This year we are recognizing Mississauga’s Black trailblazers, organizations and businesses who have gone above and beyond in the past year, during the pandemic, to help and uplift the community through various initiatives, programs and artistry.

Here are four community leaders that Carolyn would like to specifically acknowledge:

1. Hyacinth Harper and Beverly Patterson from Mount Zion Church in Malton. These two ladies have been running the Mount Zion Food Bank from two trailers in the church parking lot – recently replaced by a donated school portable – for many years. Through the hardship of Covid they have tripled their efforts joining forces with S.H.I.P who are the anchor agency for the new Malton Youth Hub and SEVA Food Bank run by a Sikh Group in Erindale and Malton. They have expanded from food assistance to include massive collections of cleaning and sanitizing products, virtual learning equipment and personal hygiene products for the whole family. Incredibly dedicated to their black church community, they have enthusiastically shared hundreds of hours with all members of the Malton Village who are in need. I will send a photo of Beverly at the end of this email.

2. Blossom Patterson had been a very active member of the Malton Neighbourhood Services Team for many years. She organizes special activities for Seniors including a massive Christmas hot lunch for all Malton’s Seniors in cooperation with the staff at the Malton Community Centre. Covid hasn’t stopped her. While in person events have been stopped, Blossom arranged for packages to be delivered to needy seniors all through the lock downs, checked in on the vulnerable by phone and generally spread sunshine to those who needed it most. She’s a real gem.

3. Pat McNaughton: Patricia is the most incredibly perfect staff person the City could have placed in Malton. She treats the Village, and especially the children, as though every soul there was a member of her own family. As Manager of the Malton Community Centre, Paul Coffey Arena and Park, she knows who the families in need are and had gone out of her way to alert my office as well as the various social agencies working in Malton to the specific needs of her extended “family”. For summer parks programs, she arranges donated registration fees. For the Malton BIA bike repair shop which provided kids with 160 donated bikes during Covid, she made Victory Hall available and protected from floor damage. For community health, cleaning products and food distribution she pitched in with personal funds and hours of personal time. She knows the kids who hang out at the Community Centre during lunch breaks because they have no food, and buys them lunches.