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Happy Easter

Happy Easter

We were able to provide Easter Eggs and treats so that the 2 special needs classes at Aldergrove experienced an Easter Egg Hunt. Laughter and giggles could be heard throughout the classroom as the children searched for hidden treasures. The teacher's were very grateful: "Thanks for such a special day!!! Seriously"

$50,000 grant from TELUS Friendly Future Foundation to support mental health program in Ukraine

$50,000 grant from TELUS Friendly Future Foundation to support mental health program in Ukraine

The TELUS Friendly Future Foundation® has donated $50,000 to contribute towards HOPE worldwide Canada's "Children of War - Trauma Therapy Recovery Program" in Ukraine. This contribution is part of a $2 million pledge in support of Canadian charities providing humanitarian relief efforts in response to the conflict in Ukraine in early March. “Since 2015, HOPE worldwide Canada has supported the people of Ukraine through the 'Helping Hands for Ukraine’ program with our in-country partners, HOPE worldwide Ukraine,” says Taras Kulish, International Relations Volunteer of HOPE worldwide Canada. “The aim of this program has been to improve the psycho-social situation of children traumatized by war in Eastern Ukraine. The program equips both children and parents with the right tools to learn how to deal with psychological anxiety caused by war and violence. Since this program began, we’ve trained over 600 facilitators who have provided therapy to over 3600 children and over 950 adults (parents, teachers, health workers and veterans). This generous grant from the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation will allow the rapid and immediate expansion of the program. The need for psychological assistance for children has grown exponentially since the full scale invasion of Ukraine began on February 24, 2022.” These funds, provided at such a critical time, will allow HOPE worldwide Canada to increase the capacity of the program and will support the program facilitators and children and their families. "TELUS Friendly Future Foundation's mission is to promote the well-being of youth in Canada. During a humanitarian crisis, we are also committed to helping children, youth and families worldwide by assisting with the provision of much-needed health care, emergency supplies and emotional support," says Shanan Spencer-Brown, Executive Director of TELUS Friendly Future Foundation. "We are proud to partner with HOPE worldwide Canada by providing a grant of $50,000 which will help to provide mental health support to children and their families in Ukraine." For more information on HOPE worldwide Canada and the work they are doing to support people affected by the conflict in Ukraine, please visit hopewwc.org, and, for more information on HOPE worldwide Ukraine and the "Children of War" program, please visit https://hopeww.org.ua/en/. To learn more about the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation and its commitment to giving youth a safe place to learn and grow, including how to make a donation, visit friendlyfuture.com. TELUS customers can also help support youth across Canada by joining TELUS Change for Good - each monthly bill is rounded up to the next dollar with 100% of the difference supporting local charities focused on youth through the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation.

Making Spirits Bright

Making Spirits Bright

We were able to partner with 2 teachers of 2 special needs classrooms at Aldergrove School. The teachers identified 8 families that would benefit from a hamper. Our volunteers purchased groceries, small gifts and household items, assembled them and delivered them to the school the week of Dec. 6-10. The school then distributed them to the designated families. The families were very grateful commenting, Wow! Thank you so much!" and a few even commented on how full of amazing things they were! We were also able to provide 19 stockings and gifts to the children of these two classes. The teachers gave us a list of what the children liked and our volunteers were able to purchase those gifts as well as fill their stockings with small toys and treats. On the day of the party we ordered a Christmas meal for the children and 4 staff members. The teachers were very grateful commenting; “Today was my absolute favourite day of the school year. We were able to allow our students to experience the magic of Christmas. Each student had a special stocking, gift, and Christmas feast!” We were able to allow our students to experience the magic of Christmas. This year, though, felt even more special than the last. It’s been a really hard year for so many of us, but what these students and their families have experienced is more than we will ever even come close to understanding. To sit together, next to the Christmas tree, and truly just enjoy the togetherness, the connection we all have with each other, was the magic. Hearing the laughter, love, and pure joy from all of our students is what it is all about. Thank you so much to HOPE for fundraising and helping these special moments come to life that my students (and I) will remember forever. "Today was so amazing! Thanks so much to you and your team for making such a magical day come to life for my students!" Teacher And some of the children’s comments: "This is the best day ever!" "This is my first Christmas present!" "Wow!"

