Shared celebrations

Social inclusion
December 8, 2023 •  By Centraide
Petite fille dans la neige

What Dalia, Marie, Max, Potisa and Naima are planning for the holidays

We recently caught up with Dalia, Marie, Max, Potisa and Naima, who generously shared their stories with us over this past year. Whether this is their first Christmas on Quebec soil or a time to rebuild new memories after hardship, we were curious about their plans for the holiday season and how they were feeling. Thanks to the community agencies in their lives, they have a solid network to lean on during this time of year.


The magic of the festive season began to take hold of Dalia and her son Elliot on December 3, when a “nutcracker” delivery person from Bôsapin came with the natural tree that they enjoyed decorating. “Christmas doesn’t really bring back good memories for me because of my difficult childhood. I’m doing everything I can to make the holidays different for Eliott.” Mères avec pouvoir held its big Christmas party on December 9 for single mothers and their children who live in transitional housing and for families who live outside the transitional housing network but who receive support from the agency. “Santa came and there were presents for all the children.”


Over the past few months, Marie has received so many acts of kindness from people who were moved by her story, such as the owner of an IGA who generously gave her gift cards to buy groceries and a long-time friend who launched a crowdfunding campaign for her. She also received tons of messages filled with love and empathy, which warmed her heart. “It gave me a little boost,” she confided.

Marie’s holiday season promises to be a busy one, as she is looking forward to celebrations with her aphasic theatre gang, lunchtime dances with her collective cooking group from Cuisines de l’amitié, as well as a full schedule of family get-togethers. This time of year breaks the isolation of those fortunate enough to be surrounded by others.


Since the last time we saw him, Max had obtained his work permit and was hired by Enfant d’abord to work in the collective garden, pick up food from Moisson Laval, and perform accounting tasks. However, his current status does not entitle him to bring his wife and three children to Canada yet. “Christmas will be a bit sad this year. We’re going to celebrate it together, but from a distance. Thank goodness we can get together virtually.” In mid-December, Max celebrated with his new colleagues and with volunteers from Enfant d’abord at a party organized by the agency. “Of course I’m ready for winter. Last year I arrived in the middle of a storm!”

For some, this is their first Christmas on Quebec soil or a time to rebuild new memories after hardship.


When we met up with Potisa, she seemed to be in a really good place. She continues to spend just as much time at the Centre des femmes d’ici et d’ailleurs, which she considers her second family. She celebrated the holiday season with a festive brunch on December 11. The following day, a party was organized at Brin d’Elles, the agency for women that provides community support in her apartment complex. She is looking forward to seeing her sister, with whom she talks every day, and her two brothers, whom she sees less often.

“The holidays were sad for a long time after my mother passed away. It took me a good ten years to get over it. As we get older, we lose people we love. This period makes me think of my friends who are no longer here. But the holidays are also a time of great joy, with the excitement of children and all the music and decorations.”


For Naima, the holidays have brought some good news, as she has not received another eviction request from her property owner. For almost five years, Naima has been fighting before the Tribunal administratif du logement to keep her apartment. In spring 2023, a judge issued a second ruling granting her the right to stay. “All I’m asking is to stay in my home,” says Naima. “I like my apartment; it’s big and well located in a clean, quiet neighborhood.” This peace of mind allows Naima to devote herself fully to her family and her job. Naima, who oversees volunteers and community life at Carrefour Montrose, is preparing a Christmas activity to warm the hearts of the seniors helped by this agency.

Is this your first time hearing about Dalia, Marie, Max, Potisa and Naima? Discover their stories by clicking on their names.

1 out of 5 people receives our help.
5 out of 5 people benefit from it.

Let’s all lend a hand

Supporting a network of over 375 community agencies also means promoting an inclusive, poverty-free society.