All things considered, by the time the end of 2020 rolled around last year, we thought it would be a nice exercise to create a gratitude timeline – a visual representation of all the good things that took place throughout the year that we were thankful for. It ended up being a very fruitful activity. Not only were we able to rediscover wonderful moments that we had forgotten, but once they were all put onto one list, we were humbled by just how much good took place in a year that seemed to have so much hardship and uncertainty.
A few highlights from the past year…
So, keeping that in mind. We thought it would be worthwhile to do a similar reflection exercise for the end of 2021. Just like last year, this is by no means an exhaustive list! There were so many ways, big and small, that the community rallied around the young people here at Covenant House Vancouver (CHV). They acted as a force of hope and good. And this is just our little way of providing a snapshot of all that we are thankful for:
- At the very start of the year, Sprott Shaw College kicked things off. They announced a scholarship initiative to provide career-oriented programs for the youth at CHV.
- For Valentine’s day, a preschool class from Delta put together some adorable treat bags for the youth. These bags were complete with hand-drawn art on the front
- As winter began to thaw and make room for springtime, one of our Social Workers shared some wisdom on how we could learn a little something about mental health from bugs
- Rainy days didn’t stop this 17-year-old Covenant House donor from giving back by organizing his own front yard donation drive
- The owners of some local restaurant gems donated 150 healthy meals to our young people despite the uncertainty facing the food service industry
And a few more to be thankful for!
- Wildlife Thrift Store has been a champion of our cause for a while now. This story from back in June recounts the role they played in helping a youth find a prom dress
- Despite our increased safety restrictions, many volunteers still offered up their time and talent to give back in different ways to Covenant House Vancouver
- In the summertime, the Melodies of Youth choir ensemble chose to raise funds for the young people at CHV. They shared with us a beautiful online performance
- Throughout the year, we have been so fortunate to receive the support of restaurants and local businesses who donated delicious and healthy meals to the youth
- In August, Mayor Kennedy Stewart joined us for a conversation on our podcast, Under One Roof
- One of our long-time community partners, Hockey Helps the Homeless, raised $35,000 in support of the young people in our Rights of Passage program
- Coming home from a dentist appointment one day, one of our youth had an inspiring encounter with a taxi cab driver who also used to stay at a Canadian Covenant House
- We celebrated the 10th anniversary of Sleep Out: Executive Edition, and our amazing participants raised more than $1.2 million to help youth overcome homelessness
Although in some ways 2021 proved to be a challenging year, in other ways there was still a lot to be thankful for! We are grateful to the countless individuals, community groups and businesses around us that came together to be a united force of hope for young people this year.
As we look forward to the year ahead, some big things are on the horizon. And we stay committed, as much as ever, to be a place of relentless support, unconditional love and absolute respect for youth who are experiencing, or at-risk of experiencing, homelessness.