How you can help a newcomer to P.E.I. experience holiday traditions

The P.E.I. Association for Newcomers to Canada is looking for Islanders to help create a new kind of holiday tradition this year.

The organization is looking for volunteers for its Holiday Host program, which matches newcomer families with Canadian families to share the spirit of the season.

The program, which has been running on the Island for years, is open to individuals, couples and families.  

Valerie Fitzpatrick, the association's community connections program co-ordinator, said they are looking for anyone interested in hosting a newcomer family to share in their own holiday traditions.

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She said the association has been advertising the program with the hope of recruiting more local families.

"A lot of people do it year after year." 

Fitzpatrick said families enjoy a meal together, cook and engage in Christmas or other holiday traditions. 

"There are newcomer families that may live in Canada for quite a while before they're actually invited in to a Canadian home, so it's a really nice thing that happens. It's kind of this rite of passage."

Fitzpatrick said on average the association matches 20 guest families with 20 host families.

"We have a lot of repeat customers, if you will, because they just love to do it every year," she said. 

Fitzpatrick said anyone interested in signing up for the program can call the P.E.I. Association for Newcomers to Canada.

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