Meet Christina. Christina Ranieri is a social service worker and developmental service worker and alumna of Carleton University’s undergraduate program in Sociology.
Christina’s career as a service worker is both driven and strengthened by her innate passion for helping others. Her compassion radiated through our phone call, as she spent the day preparing care kits for vulnerable sectors and making connections through the community. She was even making zero waste gardens for the persons they serve.
Christina’s long history of involvement working and volunteering within the persons with disabilities community led her to serve as the first executive director and president of the board of Ability First Ottawa. Based locally, the charity organization provides comprehensive services and support to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. Their mission to encourage and inspire those with disabilities to reach their goals is at the core of their diverse program offerings in areas such as recreation, art, mentorship, entrepreneurship and building social skills.
In light of the evolving COVID-19 situation, Christina knew she had to act and started by encouraging our community to help each other during these hard times. She teamed up with Janet Seto—friend and founder of the Social Architect—to rally individuals and small businesses together to ensure persons with disabilities are able to access essential medical supplies, food and everyday supports.
The response was reflective of the benevolence and humility of our community as local business owners and individuals stepped up to donate supplies such as groceries, sanitizer, hand soap and face masks. Christina, Janet and their team of volunteers have been working tirelessly to distribute the items in collaboration with other likeminded organizations to help make a greater impact. To date, they have delivered over 200 care kits to vulnerable populations in our community including those experiencing homelessness, and those living with developmental or physical disabilities.
“Our Ottawa community is facing struggles, so it’s a responsibility for everyone to do their part,” says Christina. “That’s what makes Ottawa unique; in times of hardship we make sure to support each other. I am so proud of our community for making the changes necessary and for coming together to help those in need.”
You can learn more about this initiative by following them on Instagram @AbilityFirstOttawa.
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