January 01 to January 31, 2022
  1. Pandemic Fatigue 
  2. York Region’s First Black-led Community Centre
  3. Summer Camp Registration & Affordable Housing Survey
  4. Relevant and Fun Awareness Days for January 2022
  5. Talking about White Privilege
  6. Bell Let’s Talk Chatter Box Activity (printable)
  7. Making A Vision Board for 2022 & YSSN’s Caregiver Vision Board Workshop

Pandemic Fatigue. Are you feeling it? 
COVID-19 has been part of our everyday realities for the majority of 2020, 2021 and now seeping into 2022. Do you feel like coping is becoming more difficult; sometimes a sense of grief for missed experiences? 

You are definitely not alone. 

Give yourself a break with something that you can enjoy; something that will lift your mood. 

The outdoors is still such an amazing place. Find somewhere that brings you joy and hold yourself in that space for as long as you can; just breathing. 

This space could be on a lawn chair in your backyard, making snow angels on the front lawn or sitting in a chair looking out your bedroom window- somewhere that gives space for you!
Don’t be afraid to take things off your “to-do” list. 
You might feel that you have more time being home more; if you are. You may have walked into this pandemic with high hopes of learning new things or picking up old hobbies. Do not feel obligated to keep all the items on your list; coping with the pandemic and concerning yourself with safety can be a lot to cope with already and it is okay to focus on that.

Set Boundaries. 
You may be feeling too close in your living space which is normal. Usually, we are given opportunities to get out of the house and get time with ourselves with things like going to school, going to the gym and even going to work. 

While living with other people; it does not mean that your independent, ‘you’ time needs to be given up. Set aside time where you can be with yourself and set boundaries to avoid conflict with others in the household.

York Region’s First Black-led Community Centre
The Newmarket African Caribbean Canadian Association (NACCA) formally opened the doors to York Region’s First Black-led community centre on Sunday, December 12th, 2021. NACCA notes this day as being full of “love, joy, gratitude, stories and so much promise for the future.” (NACCA, 2022). 

This new space is located at 449 Eagle St. Newmarket ON and has been created as a place where the community is able to learn and grow. 
“It’s an opportunity for people in our community to gather, connect, to share, to create their own vision. It’s all about connecting and building our community up. I think it is critical to have a space to call our own, whatever form it takes. You can’t really serve a community from nowhere. I think having a permanent space is one step towards decolonizing, for us as a Black community. It’s one step towards decolonizing our environment” – Jerisha Grant Hall; NACCA Chair
(Toronto Star, 2021)

The centre intends to offer services to the community ranging from mental health supports to financial literacy and education, food security, and scholarship opportunities. The community centre intends to interrupt the separation of racialized communities in  an aim to make the community more connected, and inclusive. 
Congratulations to NACCA on this opening and a space for our community to gather!
(Toronto Star, 2021)

Summer Camp Registration 2022 
Registration for summer day camps for children aged 4 to 13 years old will open on Tuesday, February 1st 2022. Spots will be limited and applications will be assessed for eligibility on a first come, first serve basis. 
The summer day camps subsidy (if approved) is for March to July. 

If your child is interested in participating in Summer Day Camp 2022, please visit  or email [email protected]

Families receiving Ontario Works or Child Care Fee Subsidy (CCFS) should contact their caseworkers to request a referral.

You will receive confirmation of your eligibility along with detailed program registration instructions from York Region if your application is approved. Once approved, check with your local municipal recreation department for updates to summer camp programming options.

Affordable Housing Survey
The Ontario Government has released a survey (taking roughly 15 to 30 minutes to complete) for community member participation. 

The survey seeks to ask about ideas how to build on the progress of Ontario’s Housing Supply plan and work to make it easier for individuals to find a home that meets their needs and budget. 

The government has engaged with community housing partners for feedback through a provincial-municipal housing summit. 

The government has begun development of a Housing Affordability Task Force who are individuals responsible for addressing housing affordability needs. 

The housing affordability consultation survey is hopeful to help further develop creative solutions to address Ontario’s housing crisis.

