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Unconditional Generosity Shows Unconditional Love

Mark Munn, a Pastoral Counsellor at Covenant House, shared this story with our entire Covenant House Team recently -  we hope that it touches your heart as it did ours:

Sister Nancy got a call from the front desk that someone was here with a gift and wished to her.  She went to reception where waiting for her was an elderly man proudly standing with a jar in his hand and a garbage bag of donations over his shoulder. 

Sister Nancy noticed that the jar was wrapped with tape, and on the top there was some writing in felt pen: his name, Don. And inside the jar were as many dimes as Sister Nancy had ever seen in one place. $60.00 dollars of dimes. Don held up the jar and said his collection of $60 was his gift to Covenant House Vancouver, to help youth living on the street.  

And he gave her the jar.

Then he gave Sister Nancy his garbage bag, which was filled with rosaries, toques and packs of playing cards. “This is all I have to give” he said to her. And he was so sincere, as if he had given us a pot of gold. Sister Nancy felt like he had just given her, and us, $60 Million dollars.  

Sister Nancy can’t stop thinking about Don. She said that we get gifts of all kinds and all sizes from all kinds of people and Don gave us his most extraordinary gift. He gave us everything he had, joyously, sharing what wealth he had with our youth.

When I first heard the story, I was a little concerned. Shouldn’t we have instructed this man to save his money? Was this fair, to accept a gift from someone who seemed not too well off himself?   But then I realized he was determined to help us. He was proud to give. He was not feeling guilt or pressure to donate his money to us, but rather joy at the opportunity to give everything he had to give. 

Sister Nancy and I think that Don is teaching all of us about the nature of unconditional love – which is that even when you give, out of love, to the point that you feel it, when it might cost you a little bit or a lot, something grows inside of you. Your biggest and best self grows inside of you. 

Which was so obvious of Don’s face in our Drake Street lobby. 

Image of dime donation 

 

Last week to buy a $2 paper door in support of homeless youth

The Home Depot Canada Foundation is dedicated to taking action to put an end to youth homelessness in Canada through  The Orange Door Project  fundraising campaign.

You can still purchase a $2 paper door until October 9th at the checkout of the Richmond, Vancouver, and Vancouver Cambie Home Depot stores and proceeds will support Covenant House Vancouver.

Find out more about how your support will make a difference for local homeless youth click here

 The Orange Door Project

It took time but Bill slowly built trusting relationships with his youth workers

Bill came to us in need of shelter over a year ago. Slowly but surely we got to know him but it was a struggle as he was quite closed off, also he did not stay more than a couple nights at a time in our Crisis Program. This made it hard for our youth workers to build a relationship with him. Slowly over the course of a year we got to know him a bit better each time he came to us. Eventually some mental health and addiction issues were recognized.

We helped Bill get connected to resources to support his mental health issues but his addiction issues and regular relapses became an obvious pattern. The team at Covenant House remained supportive and welcoming and encouraged Bill to return and keep his stays longer. Bill had trouble building relationships with male workers. Eventually as his trust with each stay grew he got over this hurdle and built a positive relationship with his regular male youth worker.

During one recent stay Bill had connected with a treatment centre that is well known with a good reputation to the delight of his youth workers and case manager. It was a huge positive step he made himself and he had his mind set on going ahead with it. There was a wait to get into to treatment and some struggles occurred by eventual Bill was able to make it for his intake at the treatment centre. We are wishing Bill much luck and success! 

 Right now, we are getting ready for Thanksgiving you can help provide a warm meal, safety and of course hope  to young person just like Bill.
Please give generously

Hope image

Mental Illness Awareness Week: October 2-8, 2016

"Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) is an annual national public education campaign designed to help open the eyes of Canadians to the reality of mental illness. The week was established in 1992 by the Canadian Psychiatric Association, and is now coordinated by the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) in cooperation with all its member organizations and many other supporters across Canada.

Mental illness affects more than six million people across the country, or one in five Canadians. A strong societal stigmatization of mental illness persists, forcing individuals into the shadows to suffer alone in silence. Unfortunately, many Canadians with mental illness will not seek the help they need and society continues to remain unaware of the significant burden mental illness places on us all." -  CAMIMH

Mental Illness Awareness Week Poster

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