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Giving Thanks to our Volunteers - Volunteer Recognition Week

April 22-27 is known as National Volunteer Week and Covenant House Vancouver would like to send a big "Thank you" to all our Volunteers! This week on our blog we will be featuring all things volunteer related including wonderful stories written by our volunteers about their experiences at CHV.

Covenant House Vancouver Volunteers have:

-Donated 5359 hours of their time last fiscal year (equivalent to 2 full time staff members)
-Thank A Thon volunteers helped us reach 12,865 donors this past fiscal year
-GIK volunteers helped sort 240,897.7 pounds of clothing and household items
-At this time we have 74 regular volunteers

Covenant House Vancouver would like to take this opportunity to recognize all of you who volunteer with us whether it be just for one afternoon or year-round. You share your expertise, passion, life experience and patience as you help our youth to become independent adults and we truly could not do it without you.

We thank you for all of your hard work and dedication!

thank you volunteers

9 year old girl gives back for her birthday

A lovely young lady collected $100.00 for her 9th birthday to help kids at Covenant House  Check out her great card that she made to go with her donation. All of us at CHV are sending her a big thank you and happy birthday for being so kind and generous!

card from young girl to chv

Family Affair Racing Team - Racing for Covenant House Youth

Pam Williams is part of a racing team that truly is a family affair.  Pam, her husband Bob and her mother all race with the help of their kids who are part of their pit crew.  This year Pam and her team members decided to fundraise for Covenant House (plus collect food donations) for the entire 2013 racing season!

Pam invited me out to opening weekend at Mission Raceway which I attended on Saturday.  As I made my way through the paddock (or pits) area it was clear that the racers were a tight-knit group; everyone was chatting and catching up with each other.  As I arrived at the Family Affair Racing Team paddock I was warmly greeted by Pam, her family and crew (including her three dogs!).  Pam had a promotional banner made to hang in front of their paddock as well as decals for their cars – all in the effort to fundraise for Covenant House.  Racing fans can drop by to learn more about the team and their cars plus make a donation to Covenant House on race days.

I know very little about car racing and all the levels, categories and associations that go with it – but I enjoyed a bit of a crash course with the help of Pam and Family Affair team member Jennifer.  Pam is a Formula Vee open wheel racer and I got a close-up look at what it takes to keep the cars in racing form!  I enjoyed the chance to watch Pam race in the open wheel portion of race day; Jennifer was my guide explaining various aspects of the race as they unfolded.

Covenant House is grateful to Pam and the Family Affair Racing Team for their hard work and dedication fundraising on our behalf.  I encourage everyone to check out the fun at Mission Raceway this season. 

For more information on Family Affair Racing Team check out their website.
pam williams in fv car

racing paddock

chv sign at racing paddock
And yes – if you haven’t noticed already – the acronym for Family Affair Racing Team is ‘F.A.R.T.’!

The right combination of embarrassed and loved!

One youth had a birthday while staying in Shelter. He has been staying at Covenant House Vancouver for several months and has been struggling with motivation lately. This youth is a really friendly, easy-going person and is the first to share a joke. Birthdays are emotional at the best of times but it can be especially difficult to spend a birthday in a homeless shelter and be reminded that you may not have any family or feel like anyone cares. Youth often ask for their birthday not to be mentioned for this reason. Staff need to be conscious of how a youth may react around their birthday and trust their instincts and the relationship they have built with a particular youth.

Even though this youth said he didn’t need a cake and not to worry about making a big deal about his birthday, he was greeted at the office with a very loud, obnoxious staff rendition of happy birthday and a card signed by everyone. He was also given some gift cards and birthday candy, in lieu of cake. This left him feeling just the right combination of embarrassed and loved! It is common for vulnerable youth not to be able to say thank you, however, this youth stated that he really appreciated what we had done for him and that the singing was great!

birthday wishes