Christmas Caroling

Christmas Caroling

On December 11th, 30 Volunteers, consisting of adults, teens and children, went to Rosslyn Seniors Lodge to sing Christmas Carols and spend some time visiting with the Seniors. There were 30 Seniors we were able to sing to and visit. We also had a young girl play Jingle Bell Rock on the piano and one of our young adult women sing O Holy Night. A highlight of the night is when our volunteers scatter among the Seniors and we sing, The 12 Days of Christmas. Each group of volunteers and Seniors takes one of the days to sing their part.
This year the group singing “Five Golden Rings” were the loudest. The song ended with much laughter. We ended the singing with “We Wish You A Merry Christmas”, and as we were singing the children handed out treats to the Seniors. The Seniors commented on how happy they were to see us again. 3 of the Seniors sang to a couple of our volunteers a Christmas Carol in Ukrainian. As we were leaving the receptionist commented on what a great time the Seniors had.

Back to School!

Back to School!

With the funds raised through HOPE in Action, we were able to provide School Supplies and snacks for two of the classes at Aldergrove School. The two classrooms support and provide opportunities for children with special needs. One of the teachers sent us this note: "I just wanted to say thank you so much for the school supplies and for the snacks for our classrooms. I was absolutely blown away with everything that you guys bought and I seriously could not be more grateful! We had to use a ton of them already. The kids were so excited to choose their pencil cases and they all were pumped about their headphones. Thank you so much!" . We are excited to be able to support the school in future projects.

"I Was Hungry" - the Impact of Serving

"I Was Hungry" - the Impact of Serving

Volunteers from the Halifax Chapter of HOPE worldwide Canada had the opportunity to once again serve at the local Sunday Suppers Program, which they have been doing consistently for almost 20 years. This program provides a warm meal and a friendly smile for members of our community who may be experiencing homelessness, or other challenges in their lives. Sadly, the impact of the global pandemic has increased the weekly need for meals almost 40% than in pre-COVID times, but once again, our volunteers rose to and met this challenge! As we strive to personalize our community service, we had earlier asked some of the recipients of service what this meant to them. You can read some of their comments from the Sunday Suppers Program 2020 here: https://www.hopewwc.org/post/hx-sundaysupper Every Engagement Transformative One of our goals in serving is to make “every engagement transformative”, which means that by serving our neighbours with the kind of service that transforms their lives; in doing so, our volunteers will themselves have their hearts and convictions transformed to be more like Jesus. Please see some of the feedback we recently received from our volunteers: What do you like most about volunteering with the Sunday Suppers? “What we like most about serving in the Sunday Supper program is that it gives us an opportunity to participate in meeting the needs of the most vulnerable and needy people in our city.” “It is not a question of what we like about volunteering with the Sunday Supper but rather a sense of feeling we need to become more involved in the community.” “Just the opportunity to do something for the disadvantaged and to be participating with the other Followers of Jesus” “I like the volunteering because I honestly can’t imagine not going days without food and seeing the struggle that many go through in not being able to afford food or housing, I want to do what I can to help.” How has volunteering with the Sunday Suppers had an impact on your heart? “Serving in Sunday supper has helped us really connect with the heart of Jesus and his ministry which was so devoted to meeting the needs of the poor and marginalized. It has helped us to expand our vision to be looking for other situations where there may be needs and being prepared to meet those needs. (Such as carrying cash to give to those on street corners, praying to see, identify and meet other needs out there and around us) Serving the needy has helped us to be more grateful for what we have and for the ability to give. We are so blessed!” “Based on recent sermons on imitating the compassion of Jesus and considering others before ourselves, we have been convicted that we need to do more to serve others. We are still figuring out how this will manifest itself in our lives and the Sunday Supper seemed a good starting point.” “Serving others draws us back to thinking like Jesus did: Being constantly loving, serving and meeting the needs of others. Also the reminder that God has been so kind and generous to us all.” “It’s really fulfilling and warms my heart to know I’m helping in my own small way.” We could not do what we do without all the support from our volunteers, so once again, THANK YOU! For more information about the programs of HOPE worldwide Canada and how to support us, please visit our website at: www.hopewwc.org

