Collective Christmas 2016; What Community Is All About

“Delicious food, great music, festive atmosphere!”
“Parfait – une belle journée!”
“We look forward to this every year!”
“An amazing event, this is what community is all about!”

These are just a few of the enthusiastic comments from members of the West Island mental health groups that organized Collective Christmas 2016 for their clients, according to Diane Veuhoff, Mental Health Community Worker, WICA. Participants were from West Island Citizen Advocacy, L’équipe Entreprise, Omega Community Ressources, Community Perspective in Mental Health, and Centre Intégré-Universitaire de santé et de services sociaux de l’Ouest-de-l’Ile-de Montréal (CIUSS), in collaboration with Volunteer West lsland’s Corporate Volunteer Program.

They feel fortunate to have the assistance of RBC employees who have volunteered at this annual event since 2008 when they decided to adopt the Collective Christmas as their special project. Once again, thanks to the presence of the RBC volunteers, community group staff and clients had a rare opportunity to socialize in a relaxed atmosphere. In their own words:

“It’s a privilege to have them”.
“They are priceless, without their presence the event wouldn’t be such a success”.
“They are invaluable, efficient, practical and extremely human”.

The “Dream Team” from RBC, working together with community group members to make a difference, exemplifies the importance of partnership among corporate and community partners

There were 183 attendees, clients, staff and RBC volunteers. The DJ was Raphael Charky, doubling as Santa Claus, and the emcee was Colleen Mulroney. In addition to conversation and a tasty meal, activities included entertainment, music, dancing, and drawings for a wealth of prizes.

“We are never too busy to help out such an important activity as this one. We all enjoyed devoting our time and had fun doing it. You can count on my colleagues and me to help out again next year. My youngest daughter who is 19 even came to help out and really enjoyed the day. She was very happy to be a part of this activity” – Cheryl Matte RBC Liaison.

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