By Amanda Rylott

For the past few years, The Compass’ hard-working volunteers have been using old laptop computers at The Compass. These computers were second-hand when The Compass acquired them and had reached the end of their life, becoming a disruption. Optimistically our e-Media team wrote a post on Facebook asking for leads on companies willing to donate their old computers. Oliver Johnston, a community supporter, suggested we contact The Mississauga Board of Trade. A volunteer made that call, and they suggested The Compass apply for a grant for new computers from the Port Credit Community Association, which gives grants for the purpose of improving our community.

Dave McKeown, the Chair of The Compass Board of Directors, and Al Hubbard filled out a grant application on March 27, and days later The Compass received $6,000 to buy 10 new computers! Three of the new computers will be used exclusively by clients who, other than public library computers, may have no other way of accessing to the internet or computing for word processing, job searching and interacting on social media. Seven computers will be used by Compass volunteers to deliver programs & services to clients. These computers will transform the whole workflow at The Compass, and it all happened because volunteers asked and the community came together to find a solution. Thank you to everyone who was involved in making this possible – it will be making a huge difference to volunteers and clients!

This is not the first time that community connections have impacted The Compass in a large way. Two of our donors, Via Rail and Pet Valu, became donors when people asked them, “What do you do with your extra food at the end of the day?” Since then, we’ve received the leftover sandwiches and food packages from Via Rail and pet food from Pet Valu – donations that would have otherwise gone to waste. It is incredible the support we’ve received from people asking this simple question!

These stories go to show that helping out your local food bank doesn’t necessarily only mean donating money or food – your connections in the community can go a long way too! Talk to your friends, family, and coworkers about organizations that you support and what they need, and sometimes that can lead to big changes that can make a huge impact on an organization!

Amanda Rylott has an MA in Development Studies – Agrarian, Food and Environmental Studies from the International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam.

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