It has officially been a year since I started working at The Dale.
As I sit and reflect over this year, it makes me sad. This year kind of sucked for a lot of reasons. But truly, being a part of The Dale played a huge part in helping me get through this year.
The Dale became a new community in my life after recently losing my community in Chicago, where I just graduated from college. While feeling low about that loss, The Dale slowly felt more and more like a place that I belong. Leaving school hit me harder than I thought, as I left some of my best friends in the states and settled back in Canada. At the start of my time at The Dale, I really felt shy walking into a Monday morning drop-in with a room full of strangers. But it didn’t take long till I heard my name called across the room from someone who I met the previous Monday, and then the next Monday another person or two, until I, myself, got excited to see my new friends come Monday.
When the pandemic really hit Toronto in March, The Dale never closed. The Dale became the only place I went for many weeks and it was a blessing to have one thing that I could count on. I know many of our folks in the community felt the same, after many spaces they frequently visited were forced to shut down, except for The Dale. During this time I felt excited to tell people “We’re still here!” because I wanted to share that good news, because it was such good news to me.
It felt really hard first settling back into Toronto. And sad when the border closed and I couldn’t visit my fiance and friends. And confusing trying to plan a wedding when so many parts of it were canceled. And I feel sad again now trying to celebrate Christmas in a lockdown. But, through it all I feel grateful for The Dale. I know that God has a plan for me being at The Dale, just as I have watched Him at work this past year putting The Dale in my life when I needed it. I was excited for what I could get done for The Dale, but I am always humbled by the countless things The Dale does for me.
Below are a few of the special memories made during my first year with The Dale:
I got to be a part of some fun Christmas festivities (2019)
Experienced my first February Feast
Had to start wearing a mask at work
I got work with some really awesome people
Shared some lovely visits
And now we’re celebrating new wheels!
Being at The Dale would not be possible without my faithful supporters. So THANK YOU for being on this journey with me!!