Back to School Supply Drive Success

Back to School Supply Drive Success

The Winnipeg Chapter's annual back to school supply drive was a major success this year as donors and volunteers came together to provide school supplies for children in foster care. The Winnipeg Chapter has done this school drive three years in a row in support of children growing up in and around CFS (Child and Family Services). During previous school drives, CFS has been overwhelmed and amazed at the support, and the parents and guardians that have received the supplies have been very grateful. Over the first two years, the Winnipeg Chapter has served 55 families and 133 children, and CFS has informed us that this drive has made the biggest difference for those with large families - 9 to 10 children, who all need supplies for the new school year. This year, 30 social workers swooped in to help equip over 90 children with school supplies. The room went from completely filled, down to seven packages of loose-leaf paper within just a few days! A message from CFS: "HOPE worldwide Canada has helped ease the pressures of the back-to-school budget crunch for many of our client families. So many parents on limited income dread buying back-to-school supplies. For families with multiple children returning to school, costs can be overwhelming. For the third year in a row, HOPE has helped to lighten the financial load of many families with children returning to school. HOPE also makes the social workers feel like heroes as they deliver these much-needed supplies. The workers all gush and thank me for the school supplies but I defer all praise to HOPE worldwide Canada." A huge thank you to all who participated in making any of this possible.

HOPE in Action Fundraiser Raises Over $52,000 for Outreach Across Canada

HOPE in Action Fundraiser Raises Over $52,000 for Outreach Across Canada

This past April 8th, 2021, we launched our HOPE in Action fundraising event designed to get people active in their community. Individuals and Chapters across Canada spent two months planning and fundraising in anticipation of Saturday, June 19th, the day when all participants took action by doing bike trails, walkathons, sports challenges, live streams and much more. Between 213 individual fundraisers and 28 teams, all HOPE in Action participants were able to raise a total of $52,168, making this the largest fundraising effort in HOPE worldwide Canada history. This money will be used for outreach programs and volunteer opportunities across all HOPE worldwide Canada Chapters to help meet our communities needs. Although the collective amount raised was $52,000, we had some individuals and groups raise more than others, and we wanted to recognize them with a prize. Our top fundraiser for the whole event was Holly Kennedy Symonds of the Vancouver Chapter, raising $1,690. Our top youth fundraiser was Alex Bayle of the Winnipeg chapter, raising $825. Finally, the Calgary chapter wins for being the chapter with the largest number of registered participants with 35 members. Because of their efforts, our top fundraisers will be receiving an additional $175 to put towards outreach programs in their local chapters. To everyone who participated in HOPE in Action this year: thank you so much! Without you, we would not have been able to raise so much money for the less fortunate in our communities. Because of your donations and participation, more of the needs in all our communities across Canada will be able to be met. Once again, thank you, and we hope to see you again next year!

Max Out Summer! Camp and Family Fun Days leave kids in Winnipeg Foster Care Wanting More

Max Out Summer! Camp and Family Fun Days leave kids in Winnipeg Foster Care Wanting More

