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A poem created by one of our young people

There's the yellow paper
I put my name, the date, my intake.
Then circle my present endeavor.
But before I continue there they are
The the three boxes asking for something clear
My 3 strengths..please enter them here.
I stare at them blankly as if not to understand
its something so simple, though I can't comprehend

How can it be so difficult to find within myself
What makes me strong.
Not to be low but am I to whom my strengths belong?

I catch my thoughts and re focus
Perhaps my answer should be as shallow as the question.
No. This is my chance to be pompous.
To show that i am strong.
I've been doing this for two years and suddenly my list is blank
But Ask me to list off weaknesses
They would flow like water down the river bank.
Is it society that makes me believe
That my strengths have a limit
Or is it the fact that I'm human and I play within it

To answer and move on from this daunting question;
My three strengths are a vague reflection
Of my capabilities in this room, in this world and inside myself

One. I am human
Two. I admit I have weaknesses
Three. I found a place to accept this.

They stare at me in confusion.
Why didn't u write that you are calm
That you are friendly that you are understanding
Well let me explain to you my finding

My calmness wouldn't exist
With out my ability to be human
My friendliness wouldn't be honest if I admit to no weakness
My understanding would not manifest if I had never learned acceptance.

-Submitted anonymously by a youth

Richmond Jewish Day School & Az-Zahraa Islamic Academy Come Together To Help Others

A fabulous group of Grade 6 & 7 students from Richmond Jewish Day School and Az-Zahraa Islamic Academy banded together to help out on the Downtown Eastside in February. Together, they were an outstanding display of two cultures working happily together as well as an inspiration for us all to reach out to help others. The students handed out food and clothing and had intimate conversations with people they met. They had a strong connection with one gentleman in particular, Fred Miller, who inspired them to be grateful for what they have, trust in their parents and work hard in school. Fred was touched by the kindness of these students and was overwhelmed by the love they showed him. He was also inspired by the love they had for each other and the way they had come together, despite their cultural differences, to show the world what is important.

Last week, Jessie Claudio, a teacher from Az-Zahraa, invited Covenant House to come and speak with her students. This spring, they had won an award for their random acts of kindness and were thinking about donating the $3,000 award to Covenant House Vancouver. When I arrived at the school on Monday, I was delighted to meet Fred Miller, who ended up being the inspiration behind all of this. Students got to speak with Fred and learn more about him. After a massive Group Hug (about 30 students + Fred) I got to speak about Covenant House and the incredible young people we serve.

This stellar group of students chose to donate their $3,000 award to Covenant House Vancouver as they wanted to pay it forward. They were over-the-moon about the opportunity to double their impact fighting homelessness by donating their award during The Conconi Covenant House Challenge!

When the group arrived to present Covenant House with their award, they also brought along gifts for Fred and boxes of shoes for our youth. In addition to their incredible donation, a member of the Shia Muslim Community matched the students’ donation and presented Covenant House with another gift of $3,000!

Covenant House Vancouver wants to send a huge thank you to all involved especially to the students for their kind hearts and generosity. One student from RJDS really summed up the specialness of the day: “I woke up this morning feeling good, knowing what we were about to do.”

Check out CBC's coverage of this wonderful story.

students presenting cheque to chv

presents for Fred from students

cheque from students to schv

There is still time for your gift to be matched!

Make a donation to Covenant House Vancouver before June 30th and your donation will be matched dollar for dollar by The Robert L. Conconi Foundation!

With this matching gift challenge, you can help save twice as many of Vancouver’s homeless youth from the streets. I hope that you will seize this special opportunity.

As a self-made businessman, Bob attributes much of his success to his stable upbringing. He understands how vital we are to struggling kids who don’t have the kind of love, respect, and support that makes all the difference in the world.

Please donate today to help us meet our $150,000 goal by June 30th.

On behalf of the Conconi family and the next frightened kid who comes through our doors – Thank you!

matching gift challenge on now

Walter waltzes in for a visit!

Walter, our therapy dog, is still hard at work here at Covenant House Vancouver. Each day he assists Jesse, our Mental Health Clinician as he meets with our young people. Besides the general soothing effect a dog can have on someone who is stressed, therapy dogs provide a welcome distraction for people whose therapy session may be getting intense or uncomfortable. Walter also provides hugs and kisses something many of our youth have gone without their whole lives.

We hope you enjoy these pictures of Walter and that they brighten your day.

walter image

walter with his friends

picture of walter sleeping

walter our therapy dog out for a walk