Yesterday, the COVID-19 Humanitarian Service Medal ceremony was held at the Chinese Cultural Centre of the GTA. Hosted by MP Shaun Chen, the event recognized hundreds of individuals in the Scarborough community who made significant contributions during the pandemic, including Members and Directors of the FCT.
There were six FCT recipients present at the ceremony, but a total of ten were recognized, largely in part due to the FCT's 2021 Free Food Hamper Program. This initiative, in partnership with the Agincourt Community Service Association (ACSA), successfully delivered 2 batches of food hampers to Filipinos affected by COVID-19 from March to May of 2021. 73 people were served through this initiative; 32 in Scarborough, 35 in North York, and 6 in other regions.
From left to right: Board Members Wendy Arena, Nitz Rejdik, and Mary Ann San Juan with the food hampers, 2021.
Descriptions and photos of the six recipients can be found below.
Jeannette Rosales - "Jeanette is a retired registered nurse and worked 3 years in the Correctional Forensic service. She specialized in the Addiction Research Foundation, dealing with mental health and substance abuse clients for 20 years. She has also previously worked in the Canadian Blood services and was involved as a Coordinator at the Caregiver and Family Apostolate ministry.
Joey Baking - "Jose Baking publishes Little Manila Confidential newspaper for the Filipino community. In his spare time, he volunteers at the Filipino Centre Toronto. He believes that in helping, every little act of kindness counts."
Carlos Unas - "Carlos is a volunteer at Filipino Centre Toronto and learner at FCT Seniors Painting Class; He also started publishing the Filipino Bulletin newspaper in 1996."
Wendy Arena - "Wendy has been an FCT Director since 2000 and current treasurer of the non-profit organization. She is also the advisor and Director of Folklorico Filipino Canada, a youth-led non-profit organization performing traditional Filipino folk dances."
Frank Cruzet - "Francisco Cruzet, Frank to those who know him, is a retired Toronto Police Officer. He sits on the Filipino Centre Board of Directors and is a professional award-winning artist and member of the Philippine Artists Group of Canada. Frank teaches art to seniors, giving them opportunities to learn how to paint and socialize with fellow seniors whilst navigating Covid protocols."
Hannah Pendon - "For almost 3 years, Hannah Pendon has worked and been involved with the Filipino Centre Toronto & its community services as an administrative assistant and event volunteer. She's currently in her freshman year majoring in Psychology at York University and working part-time as a medical receptionist."