This summer, the Winnipeg Chapter of HOPE worldwide Canada hosted a variety of events for kids who are wards of Child & Family Service Agencies, the highlights being our Max Out Summer! Online Camp and the Family Fun Days. Max Out Summer! Online Camp For the last two weeks of July, we hosted our Max Out Summer! Online Camp for children in foster care. The camp was split into two weeks, one week for youth in grades 6-7, and the other for kids in grades 3-5. There was a large assortment of activities that kept the kids engaged, such as crafts, games, exercise, and much more. Aside from being able to have fun and connect, the kids also had the opportunity to connect with their counsellors who were teens and campus students that volunteered their time from all across Canada, hailing from Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa and Edmonton to name a few. Any reservations the kids may have had about opening up to their counsellors was gone by the final day, with one kid so eager to remember her counsellors that she wrote all their names on her camp T-shirt and showed up on her siblings' camera several times during their week of camp. To put it simply, the camp was a major hit. Family Fun Days Alongside the Max Out Summer! Online Camp events called Family Fun Days were planned throughout the summer, setting the kids out on excursions to several fun places such as Assiniboine Park Zoo, Thunder Rapids and Tinkertown. These events had kids and their families getting outside, getting active, and most importantly having fun at several fun places throughout Winnipeg. The turnout for these events was great, and the families (especially the kids) had a great time at every place that was attended.

Christmas 2020 in Edmonton

Christmas 2020 in Edmonton

On December 15th, the Edmonton Chapter delivered a giant card and treats to the Seniors at Rosslyn Place Lodge. They were able to wish them a Merry Christmas and share memories from past years when volunteers had previously gone and done caroling for the residents. Recreational Coordinator Teri Kennedy-Flynn was very grateful and said she loved the gifts. She also expressed that they were excited to hand out the treats to the residents. On December 19th Edmonton volunteers had the opportunity to deliver 8 Holiday Hampers that had been prepared by various volunteer groups throughout the week. The hampers provide for 8 families that consisted of 15 adults and 30 children. Each December the Edmonton chapters teams up with JCI and their Holiday Hamper program to supply food and gift hampers to almost a 1000 families in the Edmonton area that would otherwise go without. After registering each hamper, JCI then provides a turkey, fresh vegetables, from Kuhlmann’s Greenhouse Garden Market, and a roasting pan to be delivered along with the hamper. It is so encouraging to see so many people give of their time and resources to provide for others and bring a little Christmas cheer into the homes of the less fortunate. One of our volunteers shared a response they got from a family. “Thank you so much. I was not expecting this much food! Lots of our favourites in here. Really appreciate this. I have never had so much given to me before, this really hits me in the heart. Thanks again.” There is nothing more rewarding than seeing and feeling the impact of giving to others. Both of these events have blessed us with the privilege of giving. Merry Christmas!

Christmas Donation Drive in Toronto Brings Happiness to Families

Christmas Donation Drive in Toronto Brings Happiness to Families

Our Toronto chapters recently held a Christmas charity drive to collect gift cards, toys, hygiene products and clothing for low income families in Toronto. We are grateful for the support and generous donations from the congregation at Milestones Christian Churches. It was highly successful, with over $1000 in gift cards collected, hundreds of top quality toys, over 100 toiletry/ hygiene items, women’s clothing and 9 big boxes of granola bars, 500 in total. Heaps of toys, granola bars and gift cards donated All the items were donated to The Second Chance Foundation, an organisation that serves over 200 low income persons daily, mostly women facing severe challenges. Many of their clients are women integrating into society after incarceration. Bev Dwyer, the founder and CEO of the Centre and her team were grateful for the donation and mentioned that they would add significantly to their annual Santa Claus gift distribution. The centre serves many people living in extreme poverty, and the Toronto chapter will continue to find ways to support them and periodically send them non-perishable food items. Thank you to all the volunteers who came out to help with the collection, packing and delivery of the donations safely and quickly.

Join us in Halifax for Christmas Caroling

Join us in Halifax for Christmas Caroling

Our Halifax Chapter will be continuing their Christmas tradition of carolling this year virtually on Zoom. You can also be part of it. See details below: If you would like to participate in the carolling please contact Sanjay at sanjay.thompson@hopewwcanada.org, Marlie Elle at marieelle.charlemagne@hopewwcanada.org, and oceanefscyr@gmail.com at Océane François-Saint-Cyr.