Kingston Whig-Standard - - SPORTS -

Vol­un­teers at KEYS Job Cen­tre ful­fill dif­fer­ent roles, work­ing with com­mu­nity mem­bers from all walks of life. This year, KEYS cre­ated a fourth men­tor­ship pro­gram and con­tin­ued to wel­come fam­i­lies to Kingston through Refugee Re­set­tle­ment Ser­vices Kingston, de­liv­ered in part­ner­ship with Kingston Com­mu­nity Health Cen­tres and now in its sec­ond year. Hun­dreds of vol­un­teers pro­vide the back­bone to men­tor­ing pro­grams and in­valu­able sup­port to new­com­ers. Vol­un­teers men­tor youth, new­com­ers, and re­cent grad­u­ates, help­ing them achieve their em­ploy­ment and life goals; they help fam­i­lies set­tle in Kingston and ad­just to life in Canada; re­cently, a di­verse group came to­gether to plan, cook and serve a com­mu­nity meal. The roles are var­ied, but each one en­tails mak­ing mean­ing­ful con­nec­tions with oth­ers and help­ing to build com­mu­nity.

The Be­gin Again Group (BAG) project is a mi­cro so­cial en­ter­prise, which grew out of a part­ner­ship be­tween KEYS’ Refugee Women’s Men­tor­ing Net­work and vol­un­teer Carolyn Butts of bon eco de­sign. The project brings to­gether eight refugee women who have de­vel­oped their sewing and de­sign skills and now pro­duce unique hand­made purses made from re­cy­cled rub­ber in­ner tubes. These one-ofa-kind bags carry the sto­ries of the maker and the ma­te­rial. This project has grown through the sup­port of vol­un­teers and com­mu­nity part­ners and the group is now de­vel­op­ing a web­site and work­ing to­ward in­cor­po­ra­tion.

Carolyn Butts is one of the hun­dreds of vol­un­teers at KEYS who are help­ing to open doors and change lives ev­ery day. KEYS salutes its vol­un­teers and thanks them for their ded­i­ca­tion and pas­sion.

For more in­for­ma­tion about KEYS Job Cen­tre’s vol­un­teer pro­grams, con­tact 613-546-5559

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