As president of Superior I rarely take a load of things on delivery — however, we were asked once again to help a Montreal shelter assisting refugees, so I thought I would check it out this time myself.
The drive to Montreal was a disaster. The highway mid-way was completely closed for many hours due to serious accident, so, visiting a run down section of Montreal at 10 pm not something I go out of my way to do.
Once I arrived, waiting patiently where men and women mostly from Rwanda, Nigeria and Haiti, who were so thankful to see the truck load of new clothes donated from Moores Clothing! They said little other than “thank you, merci“…….and smiled a lot.
However, it was one young Canadian man, Etienne who nervously waited on the sidelines to speak with me that made the journey a heartfelt experience.
Etienne had been told that I was coming, so he had waited all day because he was promised a shirt. He now had two brand new ones in a used plastic bag, and proudly showed me what he was just given. He said he only owned the plaid flannel shirt he was wearing, and as he had a job interview in two days, the shirts would give him a better chance. The man had just wanted to thank me and shake my hand.
So I thank Moores Clothing Canada, for their kindness, and with this experience I saw for myself something that I always knew. Challenges from Africa (or other far-off places) are increasingly an issue for Canadians, but challenges also have always traditionally existed here as well, and must not be ignored.
Ps 6 months later…..
This November, I took another load of new clothes and shoes to the same Montreal shelter, and met again the young fellow, Etienne . He had received two new shirts from us that he wished for because of a pending job interview.
He passed the interview, received training on driving a light panel truck, and now makes deliveries from Montreal into the Eastern Townships in his new job. He has also moved out of the shelter and now has his own studio apartment.