Ruth writes: We received this press release from Samara Carroll (firstname.lastname@example.org). We liked the idea so much we are passing it on to you.
Please let us know if you’ve had experience with Share Thanksgiving.
Share Thanksgiving: Canadians and Immigrants Share Canadian Tradition, Develop Lasting Friendships
TORONTO, ON – Canadians who are planning their Thanksgiving meals may want to set an extra place this year to welcome newcomer families.
Share Thanksgiving is a simple idea that matches new immigrants who want to participate in a Thanksgiving meal, with settled Canadians who will host the guests. Participants can sign up online and are matched and connected to share their Thanksgiving meal. In the words of Matt Galloway, host of CBC’s Metro Morning, it’s a “Turkey-based matchmaking service connecting new immigrant and host Canadian families.”
Now in its third year, the initiative has now reached across Canada, with signups from Victoria, BC, to Halifax, NS. Last year, Share Thanksgiving connected over 600 families over one-on-one dinners. Friendships were developed and partner families came together again and again to form new traditions throughout the year.
Testimonials from last year’s participants show how meaningful these dinners are: “We had a turkey dinner together and talked long after their daughter dozed off. When they left, it was neat [to] reflect on how I’d thought that we’d be so different considering where we’re from, but that evening had shown me how much we had in common. We were very glad to accept their invitation to eat a tasty Iran-Canadian meal at their house, and have enjoyed their company on quite a few occasions since. I’m grateful to have them as part of my community!” – Danny Howard, 2013 Participant. Another Newcomer told us: “Sometimes when we are away from our countries and our families, we find it difficult to feel at home. Thanks to this friendly family, we had a moment where we felt at home.”
“Our belief is that one family-to-family dinner connects us, and 10,000 of these dinners connect Canadians,” says Parker Mitchell, the founder of Share Thanksgiving.
Share Thanksgiving is run by a team of volunteers in a dozen Canadian cities. The Toronto team works with settlement agencies from across the GTA, including partnering organization the North York Community House, to safely match up new and host families. Share Thanksgiving is also the recipient of Toronto Community Foundation’s Vital Ideas grant.
You can learn more, and sign up, at www.ShareThanksgiving.ca. Sign up will close on October 9th.