Andrew Teel is an inspiring and compassionate young man. He is a Courage to Come Back Award recipient, and you may remember he is the creator of Twoonies for Teens.
At just 13 years old, Andrew reached out to Covenant House Vancouver as a former foster child who had found his forever home. He wanted to help his peers who were experiencing homelessness.
And help his peers he did. Twoonies for Teens raised over $50,000 in its first year and has since gone on to raise close to $70,000.
Once again, Andrew is fundraising in support of vulnerable young people. For his peers. He explains why he remains committed to fighting youth homelessness in a personal letter below:
Hi, it’s Andrew!
I want to share something that happened to me today.
I’m double vaxxed and I take all the precautions, but somehow, I am sick. I am isolated in my room waiting for the results from my Covid test.
Out of the blue, someone who I haven’t seen in a long time came with some homemade soup. I was definitely surprised to see him, but not surprised that he would do something so nice. I thanked him from my window.
Why am I telling you this? With his permission, I will share a bit of his story.
In 2019 when we were almost finished grade 11, something bad happened at his house. He ended up on the street and then he was gone from school too. There was no way to contact him and he just disappeared.
This same guy, who helped me bake and sell cookies for Twoonies for Teens, raising money for homeless and at-risk youth, became homeless and at-risk himself.
He had nothing and nobody for a long time. He did his best to survive, but one desperate night he found himself at Covenant House. They opened their doors and that was the beginning of a new life for him. It wasn’t easy but he worked hard. Now he has a place of his own and he is doing what he loves, cooking and giving back to other people.
When I created Twoonies for Teens, my goal was to help give vulnerable young people the chance to build a good life.
I just never thought that chance would be given to someone I know.
My friend and I have different stories but we both know what it’s like to be in pain, hungry, cold, scared, and alone. My chance at a good life came from adoption, his came from Covenant House through the kindness of people like you.
Together we really are making a difference.
Thank you, from me, my friend, and all the youth out there, whose lives will be changed for the better because you care.
P.S. (I am happy to say that just after I finished this letter, my Covid test came back negative.)