Emmanuel, and our amalgamated partners of Eastbrook United and Wesley United, were among the first churches to help establish food banks in Ottawa over 25 years ago. The need that was identified then is still very much a need today. We currently support Russell Heights Community Centre, Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre and Heron Emergency Food Centre. For many years, we also supported the Gloucester Emergency Food Cupboard but they are now supported by other congregations in their vicinity.
Every other month, the Social Action Committee organizes a food drive. They collect essential food items and monetary donations. The food donations are distributed by willing volunteers to Russell Heights and Rideau-Rockcliffe.
Emmanuel supports Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre with food and monetary donations because we amalgamated with Eastbrook and we wanted to continue to support a partnership they initiated. Here is the link to the website: crcrr.org
Russell Heights Community Centre is the closest food bank geographically to Emmanuel. It is an active centre which provides a wealth of social, health and educational programs for all ages, in addition to a necessary food bank. Emmanuel supports many of their activities including the food bank, providing school supplies, offering the use of our facility for their after-school program (Christie Lake Kids), and by partnering with Vincent Massey PS to run a bike maintenance clinic in the spring. Visit their website: russellheights.ca
We support the Heron Emergency Food Centre with a quarterly monetary donation and a member of the Social Action Committee sits on the HEFC Board of Directors. The Heron Emergency Food Centre holds an annual walkathon to raise funds for the food bank. Here is the link to the website: hefc.ca
On a monthly basis, Emmanuelites purchase Loblaws, Metro and Farm Boy Gift cards to raise funds for refugee housing through the Ottawa Mennonite Refugee Association. The grocery store partners pay OMRA between 4% and 5% of the value of the grocery cards. OMRA uses the funds to subsidize rents for refugee housing. Here is a link to the Annual Report for 2023 for the OMRA Shelter Corporation. Here is the link to the website: omraottawa.org
The Multifaith Housing Initiative is a not-for-profit organization that provides safe and affordable housing in inclusive communities. Emmanuel is a member of MHI and supports it financially and with volunteers in order to provide a permanent community of affordable rental housing in Ottawa. Visit their website: multifaithhousing.ca
Veterans’ House is a MHI initiative built exclusively for 40 veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. This pioneering project combines safe housing with essential on-site rehabilitation services. Emmanuel is committed to supporting this path-breaking project. Thanks to James Park for the photo. Here is the link to the website: veteranshousecanada.ca
Adults and youth have had the opportunity to participate in Habitat for Humanity builds in Canada and in the United States. By working alongside families to build a home, we support their ability to gain strength and independence through affordable homeownership. The website is: habitat.ca
Christie Lake Kids (CLK) offers year-round programs to Ottawa’s most vulnerable children, giving them the chance to learn physical, character and social skills in a safe, encouraging, inclusive environment. They started using Emmanuel’s facilities to provide after-school programs when COVID restrictions allowed. The web link for Christie Lake Kids is christielakekids.com
Isaruit Inuit Arts supports the Inuit artist community in Ottawa by providing a welcoming environment and the necessary equipment. Women are primarily engaged in sewing while men make traditional tools and sculptures. But they also have an outreach program to educate school children about the Inuit culture, and they have been asked by the United Church of Canada to advise on reconciliation. Emmanuel provides modest financial support, and has started helping with driving as well as a pairing program between members of the congregation and some in the Inuit community. Isaruit is based at the old Rideau High School at 815 Saint Laurent Blvd. For more information, visit their website at isaruit.ca.