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"Covenant House was the first place I've ever lived that I was safe."

Jennie was a shy, thoughtful girl when she first came to Covenant House Vancouver. She has been living on and off the streets since she was 10, and had attended over 20 elementary schools by grade eight. When Jennie turned 19, she left the foster care system and had no place to go. She was referred to Covenant House and said “Covenant House was the first place I’ve ever lived that I was safe and nobody could hurt me here. It’s the first place that I’ve ever felt that kind of sense of belonging, it’s the first place I’ve ever had a home.

Jennie stayed in our Crisis Program and worked incredibly hard. Having such an interrupted education, Jennie had difficulty reading, so one of our volunteers helped her learn. Though she had never taken drugs herself, Jennie understands why street youth do. She says “a lot of times there’s mental illness and addictions and different things that happen on the streets because when you’re in that much pain, you try to find a way to numb the pain and by doing that, you dig yourself in a little deeper.”

After stabilizing in our Crisis Program, Jennie moved to our transitional living program, Rights of Passage (ROP) where she truly found her voice. Learning to self-advocate and assert herself were life-skills Jennie desperately needed and ROP was the perfect place for her to learn. Jennie became an active and strong member of the ROP community, challenging staff at every turn when she thought the rules were too tough or the curfew too early.

In retrospect, Jennie is grateful for what Covenant House provided saying “I was scared; everybody had kinda turned away and I just figured they’d turn away too. I didn’t really expect help because I didn’t think anybody would be there or care, and I found the exact opposite, I found that they didn’t just open up their doors to me, but they opened up their hearts.

Jennie found a fantastic job in the “helping people” field and after graduating from ROP; she really wanted to “give back” to Covenant House so she volunteered to help our Development & Communications department by giving speeches at donor events or doing media interviews. A while back, Jennie agreed to do an interview on a local talk radio show, so our media person, Michelle arranged to pick her up and take her to the station as it was an early morning call.

On the way to the station, Michelle was complaining about the weather – it was yet another rainy Vancouver morning. Jennie surprised Michelle when she said that she actually found the rain very comforting. She said that when she was little and would run away from unsafe homes, “nobody ever ran after me when it was raining.

It’s painful to even imagine the kind of childhood that Jennie had, let alone experience it – she was sexually abused, neglected and she never heard the words “I love you.” Coming to Covenant House marked the beginning of a whole new life for Jennie and she is grateful to you, our donors, for your support of young people like herself.

I’d like to thank all the donors out there because it’s always been an amazing thing to me that people donate to this cause; it’s amazing because they’ll never know the names, or the stories or the young people they’ve helped, but they’ve made all the difference in the world.

Today, you have the opportunity to help more young people like Jennie by making a donation to Covenant House. If you make your donation before June 30th, a generous matching donor will match all gifts received, up to $100,000.

Please give generously and know that any amount you’re able to give will make a difference.

Give today and help youth like Jennie, all gifts matched.  

On May 30th the ‘Caps are encouraging all fans to #BuckUp for Mental Health presented by Desjardins Insurance.

Whitecaps FC are looking to raise $21,000 in support of Covenant House Vancouver. A dollar may not seem like much, but when Whitecaps FC fans come together to support mental health, the impact of your dollar can go a long way.

Participating is easy – there are many ways to show your support:

1.       Donate online at  whitecapsfc.com/buckup

2.       Bring at least one dollar to the match on Saturday, May 30  when the ‘Caps take on Real Salt Lake. Help us raise one dollar per fan for a total of $21,000

3.       Support via social media by sharing our video or re-tweeting – Desjardins Insurance will donate $1 for every re-tweet or share of the #BuckUp video 

4.       Create an account online at  whitecapsfc.com/buckup    and ask your networks to donate – there are great prizes to be won for top fundraisers!

5.       Text BuckUp to 39-39-39 to pledge $5 to #BuckUp in support of Covenant House Vancouver

Last year, in the club’s 40th anniversary, we launched #BuckUp for Mental Health and successfully raised over $21,000,” said Whitecaps FC president, Bob Lenarduzzi. “This year we hope to surpass that total.

The Home Depot Canada Foundation is helping put an end to youth homelessness with “Paper Doors”

The Home Depot Canada Foundation is committed to ending youth homelessness, pledging to invest $10 million over three years through The Orange Door Project. This initiative will give homeless youth the housing, support and hope they need to live safe, healthy and productive lives.

One component of The Orange Door Project is The Home Depot’s national fundraising campaign.  From now until July 2, The Home Depot customers can buy a $2 paper door in support of a local youth-focused housing charity.

All proceeds raised at the following  Home Depot stores during the campaign will support Covenant House Vancouver:

The Home Depot Vancouver 900 Terminal Ave
The Home Depot Richmond 2700 Sweden Way
The Home Depot Vancouver Cambie 2388 Cambie St

Encourage your friends, family members, neighbours and colleagues to support the campaign today!

Learn more about The Orange Door Project.

The Orange Door Project 

Krista Thompson wins YWCA Women of Distinction Award

We are proud to share that our Executive Director Krista Thompson has won a 2015  YWCA Women of Distinction Award  in the Non-Profit or Public Service category.  Recognized nationally, the YWCA Women of Distinction Awards honours individuals and organizations whose outstanding activities and achievements contribute to the well-being and future of our community.

Through Krista's vision, strategic guidance and commitment to providing young people with unconditional love and absolute respect she has  elevated services to homeless and at-risk youth in Vancouver.

A big congratulations to Krista and to all of the winners and nominees of this year's  YWCA Women of Distinction Awards!

Krista Thompson wins YWCA Women of Distinction Award 

Citrus Hair Salon Spring “Yard” Sale in Support of Covenant House

Citrus Hair Salon will be hosting a “yard” sale, where they  will be selling new and used items ranging from clothing, small appliances, home décor, jewelry, gift items, etc. The concept is to set up their salon similar to a high-quality consignment, vintage or second-hand store. They are asking for donations of gently-used items to be sold at the salon in a well-organized event open to the public, where 100% of the net proceeds will be donated to Covenant House Vancouver.  In the spirit of the old fashioned yard sales of times past, they will also  have various activities including a bake sale and lemonade stand, plus food and entertainment. After the event any items not sold will be donated as well.

They ask everyone to do their spring cleaning and drop off any items to the salon any time before May 31st. This is a great opportunity to get rid of those items that you don’t want to throw away but never use! If you have a store, you may have clearance stock you want to get rid of or any items collecting dust in your stock room.

An example of items you can donate (all items should be in good shape):

  • Good-quality, used clothing
  • Small appliances 
  • Art and wall decor
  • Home décor items
  • Handbags/wallets
  • Jewelry
  • Unused candles, soaps, etc.
  • Unused cosmetics
  • Accessories such as scarves, belts, etc.

These are just samples, but almost anything goes, just no large items. If you have any questions or comments, contact Citrus Hair Salon  at  events@citrushairsalon.com.

Anyone that would like to participte in and/or attend the event on June 12th is welcome .

Citrus Hair Salon Yard Salon  

 

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