Relevant and Fun Awareness Days for January 2022
Month Long Occurrences: Crime Stoppers Month 

2022’s focus is “Stop the Crime of Human Trafficking”
Crime Stoppers is a community-based program that uses the resources of media, police and members of the public to solve crimes. 
A ‘tipster’ can call the Crime Stoppers toll-free line 24 hours daily. 
Walk your dog month 

January is walk your dog month and is intended to motivate individuals to get up and get outside without letting those low temperatures drag you down. 
January may seem like a cold month to walk your dog; the physical activity will help to release endorphins
creating a state of happiness for you and your pup(s)! 

**Send us a picture of your dog and your favorite place to walk with them during the month of January to be featured in our February newsletter- consent will be confirmed before sharing** (Email to [email protected]
January 16th: World Religion Day 

World Religion day aims to promote an understanding and peace between all religions while encouraging people to learn about faiths different from their own to increase competency. 
January 21st: National Hugging Day

National Hugging Day was created in 1986 by Kevin Zaborney. During this time, many people are feeling in low spirits and there may be ways we can think about giving virtual hugs to those close to us. 
Hugs are given “to comfort” each other; some virtual options you could try are sending a message or poem to a loved one for virtual “comfort” or writing a letter to them. 
January 26th: Bell Let’s Talk Day

A reminder for us all to continue increasing awareness around mental illness. A reminder to encourage ourselves and each other to keep listening, keep talking, and keep being there for ourselves and others. Kindness is something we could all use more of every day; today, tomorrow and especially during a pandemic!

Talking about White Privilege
Families may have discomfort towards conversations about privilege and may not truly understand what the term “White Privilege” really means and its’ impact. 

Having White privilege does not imply that you have never struggled or that you have had an easy life. White privilege means that race is not one of the struggles that White people have to face. 

When White people do not recognize their personal privilege, they can very easily ignore others’ inequity whether intentionally or unintentionally. 

In Black communities, many parents explain to their children that they may be harmed or treated unfairly by certain people because of their skin colour. This is not a conversation that White people have to face with their children and this can be explained by privilege. 
Parents of Black students many times speak with their children about how to stay
safe when encountering authority figures and racially biased situations. 

In having White privilege there is no burden to having these conversations with children to ensure daily survival.

White Privilege describes the reality that a person of colour may be punished or treated differently for doing the same thing as a White person. Disparity exists for people of colour and can be found in examples like: 
  • Being spoken to in demeaning ways
  • Being unfairly questioned
  • Experiencing micro-aggressions
  • Being treated differently than others
  • Being excluded from games and on the playground based on differences, including racial differences.
Some resources to navigate this discussion and topic: 
(NACCA, 2020)

Bell Let’s Talk Chatter Box Activity (printable)

Print out the above “chatterbox” square and follow the instructions. 

Making A Vision Board for 2022 
A vision board. A visual representation of your personal and professional goals. Typically vision boards are poster-sized and can contain all different types of writing, images, cutouts from magazines, etc. 

It is entirely possible to create reality from goals or dreams. The idea is that a vision board helps an individual to see their goals daily and encourage focus on what they are working on. A vision board can also be a visual of items, quotes, pictures that bring you joy and happiness which can serve as a daily reminder to be happy!

A big part in the creation of your personal vision board is time of self-reflection. 
Think about if you want your board to encompass; long-term goals, short-term intentions, things that bring you joy- the vision board you create is made for you! 

Do not push yourself to need extravagant goals; a statement like “drink more water” may seem smaller; but focuses on self-care and a goal for yourself.  

Use your magazines. 

Use online images. 

Once you feel your vision board is complete; put it somewhere you are going to see it every day!

YSSN’s Caregiver Vision Board Workshop
York Support Service Network (YSSN) is hosting a Caregiver vision board workshop intended to help caregivers focus on their personal self-care and goals! The event will take place on February 2nd at 11:00am. 

You can sign up for this event at Create a Caregiver Wellness Vision Board Feb 2, 2022 (

Your Community Partnerships and Support Services team is here to help!
 For Social Worker supports, please email [email protected]
For Financial supports, please email [email protected]
For Community engagement supports or thoughts for future community events; please email [email protected] or jean-[email protected] or [email protected]