With the help of a provincial grant, Many Hands Resource Centre in Morden held a very successful multicultural Christmas celebration Tuesday night at Morden Alliance Church. Coming from the province's Arts, Culture and Sport in Community Fund designated for community celebrations, Program Coordinator Tracey Krause says the $2,000 helped make the evening possible. She estimated about 150 people attended the event.

"We had applied for a grant from the Arts, Culture and Sport in Community fund to have a special meal that really engaged the community, but also went across barriers," said Krause. "We were really aiming to bring people from different cultures together, from different ages, from different faiths, everybody to come together, to sit around and eat a meal together, and learn to enjoy each other, and not to be afraid of each other, or concerned about each other, just to love each other."

The multicultural meal was a hit, according to Krause.

"We made a wonderful meal," she said. "We included dishes from around the world that some of our volunteers had suggested and said were some of their favorites. In fact, one of our volunteers, who's from India, said our Indian Palau was the best he'd ever tasted!". 


When she looked back at the night, she pointed to amazing volunteers as a highlight.

"It's really special to me, because I do the volunteer coordinating at at Many Hands, and I sent out an e-mail to all of our volunteers," she explained. "We have about fifty, and I asked for volunteers for this event, and I anticipated maybe I'd fill half my spots, and then I'd have to go out to the public and ask for more help. But actually, all of our spots were filled by our wonderful, wonderful volunteers. It really brought tears to my eyes. I'm just so grateful for all of the help we received, and the many, many ways people contributed their skills, their time and their efforts."

Krause noted at about 3 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, there was still a lot of work left to do, so an additional call out for help was made, and those asked stepped up to help.

"Just to know that we have that kind of support from our families, from our volunteer's families, that everybody's so committed to what we do at Many Hands, and what we're trying to achieve."

And as she looked across the gathering Tuesday, what did she see throughout the evening?

"I really saw people enjoying themselves, and I heard so many comments about how much they enjoyed the meal, how much they enjoyed the ambience and the warmth," Krause reflected. "We had assigned table hosts, and I instructed the table hosts that they were to bring the Christmas spirit. Make sure the conversation was happening around the tables, and I really saw that people were really engaged in getting to know each other and enjoying each other."