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"A thousand mile journey begins with one step"

Good Shepherd Mission

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We all learned about the struggles of poverty in the classroom. We are always

HELP leaders take a break from work

presented with facts and statistics about the viciousness of the monster that is poverty. But we may not always realize the magnitude of it because these people are objectified as numbers. As a result it is always hard to wrap our heads around the factual nature of the sufferings of homelessness and hungriness. By becoming acquainted with poverty personally, we begin to realize the need to act upon empathy and not apathy. Also, it is always one thing to learn from the classroom and experiencing it first hand. The things we learn in person are far superior to what we constantly hear from our advisor.

Last February, together with the H.E.L.P. (Humanitarian Experiential Leadership Program) class and our advisor, Mr. James Scott Neil, we volunteered in the downtown Toronto area at the Good Shepherd Ministries (February 11, 2011), located on 412 Queen Street East, Toronto and the Scott Mission (February 25, 2011), located on 502 Spadina Avenue, Toronto.

Both the Good Shepherd and the Scott Mission charitably provides food, clothing, shelter and personal support all free of charge to poor and needy in the city of Toronto.

What we did at these places:

  • At the Good Shepherd, we were split to a group to help prepare food in the kitchen for lunch for the numbers of people who need them and another group to pack foods in boxes in the basement.
  • At the Scott Mission, together with Donita and Mr. Neil, we helped organize the clothes that are to be put up for the clothes ‘store’. The others helped prepare and serve food.

Tom Mills and Nicole Maylor sorting food

After these wonderful volunteer experiences, I have a newfound appreciation for the people who continue to put in the time to help others out in the name of God and altruism. It is truly a blessing to be a part of this. It gives me full satisfaction knowing that I, one young person can actually make a difference in the community. By partaking in small acts of kindness such as these I know that I have helped put smiles in the faces of the people who seek aid in organizations such as The Good Shepherd and The Scott Mission. And, I know for a fact that I also contribute to their well-being not only for the present but in the future as well by being involved; because these organizations do not just hand-out the support, they rebuild these people’s lives and it is not a hand-out, it is a hand-up.

A short background on these amazing organizations:

The Good Shepherd at 412 Queen Street East, Toronto

The Good Shepherd Ministries was founded by “Br. Mathias Barrett, an Irish-born Catholic with a passion for serving the poor” in 1955 in New Mexico. The Good Shepherd is named after the stories of the good shepherd, Jesus Christ and His compassionate stature. The Little Brothers of the Good Shepherd operates based upon Jesus’ love and care. The ministry grew and found missions in England, Ireland, Haiti and of course, Canada. In 1963, Toronto’s Archbishop Pocock invited the Little Brothers to open a refuge for the poor and needy. The Good Shepherd Centre opened at Queen Street East, “a historically poor area in Toronto”. Today, the Good Shepherd besides providing food, clothes and shelter, also aid deprived people get back to their lives through several programs. Some of these programs include, drug rehabilitation programs (DARE) and house resettlement plans. The Good Shepherd is guided by the teachings of Jesus Christ and is “a leading provider of comprehensive services to homeless, disadvantaged and marginalized people”. The Ministry operates thanks to its staff and many volunteers.

The Scott Mission at 502 Spadina Ave., Toronto

The Scott Mission has a similar mission (pun intended). The Mission was started by Morris and Anne Zeidman in 1941. “They told themselves they would serve the needs of the poor and lost in the community as long as God provided the means” Of course, God did, until to this day, the Mission continues to provide food, clothing and shelter. This Christian Ministry is named after Rev. J. MacPhearson Scott whom had shared his devotion of the needy with Morris. From there, several projects started and became successful in assisting the deprived people in Toronto. In 1926, Morris and Anne married and the rest was history. Today, the Scott Mission through the grace of God “continues to open it doors, welcoming old and new friends and experiencing an abundance of blessings year after year!” The poor and needy in the city continues to find hope in the Scott Mission. Besides the food, clothes, and shelter, additional services include – child daycare, bagged lunches and foot clinics. Like the Good Shepherd, the Scott Mission thanks its staff and countless volunteers for the support day in and day out.

The Good Shepherd and the Scott Mission put God as their inspiration for the work they do. With that said, they treat everybody the respect and dignity they deserve. Also, they endow them spiritual enlightenment, healing and support.

Check the rest of our pictures from The Good Shepherd.


Written by Elvin Madamba

March 6, 2011 at 4:48 PM

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