Torontonians’ warmth inspires foreign student

Toronto Inspires when kindness abounds.

Story by Fangying Liao, a foreign student who when studying in Toronto goes by her English name Doris.

Fangying and friends visiting Toronto to study English

Fangying (right) and friends visiting Toronto to study English

I stayed in Toronto for 4 weeks in August, 2013 to attend a summer session at U of T. If you asked me what was the most special experience during my one-month stay, I would answer that it was the strangers who warmed me anytime, everywhere.

My first experience happened during my flight transfer in Vancouver. It was 11 p.m. when I landed at the airport, waiting for another plane to take me to Toronto. I was feeling crazy over the delayed flight, thinking that my life could not be worse. Then an overturned orange juice proved that my life could get even worse. You know like when a shabby house is loaded with a huge amount of things, and adding a straw can make it collapse. In the lounge, there was only one old lady. She walked over to me, smiling, and asking, “Do you need some napkins?”. At that moment, my heart was melting. Though I had experienced strangers’ helpfulness for twenty years, she was totally different to me for it was my first time encountering an unfamiliar country, full of unfamiliar language and unfamiliar faces. All of the experiences were different. Her small act of caring meant a lot.

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Would-be employer finds newcomer work

Toronto Inspires when immigrant receives unexpected job search help.

Story shared by Myle Khuuh.

Myle KhuuhWhen I came to Canada, it was in January 1989. That was the coldest weather during the year. At the beginning I didn’t like it here, because I fell down in front of the supermarket on the second day. But, I liked it after because I met a person who made me feel welcomed.

I arrived in Canada after eight months of applying. I finally got my social insurance card and was looking for a job as a printing press operator. Following my first interview, I didn’t get the job. For the second one, I called to ask for the job. I don’t know if I was lucky or if I just had my job certificate. The man on the phone said yes. He asked if I had a car, and I said I didn’t. Then, he told me to go to the Kipling subway passenger pick up section tomorrow. He would come to pick me up. The next day I arrived at the station. He was already there. I saw a 55-60 year old man with gray hair and eye glasses. He approached me and asked me, “Are you here for the job interview?”. I said yes. Then he drove me to his shop. We had a conversation for a while, and I found out he was the boss of a small printing shop. Continue reading