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From Anderson Student to Leader in Non-Profit Receiving PM Trudeau’s Commendation

By October 4, 2021April 22nd, 2022No Comments

Anderson Grad Spotlight –
highlighting the successes of our extraordinary graduates.

We had the extraordinary opportunity to sit down with one of our Anderson graduates, Arnold Balbuena, and reflect on the connections and contributions he’s made since graduating from our Law Enforcement/Police Foundations program. We were delighted and astonished by where Arnold has taken his career and the difference he is making in his community – so significant that it even caught the eye of the leader of our country.

Here are the highlights from our interview with Arnold.

From Student to Canadian Security Advisor

In June 2019, Arnold was connected with the Felix Y. Manalo Foundation (FYM Foundation), first as a law enforcement student, and then was brought on full time as a local leader. In keeping with his drive to contribute more significantly, he has since become the Light of Salvation President in North York and Overall Advisor for Security and Administration in Canada. His role is to ensure orderliness, peace and security during events, especially when there are guests or foreign dignitaries present during activities.

FYM Foundation’s Mission and Focus

“Our mission is to help people, as we believe that God’s first commandment is love, and his second commandment is to love our neighbours as we love ourselves. We organize many events and activities such as donations to food bank shelters, blood donations, aid to humanity, but also sports activities for the youth and neighbourhood appreciation/clean-up drives. We also organize police and firefighters’ appreciation events during which kids sing and give them drawings to show their appreciation. It’s very heartwarming,” Arnold shared with us.
“We’ve heightened our assistance efforts for immigrants, indigenous peoples, female lone-parent families, members of racialized groups, persons with disabilities, and other sectors where poverty incidence is higher…”

   

Commendation from the Prime Minister of Canada

“Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau thanked the Iglesia Ni Cristo’s Felix Y. Manalo Foundation for its continuing Aid to Humanity in Canada, saying its efforts “play a valuable role in keeping Canadian families safe and healthy” amid the COVID pandemic,” reported Eagle News.

Trudeau sent a letter to FYM volunteers. “Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, you have been committed to promoting the values of community and civic engagement through good deeds, acts of kindness and various initiatives to help those in need,” the Canadian Prime Minister said. “These efforts play a valuable role in keeping Canadian families safe and healthy. I would like to thank you for your hard work, dedication and compassion during these trying times.”

Arnold commented, “We were very happy and proud to receive this letter of commendation and we will continue organizing many events and activities to help those in need.”

Highlights of the Remarkable Contributions of the FYM Foundation

Arnold shared the following details with us.

“We’ve provided assistance to needy and marginalized groups in Montreal, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Toronto, Edmonton, and Vancouver through the worldwide “Aid to Humanity” program of the FYM Foundation.

We organized many events and activities in 2019 and 2020, such as:

  • In Montreal, providing thousands of care packages consisting of staple food items, on top of cheque donations given to Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation, Orphan Sun (Soleil des Orphelins), La Société de Développement Social, YMCA, The Open Door, Old Brewery Mission Hall, La Maison Benoit Labre, Mile End Community Mission and La rue de femme to help alleviate hunger and poverty.
  • We visited and supported Maskwacis, Alberta, home to the Crees of Maskwacis, a collective of four First Nations groups: Samson Cree, Ermineskin Cree, Louis Bull Tribe, and Montana First Nation and gave financial assistance to food banks, health, and friendship centres.
  • We also helped Toronto Flemingdon Food Bank, North York Harvest Food Bank, East Scarborough Storefront, and Redwood women’s shelter, to receive financial assistance.
  • In Winnipeg and Montreal, we distributed 3,000 loot bags to Turtle Island Recreation Center, Ma Mawi Chi Itata Center, Norquay Center Children’s Orphanage, and the Indigenous Children’s Orphanage. And 500 loot bags to the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation, Orphan Sun (Soleil des Orphelins), La Société de Développement Social, YMCA, The Open Door, Old Brewery Mission Hall, La Maison Benoit Labre, Mile End Community Mission and La rue de femme.Aid recipients also received cheques on top of care packages filled with items needed for care and comfort.
  • In Ottawa, the Matthew House Doreen and Ottawa Food Bank, as well as the Le Gîte Ami, L’Ami de l’Entraide, and Moisson Outauais shelters, all received financial assistance and care packages.
  • And many more. Visit the FYM Foundation for more details.

Arnold’s Inspiring Advice for Anderson Students

“My advice is to not only live for ourselves, but to ensure that we never forget our social responsibility to help people, especially those who desperately need it. During this pandemic, a lot of people are hungry and under a lot of pressure. We need to help others, so that no one goes through a desperate time alone.”

At Anderson College, we not only support students as they achieve their career goals but hope to encourage them to become powerful contributors to society. We are exceedingly proud of Arnold and the career path he has chosen and the difference he is making in communities across Ontario, the country, and the world.

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Programs Archive – Anderson College | Toronto | Mississauga | Hamilton
PM Trudeau thanks Iglesia Ni Cristo’s FYM Foundation for humanitarian efforts in Canada (eaglenews.ph)

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