Welcome Wagon promotes City and greets newcomers

Canada-wide program serves to strengthen community ties

WELCOME - Pryna Koberstein visits new residents to Lacombe on behalf of Welcome Wagon to share packages and provide information to newcomers.

WELCOME - Pryna Koberstein visits new residents to Lacombe on behalf of Welcome Wagon to share packages and provide information to newcomers.

Being welcomed is a great feeling.

That is exactly what Welcome Wagon, an initiative run in communities across Canada since 1930, exists to do. Pryna Koberstein, Welcome Wagon representative for Lacombe, said that she finds the program has great value in helping newcomers settle in.

“I think it’s an awesome service, a great way for them to get to know the community,” said Koberstein. She added that the Welcome Wagon provides many connections to local services and saves newcomers a lot of searching.

Lacombe’s Welcome Wagon program has been running in Lacombe for over 30 years, said Koberstein. She herself has been involved with Welcome Wagon for about four years.

She said she got involved with the program after retiring from her job with the City, then Town, of Lacombe. She said she finds the program a good way to promote the community.

It is important for Lacombe’s residents to take advantage of what Lacombe has to offer, said Koberstein.

Therefore, the Welcome Wagon is an important program to have as it introduces newcomers to those great amenities that Lacombe has to offer.

“Lacombe is awesome but we are a bedroom community,” said Koberstein. “I just think that a lot of people don’t realize what we all have to offer here in Lacombe.”

Welcome Wagon is best known for welcoming new residents to the community, but they provide other services as well. Koberstein explained it by saying it is Welcome Wagon’s job to visit people who are going through a lifestyle change.

In Lacombe, that means visiting residents who are new to the community and residents who have new additions to their families.

Koberstein said that Welcome Wagon also provides services to new brides, seniors and businesses but not all of those services are part of the program in Lacombe.

There are some guidelines as to what items and information should be included in Welcome Wagon baskets, said Koberstein, but representatives are largely independent.

The only mandatory items for the welcome baskets are a letter from the mayor, a local map, information on the local library, information on the local recreation centre, local newcomers club, employment centre, information on transit and recycling information.

Koberstein said that a big part of Welcome Wagon’s job is providing information.

She said she provides a great deal of information to new residents regarding such topics as the Kinsmen Aquatic centre, the Lacombe trail system, Lacombe Corn Maze, recreation programs offered by the City and the Wolf Creek Youth Unlimited U-Turn Centre.

For packages welcoming new babies, there is information from the Government of Canada regarding child safety, immunization, local hospitals and other services that benefit new parents or their new babies.

The welcome packages also include goodies and samples from local businesses pertaining to the people being welcomed.

For example, a package welcoming a new family might contain free cookies from the local grocery store and a free pass to the pool from the City. Other neat things, like welcome letters from the local MLA and MP for new residents or a certificate announcing the birth of Lacombe’s newest citizen for new babies, can be found in the packages as well.

What Koberstein likes best about the program is meeting all the newcomers to Lacombe, she said. She added she particularly enjoys meeting new moms with new babies.

“They always have these perfect little fingers and toes,” said Koberstein. “They are so sweet.”

Koberstein added that she has met people from all over Canada, into the United Sates and even elsewhere in the globe through the program as well.

“It’s always interesting to find out why they are here and everyone always has a story to tell.”

Welcome Wagon has value for local businesses as well, said Koberstein

“I think it’s a great way for them to be involved in their community and to create good will within their community,” said Koberstein. “I think it’s a great way for them to showcase how good the businesses are in Lacombe.”

Any newcomers wishing to request a visit from the Lacombe Welcome Wagon or businesses interested in sponsoring Welcome Wagon can learn more by contacting Pryna Koberstein at 403-348-9567 or through the Welcome Wagon web site at www.welcomewagon.ca.

news@lacombeexpress.com

 

Just Posted

Police officers and their dogs undergo training at the RCMP Police Dog Services training centre in Innisfail, Alta., on Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Mounties say they are searching for an armed and dangerous man near a provincial park in northern Alberta who is believed to have shot and killed a service dog during a police chase. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
RCMP search for armed man in northern Alberta after police dog shot and killed

Cpl. Deanna Fontaine says a police service dog named Jago was shot during the pursuit

Alberta now has 2,336 active cases of COVID-19, with 237 people in hospital, including 58 in intensive care. (Black Press file photo)
Red Deer down to 73 active cases of COVID-19, lowest since early November

The Central zone has 253 active cases of the virus

The Sylvan Lake Gulls show off the home jerseys (white) and their way jerseys at the Gulls Media Day on June 17, before the season opener. Following the media day, the team took to the field for their first practise. (Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News)
Sylvan Lake Gulls ready to throw first pitch as construction continues

The Gulls inaugural season kicks off June 18 with a game against the Edmonton Prospects

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

The federal government says it wants to ban most flavoured vaping products in a bid to reduce their appeal to youth. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Craig Mitchelldyer
Health Canada proposes ban on most vaping flavours it says appeal to youth

If implemented, the regulations would restrict all e-cigarette flavours except tobacco, mint and menthol

The Montreal Police logo is seen in Montreal on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Some Quebec politicians are calling for an investigation after a video was released that appears to show a Montreal police officer with his leg on a young Black man’s neck during an arrest. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Probe called for after video appearing to show Montreal officer’s knee on Black youth’s neck

Politicians call for investigation after clip evokes memories of George Floyd incident

Thousands of protesters make their way through the downtown core during a Black Lives Matter protest in Ottawa, Friday June 5, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
MPs’ study of systemic racism in policing concludes RCMP needs new model

Chair of the House public safety committee says it’s time for a reckoning on ‘quasi-military’ structure

A case filled with packages of boneless chicken breasts is shown in a grocery store Sunday, May 10, 2020, in southeast Denver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-David Zalubowski
One million chickens euthanized during labour dispute at Quebec slaughterhouse

Premier says waste amounts to 13 per cent of the province’s chicken production thrown in the garbage

A section of the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies is seen west of Cochrane, Alta., Thursday, June 17, 2021. A joint federal-provincial review has denied an application for an open-pit coal mine in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, saying its impacts on the environment and Indigenous rights aren’t worth the economic benefits it would bring. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Panel says Grassy Mountain coal mine in Alberta Rockies not in public interest

Public hearings on the project in southern Alberta’s Crowsnest Pass region were held last fall

Most Read