YWS News

Giving Back for Giving Tuesday 2021

Brittany Bateman
Posted 6 months ago

Giving Tuesday is the largest generosity movement in the world taking place each year after Black Friday and Cyber Monday. As the “opening day of the giving season,” Giving Tuesday is a time when charities, companies and individuals join together and rally for favourite causes. 

This year for giving Tuesday YWS would like to reflect on the generosity we’ve received throughout the past year. It’s been a challenging time for all of us, but time and time again, we were amazed by the thoughtfulness and generosity of our community. In the past year alone, we have had 2,328 virtual volunteers reach out to support our youth. That’s 10,387 volunteer hours! We received thank you letters to front-line staff, care packages for our residents, and nearly 400 meals to support our YWS kitchen. We are beyond grateful to everyone who has helped us continue to make YWS a safe, welcoming place for so many youth throughout the pandemic. We couldn’t have done this alone. 

Throughout the past week, we have been thanking our community over social media for their support as part of our “Giving Back for Giving Tuesday” campaign. Below is a collection of our posts.

If you’re wishing to donate for Giving Tuesday, we invite you to view our “Home for the Holidays” fundraiser. Our goal is to raise enough funds to safely house our residents over the holiday season. To learn more please visit: https://yws.on.ca/events/home-for-the-holidays/

Create for Courage

To start things off, we’re looking back to a really unique virtual fundraiser put together by Create for Courage. From the 7th to the 28th of June 2021, Create for Courage held a Virtual Exhibit on their Instagram to help raise funds for Youth Without Shelter. “[We] had the chance to meet with some of the staff, as well as some of the kids they’re working with… We just really like what they do.”

Through this fundraiser, C4C raised $2,080 for our Mental Health Program.

Thank you to the Create for Courage team for supporting our youth! Your virtual exhibit was so creative – we were honoured to be a part of it. And thank you to all the artists who participated!

Darlene Sheppard  

“In August 2016 we arranged to move our daughter Hannah in with a friend as we were moving to Ottawa and Hannah really wanted to finish High School here. On the 16th of August her step father was struck by a transport truck, rendering us with no income or home as we couldn’t move across province with his injuries. By October, Hannah’s mental health was declining where she was and we reached out to the school counselor at LCI and we had a meeting at YWS. (YWS) found space for Hannah very quickly and became her home for 10 months until we were able to find a steady home so we could be back together. Hannah has since moved on to Ottawa and we have settled in Newfoundland and we have all finally achieved a little bit of peace.”

Recently Darlene noticed a post on our social media asking for piano for a youth staying with us who needed a larger keyboard in order to practice their classical music. We were very moved when Darlene reached out to learn more to be able to donate the keyboard.

“It’s important we invest in our youth and especially the ones that persevere through the tough times. If we can give them hope today, tomorrow will be that much brighter.”

Thank you, Darlene, for continuing to support those in need. The piano you’ve provided our youth is wonderful, and has already accumulated quite a few hours of practice!

Nalini Maraj  

Nalini began supporting YWS back in 2012 and continues to support our youth in many ways. Since April, Nalini has been making bi-monthly dessert donations for our youth to enjoy.

When asked why they volunteer with YWS they replied: “I volunteer at Youth Without Shelter because I want the residents to know that there are people who truly care and want the best for them. Everyone can make a positive impact to someone’s life no matter how small.”

Thank you Nalini for everything you do. It’s so true, that even the smallest acts of kindness can go such a long way, and you have made such an incredible impact over the years to better the lives of the youth we serve. Thank you!

Oraynu Children’s School  

Oraynu Children’s School wants to ensure that no youth is forgotten.

The Oraynu Children’s school received their first in-person educational workshop during the pandemic. After learning about how they could support youth struggling with homelessness in their communities, they collected new warm clothing items and almost 200lb of apples which they transformed into delicious baked goods and sauces. This small initiative snowballed into many more volunteer and donation opportunities providing support to the youth who call YWS home.

Thank you to everyone at Oraynu Children’s School for helping our youth in so many ways through this very challenging time. You have made such a difference!

 YWS Development Committee  

Dedication, passion, hard work…. those are just some of the many attributes that describe our Development committee members, a group of dedicated volunteers who help us organize our two signature events, Cover Me Urban and Time4Change. They take time from their busy work and family lives and share their expertise and talent with us. Not only do they help us raise vital funds for YWS, they also help us raise awareness about what we can all do to end youth homelessness. Thank you Halinka, Susan, Lynn, Jonna, Tammy, Trina, Caleigh, Amy, Necole, Shabana and Milica……..we all appreciate you.  

Ennis Esmer

Today we’re thanking our friend Ennis Esmer for all the support they have provided our youth over the years. Ennis was introduced to YWS through Time4Change in 2014 and has stayed connected to YWS as a long time Adopt a Bed Sponsor. Ennis became a powerful voice for YWS, hosting A Home for the Holidays Breakfast, Welcome Home YWS Videos, Cover Me Urban and of course Time4Change. Most recently Ennis took the reins of our first virtual CMU celebration, helping guide us to record fundraising levels and bringing our home into yours.

Ennis, we can’t thank you enough for all that you’ve done and continue to do to support our residents here at YWS! You’re an inspiration and so grateful to have you as part of our YWS team.

Jonathan Atkins  

In early 2020, Jonathan, an engineer by profession, visited YWS and recognized our need for a safe, functional, storage space and immediately got to work planning a complete redesign of a large inaccessible space in the building. Jonathan and his business partner Raymond van Groll reached out to friends and colleagues and put together a team of engineers, designers, tradespeople and project managers who all donated their time and materials to redesign that space into what became Youth Without Shelter’s very own on-site food bank. As our most vulnerable communities struggle through the economic impact of Covid-19, the YWS food bank has been able to help support our former youth and ensure that no one has to choose between food or shelter.

Thank you Jonathan and the entire team at Atkins + VanGroll for your continuing professional and financial support of YWS! The new food bank has had a huge impact on how we are able to provide for our past YWS residents. We are so grateful for all the hard work that went into this project. Thank you!

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