In Grade 6, I met a girl named Fatima. Her family had recently immigrated to Canada from Fujairah, United Arab Emirates. She had long, shiny black hair, expressive brown eyes and the most lovely, shapely eyebrows.
(My obsession with perfect brows began shortly after I met her. Whenever I hear the expression “eyebrows on fleek”, I can’t help but think of her, where she is today, and if her eyebrows are still fabulous. And somehow, I just know they are.)
Fatima’s family arrived in November, shortly after the first snowfall of the season. The timing of her arrival is perfectly preserved in my mind, mainly because I was tasked with walking her to and from the school office during recess.
You see, Fatima didn’t have a winter coat.
We didn’t speak during the short walks from our portable to the office, mutually overcome with embarrassment. But I recall feeling confused and irritated, thinking, who sends their kid to school in winter without a warm coat? Fatima’s jacket – what I’d consider to be a windbreaker – was thin and flimsy.
What I didn’t realize then, which I’m acutely aware of now, is that being unprepared for our cold winters is an obstacle for many newcomers to Canada. In fact, this year, it’s expected that approximately 200,000 newcomers will move to our country and experience the extreme cold of their first Canadian winter. And for many of these men, women and children, they’ll have arrived without the basic necessities to face the elements.
This is why the Quaker brand is giving the gift of a warm coat to those newcomers who need it most.
Starting in October, when you purchase specially marked Quaker instant oatmeal or Quaker Chewy granola bars, Quaker will donate $0.05 towards the purchase of a warm coat to a newcomer in-need. With over 100,000 newcomers who identify as in-need each year, Quaker wants to make a difference in their lives by not only giving them a warm start to their day, but a warm coat to help prepare them for the winter.
I’m proud to lend my support to this campaign. The Quaker brand has been warming Canadian families with hot oatmeal since 1902, helping them to get a good start to their mornings and feel prepared for the day ahead. They have a long history of supporting local communities and those in need; the Warm Welcome program is a natural extension to lend a helping hand to newcomers in Canada.
Of course, this initiative is only possible if we all come together!
Purchase specially marked Quaker products to help give the gift of a warm winter coat. Embracing winter is synonymous with being Canadian – as is offering a warm welcome to those in need.
For more information on this initiative, please visit www.quakeroats.ca/WarmWelcome.
This post is sponsored by Pepsico Canada ULC. The opinions on this blog, as always, are my own.