The Southwest Newcomer Welcome Centre saw some holiday-style hospitality with a generous gift from right across the street. 

W.W. Smith Insurance donated 60 small bags containing toques and gloves for those who may not yet be acclimated to Canada’s harsh winters. The bags also held information pamphlets, which might help simplify the process of getting a piece of identification. 

Chad Parenteau, one of the owner partners at W.W. Smith Insurance, carried in the boxes of donated items. 

“We wanted to provide for the newcomers to help deal with the cold weather that we have here in Saskatchewan,” said Parenteau. “We just thought it'd be a nice show of gratitude for the newcomers to Swift Current. In there is exactly what they need to get their driver's licence, so we just want to make it as simple as possible so that they have a nice easy transition. It's not tough for them to get their licence. We don't have to send them home and get more documents, just want to make sure that it's as easy a process as possible.” 

The Newcomer Welcome Centre often directs its clients to the nearest and most convenient place to get documentation, which is often W.W. Smith Insurance. Parenteau stated that it was not only a donation, but a thank you for bringing in business and taking care of our new Canadians. 

“We get a lot of newcomers coming into our office as we're located right across the street from each other. So we just want to make sure that another of the items that we provided today was just some help getting them settled with getting their driver's licence or an ID card. Just want to make sure that they're prepared when they come into the office.” 

Faith Ritskes, the community connections worker at the Southwest Newcomer Welcome Centre, accepted the donation with open arms. 

“We're just really grateful to W.W. Smith for this donation,” expressed Ritskes. “I think it's no surprise that a lot of newcomers are not prepared for Saskatchewan winters. Even though this one's been mild so far, we know what's to come. I think it's going to mean a lot to the newcomers that receive them... People often ask us if we have toques and mitts and winter gear. Even if people have their winter gear, it's always good to have more information on how to get their ID.”