President’s Message

The warm weather has lasted longer than usual this year, but by the time this newsletter reaches you, autumn will be well underway. This issue of the JSS Newsletter is the last one for the year 2021. 

Thank you very much for your support of the Japanese Social Services in various ways in 2021. 

This year, in addition to our regular work, JSS has been able to tackle a number of new challenges.  First of all, with the support of the Consulate-General of Japan Toronto and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, we were able to set up the COVID-19 Information Hotline and provide free information services by social workers. Secondly, a new website was launched. The JSS website has a lot of useful information for the Japanese community in Canada, but we have reorganized it to make it more searchable, and updated outdated information and external links. We also redesigned the entire site to make it easier to navigate. We also held a fundraising event, the JSS challenge. This event was inspired by the steady fundraising activities of Mr. Tokugi Suyama, one of the founders of JSS and a second-generation Japanese Canadian who has contributed to JSS for a very long time. We also created a Counseling Facts sheet with easy-to-understand statistics to let everyone know the current status of JSS. If you haven’t seen it yet, please take this opportunity to do so.  

This past period, we participated in the Scotia Bank Toronto Waterfront Marathon for the first time in two years. 8 runners, including staff, their families, board members, and volunteers, took on the 5K challenge and received warm donations from many of you. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Mrs. Junko Yamamoto and Mr. Marty Kobayashi for their generous donations, Ms. Watanabe, a doctoral student at Concordia University and the members of the Culture and Multiculturism Laboratory in the Department of Psychology for their participation as a team, and to all of you who supported us with your valuable donations. Thank you very much. 

Last but not least, we have already started preparing for our annual Holiday Drive. We are going to support more than 30 families, which is more than usual, and we need your help as much or more than last year. 

It seems that we have to continue living with some uncertainty related to the pandemic. We truly hope, however, that everyone in the community will have a warm and fulfilling holiday season, knowing that they are not alone. Thank you in advance for your warm donations.