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Walter Turns 4!

Walter our Therapy Dog recently celebrated his 4th birthday. Hope this cute picture of him licking his lips over his birthday treat brings you some joy this Friday!


Chef Matt Stowe shares his cooking talent with youth at ROP

Last night, the youth in our Rights of Passage (ROP) Program were thrilled to have a private cooking class with Canada's Next Top Chef Winner Chef Matt Stowe. Our ROP program provides young people with transitional living support while they are working and/or going to school. Offering lifeskills training, such as cooking on a budget, is a vital component to the program's success.

Chef Stowe volunteered his time to come in and teach the youth how to produce 3 healthy dishes from one whole chicken. On the menu was:

Chicken salad sandwiches
Chicken rice soup
Penne with chicken, bacon and peas
Apricot cobbler

As Chef Stowe explained, a whole chicken costs about $9 and from that, the youth can produce 3 meals for about as much as a fast food meal would cost. Healthy, cost effective and delicious, the 3 chicken dishes were prepared last night by the youth in our ROP kitchen. Chef Stowe also provided some helpful kitchen tips including:

  • When boiling water for pasta, add so much salt that the water tastes like the ocean (this adds flavor to the pasta while it's cooking)
  • Stuff the chicken with some rosemary or other herb prior to cooking to infuse the bird with wonderful flavor and aroma
  • Instant flavoured oatmeal is a great ingredient for any kind of fruit cobbler

The young people really enjoyed themselves and took to the cooking like naturals. Sitting down when the meal was completed was a highlight for me – the food was amazing and the youth were justifiably proud and impressed by what they had helped prepare.

Thank you to Chef Matt Stowe for his generous spirit and his gift of time and expertise and also to the Cactus Club for providing all of the ingredients for the wonderful meal.

See the CTV Morning Live Coverage and Vancouver Sun article.

Canada's Next Top Chef Winner Matt Stowe with youth at Covenant House Vancouver

Photo credit: Mark van Manen, PNG


Our Young People Tackle Grouse Mountain

Mike P., a youth worker at ROP, took some of our youth to do the Grouse Mountain/Whistler Water One Climb. Over 1700 people were climbing “The Grind” to provide water for villages in Africa through the Me to We /Save the children.

Our young people did great! One of the guys worked until 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning and then got up and did the hike and that same youth had a time of 37 Minutes which is fantastic.   

Michelle, one of our staff members who is a volunteer at Grouse Mountain, had arranged for some free passes for the young people to train prior to the event.  All four of the youth who took part seemed to enjoy getting out in the fresh air and were so appreciative of the chance to train and climb “The Grind”. After the event each one of them shook Michelle’s hand and thanked her and she said it was a really special moment.   

Here is a shot of our talented climbers.
grouse grinders

Some quotes from the climbers:

“The Grind was a struggle for me, but I believe in battling through adversity. It was a great test!”

“My first time doing the grind was a great experience! I am willing to do it many more times.  It is a very awesome work out.  I was not expecting to do well on it.”

“ I had a really amazing experience doing the one climb.  I am looking forward to it for next year or any other event.”

We need your help today

It's the start of summer and I’m very worried that there won’t be enough money to care for all the youth who’ll need us in the coming months.

We’re in a tough position financially.  The bills keep coming in but donations have not kept up. The bottom line is, we’re finding it hard to make ends meet.

I want you to know, in this difficult economy, it has been a struggle to raise the money we need to look after so many homeless youth.

Many dear friends have written us saying they can’t afford to help right now. Other good friends have told us that they need to cut back, but when things get better, they’ll do more. Of course, I completely understand these situations.

But, our 24-hour-a-day effort to rescue homeless youth from the street is placing a severe strain on our resources.

To make matters worse, this is all happening at the beginning of summer when hundreds of kids run away from home. That’s why I’m reaching out to you.

So much is at stake and so many kids will need us in the coming weeks that we need to ask for your special help in this difficult situation.

If you can help us prepare for the kids before they hit our doorstep -- I’d be so grateful.  Any gift you can send will help.

You see, we’ve been given a vital financial lifeline by a generous donor who has offered to match any gift you make today with an equal gift of their own -- up to $25,000. Frankly, this matching gift opportunity couldn’t possibly come at a more critical time.

But, we can only take advantage of this generous offer if loyal friends like you help us meet the challenge.

Can I count on you to send a gift so that we can keep our promise to provide a safe place to sleep for every youth who needs one?

I know, with your help, Covenant House will be able to provide a warm, safe bed to each young person that shows up at our emergency shelter this summer.

God Bless You,
Sister Nancy Brown, S.C., OBC

P.S. Any gift you send today will be matched dollar for dollar -- up to $25,000! If you send a gift of $10 it will be like you gave $20 to rescue innocent kids. If you send $25 it will be like you gave $50 to help vulnerable youth escape the street.  Thank you for being a wonderful friend to our young people and for helping us ensure we never turn away a youth in need.

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