My Family CICS

By Allen Lo

"My Family, CICS" – Allen Lo

It was early in 2008 when CICS celebrated services to immigrants for 40 years. It was also the inauguration of the new Immigrant Resource center (IRC) facilities at Midland Avenue in Scarborough, Ont. The Center was located right across the street from our home. At that time my daughter was completing her degree in Human Resources Management. Having long winter days in Canada, I always have the wish that my daughter can find a job closer to home so the winter commute can be less of a hazard. After graduation, my daughter while waiting for employment began volunteering at CICS. She volunteered as receptionist and teaching assistant for computer course for seniors. Half way through the computer course my daughter received a placement offer at a European bank. We do not want to leave the class in jeopardy because of her job, so my wife Tammy took over her role as teaching assistant. This marked the beginning of volunteering at CICS of our entire family.

Our family began with the computer course and then gradually involve in other more considerable events. My role was merely my wife's supporter. When she taught the computer course I was by her side. When she led the senior walking club, she led the senior women while I was helping the senior men. In spring 2010, CICS added exercising equipments for the seniors such as treadmills, exercise bikes, universal gym and back stretchers. Tammy helped installed the "Wii Sports" and taught the seniors to use it. I led the table Tennis group and help set it up. We were giving special attention to the seniors to help them exercise with safety precautions.

In 2011, my daughter successfully competed for a job posting and joint CICS as a member of the staff. All these years in volunteering at CICS, we tried to honor the volunteering spirit in actively prepared and planned with our best intention and ability. We were extremely honored by the commendation by Scarborough Association for Volunteer Administration (SAVA). Even though the honor was given to us, it really is a commendation for family of CICS and the volunteering spirit of professionalism and passion that we all volunteers display.