Between the recognition of HIV/AIDS through our #RedforChange campaign, putting together a World AIDS Day event, running our Holiday Care program, and all the little in-between’s that we find ourselves doing with an little extra effort before the calendar year ends, the last month and a bit at CAYR can get quite busy.

Then there is that little holiday break that comes this time of year when folks seem to generally be running around to attend family gatherings, decorate for the festive times, sing holiday carols (ok, maybe not for everyone), and make sure smiles are shared.

Then throw on top of that the cold, often gloomy, snowy, icy weather.

Tis the season to be happy! But often it is busy and challenging. More so for some than others. The wintery cold season can lend to troubles such as depression and isolation, so we all need to be a little more patient, understanding and thoughtful. Tis also the season to be kind, appreciative, neighbourly, and to reflect.

I am privileged to have what I do, I know that; but I am also privileged to be able to see what is given. A lot of folks who work hard because they care.

(#RedforChange: The Town of Newmarket lights up red the Fred Lundy Bridge and the water falls at the Riverwalk Commons. Support from The City of Richmond Hill show their support with the red ribbon. All helping to create awareness! And a big shout out to the Richmond Hill United Church for co-hosting our World AIDS Day event!)

And then, as most every year, the generosity of those supporting our Holiday Care program;

  • Little Elves
  • York Regional Police
  • Unionville Presbyterian Church
  • Walmart
  • Longos
  • Abuse Hurts
  • Newmarket Charitable Gaming at Bingo World
  • Kitimai Tea & Coffee Inc
  • The Great Canadian Sox Shop
  • CAYR Staff and Board
  • Amazing volunteers!!!

And of course, helping to keep our service user room pantry full of clothing donations, food items and harm reduction supplies

I know that these things don’t solve all the difficult times we may face, but they are still blessings that count and make a difference.


By Mark Koning

Mark is the Manager of Communications & Operations with CAYR COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS. Mark is also an Author and Blogger of Challenging Barriers and The BIST Blog. (Brain Injury Society of Toronto)



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