We could all use more social connection these days, but the generation most impacted by the devastating isolation of the pandemic might be seniors. MPC Foundation is on a mission to improve seniors’ lives and mental health by providing impactful services, programs and social opportunities. They’re building community where it matters and it’s nothing short of inspiring. It’s no surprise that they were voted Employees’ Choice by Canada Post employees in our 2022 Tales of Triumph contest. Let’s get to know this exceptional organization.
About MPC Foundation
MPC Foundation was established in Calgary, Alberta in 2020 by Mae Chun and Lily Kwok. The two new Canadians were grateful for all that Canada had provided for them, their families and their friends. MPC is their way of saying thank you to the country and people who have given them so much.
MPC’s 4 pillars
They offer Canadians a variety of services which fall under 4 main pillars: wellness, creativity, learning and technology.
Seniors can stay or get active with MPC Foundation’s exercise programs which include Tai Chi, Qigong, strength and stretch, line dance, Zumba and yoga. They can also improve their wellbeing with guided meditation and mental health programs designed to address anxiety and depression.
To get their creative juices flowing, seniors are encouraged to participate in arts and craft classes and digital art exploration activities.
Not being fluent in a country’s national language can be very challenging for anyone. That’s why MPC Foundation offers English language classes for senior immigrants. They also offer seminars on health, legal issues and various safety topics.
Confinement, especially during the pandemic, heavily impacted the mental health of many seniors. In lieu of in-person socializing, they were forced to embrace new technology to communicate and regain a sense of normalcy. MPC Foundation offers a variety of services to help seniors access and use technology. They teach seniors how to use tablets or iPads with the help of youth volunteers who assist with one-on-one support in the senior’s own language whenever possible. They also created a free digital lending library to help seniors access new technology in their day to day.
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Getting together for good
In addition to their thoughtful and essential services, MPC Foundation organizes in-person gatherings for seniors. Throughout COVID-19, seniors have had far fewer (if any) in-person interaction opportunities. MPC Foundation’s gatherings were designed to address seniors’ needs and challenges. MPC Foundation knew that seniors wanted to participate in social activities, but were unable to do so because of key obstacles including language, transportation and not knowing anyone outside of their own families. The Foundation’s gatherings have become a lifeline for seniors, helping them stay in touch with friends and meet new people.
Members of a thriving community lift each other up, so MPC Foundation recently launched their Heart to Heart program. Seniors get together regularly to create care bags, make cards and craft gifts for other seniors in need. They distribute roughly 400 bags per year.
MPC Foundation’s impact and goals
Strong social networks for seniors are essential in all communities, so the foundation’s main goal is to find ways to improve and expand its programs. By providing programming 6 days a week, they have successfully filled seniors’ needs for meaningful engagement and connection. By involving the broader community, providing services in their clients’ first languages and being present in the local area where they live, they have changed seniors’ lives for the better.
MPC Foundation also collaborates with other local community organizations, sharing resources and expertise. These collaborations enable them to make a bigger impact and serve more seniors and older adults – while keeping costs low.
Poised to grow
In their early days (2020), MPC Foundation served only 25 seniors per week. Fast forward to today and they serve 250 seniors per week. There is a lot of room for them to grow in Calgary. Their services are offered in English linguistic minority communities including Calgary North, North East and North West corridor – home to over 130,000 residents, 40% of whom are immigrants and 24% – 50% of whom do not speak English at home. 17,000 are older adults and seniors.
Growing with Canada Post
Since winning the contest, MPC Foundation has begun to take advantage of Canada Post’s services to grow their business.
As a small charitable organization, working with Canada Post has given us access to resources that have enhanced our storytelling and communication capabilities. For instance, the opportunity of mentorship with an established successful business gave us insights to develop sustainability and to cast a more profit-centric perspective to our operations.
The foundation has also used Canada Post Smartmail Marketing™ to raise awareness for the detrimental effects of social isolation for seniors.
Not having prior experience with a mailing campaign, the professional help provided by Canada Post in planning and managing all aspects of the mailing campaign was critical to the success of the campaign.
Canada Post is proud to recognize and support MPC Foundation on their journey to deliver more for Canadian seniors.
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