.

“Mit is like a goodwill ambassador for us and does not hesitate to jump in and offer us help whenever we need it. The couple’s contribution to the agency is exemplary because not everyone can be so dedicated like Chris and Mit,” says Minoush, Program Coordinator at the WCCRC.

 * Names changed to protect privacy

Would you like to connect more families like Chris and Mit with their communities? Register for Adopt-a-Family here.