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"My name is Kay Charles and I am now a Canadian, gaining new experiences each day. I am from Trinidad and Tobago. I first visited Canada in 1980 and was welcomed as a Canadian about 15 years later.

I have been volunteering with the Centre for about 25 years. I first started as the Trinidad and Tobago Cultural Club representative for Folk Arts Festival, then, a few years later, while still volunteering for the Festival, I volunteered to be on the Board of Directors for one term.

Along the way, I had the awesome opportunity to volunteer with the Festival Office staff assisting the Festival Producer to handle the office duties, as well as, set up for the Festival at Montebello Park. The Festival was the event where I had the most exciting time, marking of the spaces for the Festival Vendors, trying to keep vehicles off the grass to prevent damage, meeting the Club Ambassadors, visiting the Festival Open Houses and creating a multitude of Excel sheets.

Most recently, I again served as a Board of Director and a general volunteer with the Centre where I helped at events setting up and taking down tables and chairs, being a Smart Server and greeting guests. My two newest volunteer roles are bingo volunteer and now just brand new: Volunteer ESL Tutor.

I enjoy sharing and learning and meeting new people. When I first arrived in Canada, I moved into a “cultural island” and I missed out on so many opportunities to get to know my adopted home. When my mother moved to Canada, the Multicultural Centre in her area made the move so much easier for her. I would like to share my experiences to help newcomers as they navigate the thrills and trepidation's of their new home.

The very best part of being with the Centre is working with so many very friendly staff and other volunteers.

I am so grateful for being part of a huge on-line community where social media is keeping us connected and learning how little we do need as we live through each day during these troubling times."

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