HOPE worldwide Canada

Carolling For Seniors and Holiday Hamper Deliveries In Edmonton

Christmas Carolling

On December 7th, 32 volunteers from the Edmonton chapter arrived at Rosslyn Seniors Lodge for their 5th annual Christmas Carolling Evening, serenading 36 Seniors.  They started off the evening with 6 Festive Favourites, ending their first half singing “The 12 Days of Christmas,” with all of the Seniors participating.  They took a break to serve them hot chocolate and donuts and spending time to get to know  them.

The second half started with two piano performances by two young girls, Selena Marks and Allyna Collis.  That was followed by two teen-age girls, Sophia Narciso and Ashley Griffiths, singing two beautiful songs.  They then performed a few Classic Christmas Hymns and closed the evening with “We Wish You A Merry Christmas,” and the children handing out homemade treats.  They also gave out their first door prize.  The lady who received it was so thankful, she shared her treats with everyone.  It was so encouraging to hear them saying comments like, “I remember you from last year,”  “I come every year,”  “I can`t wait till next year.”  There were many comments about how much they enjoyed the young performers.

As the volunteers were leaving, the lady at the front desk commented on how as the Seniors came by they were talking about how much they enjoyed the evening.

Holiday Hampers

On December 14th HOPE Edmonton had the opportunity to deliver 7 Holiday Hampers that had been prepared by groups throughout the week.  The hampers provided for families that consist of 2 to 9 people, whom are mostly children.

Each December the chapter 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 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 this story.  He had to make a couple of trips out to the car to bring items in.  On his way back into the house, the little girls ran up to him with open arms for a hug.  He told her, “You made my day, that is my first hug today” Then the mom gave him a hug.  They were so grateful.

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!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

HOPE worldwide Canada is grateful for its many volunteers, supporters and partners who help us do all that we do in “bringing hope, changing lives” in the many programs we are fortunate to support across Canada and around the world.

During this season of peace and goodwill, we wanted to take this time to wish all of our friends a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

The Toronto Central chapter collected winter clothes and food for the poor

Thank you to everyone for your generous donations last Sunday at the Toronto Central chapter’s winter clothes drive.
 
The chapter collected gloves, winter coats and non perishable food items at the Meridian Arts Centre. Members of the Toronto Church and friends showed their incredible generosity by giving much more than we expected, and extra vehicles had to be sought to ferry the goods.
 
The clothes and food were donated to the Out of the Cold program at Blythwood Baptist Church and the North York Harvest Food Bank.
 
These donations will go a long way to help the homeless and poor families in North York.

Toronto winter charity drive for the homeless

The Toronto Central chapter will be having a charity drive to help the homeless and poor families on, Sunday, December 15.

They will be collecting winter jackets, gloves and non perishable food items at 10:00 am in the lobby at Meridian Arts Centre – formerly Toronto Centre for the Arts.

Thank you in advance for your generosity. If you have any questions, please call (416) 729 6945.

The Toronto West Chapter feed the homeless in Mississauga

On Saturday, December 7th volunteers from the Toronto West chapter prepared and served a breakfast of scrambled eggs, sausages cooked in tomato ketchup with onions, hash browns, and croissants at 2 Salvation Army Shelters in Mississauga.

At the Dundas Street location, they served over 150 meals to men, women, and children currently in residence there.

At the Cawthra Street location, they served about 90 meals to men and women, some of whom are in residence and others who just walked off the street or a meal.

The chapter had 7 Volunteers at Cawthra, 3 of whom were friends of church members of the West Church, and at the Dundas Street location, there were 8 Volunteers, 4 from the Campus Ministry.

Many residents coming back to express their thanks and gratitude for a warm meal.

The guest volunteers were greatly impacted and offered their service for the next time.

The volunteers were moved by the numbers and diversity of the people who needed a hot meal.

The Chaplains expressed their thanks and appreciation.

Toronto Church Campus Ministry Distribute “Blessing Bags” to the Homeless

And all set for the Winter Coats & Gloves Drive on December 15 by Hope worldwide
The Campus Ministry of the Toronto Church has taken a big step in helping the homeless get out of the cold this winter.
In a two week program, over 50 campus students went to various parts of the city and handed out “blessing bags” to the homeless. The blessing bags contained gloves, socks, toothpaste, toothbrush, blankets, hats, and feminine hygiene products. The response to the gesture was overwhelming and reflected the huge need.
The Campus Coordinator of the program, Thor Belarde restated their commitment to continue serving the community. “As our city gets colder and colder, the need for God’s warm presence becomes greater and greater. We are just trying to do our own part as the Toronto Campus Ministry, just as we have all been called to.”
The Campus group have also reserved some of these blessing bags for the Winter Coats, Gloves & Food Drive coming up on Sunday December 15 at the Meriden Arts Centre. It is an initiative and one of the signature activities of Hope worldwide Canada, Toronto Central Chapter.

 

UN ENTRETIEN AVEC UNE ADO BÉNÉVOLE: OCÉANE FRANÇOIS-SAINT-CYR

La grande famille de HOPE worldwide offre, à ceux qui désirent être bénévoles, toute une gamme de moyens de répondre aux besoins des gens de leur propre communauté ou d’ailleurs dans le monde. Sa section internationale compte plusieurs programmes auxquels les jeunes bénévoles de  HOPE worldwide Canada peuvent participer pour changer les choses et développer leurs qualités de leader. Parmi ces programmes, on trouve le National Youth Advisory Council (NYAC- Conseil consultatif national des jeunes) qui s’adresse aux élèves du secondaire et du postsecondaire de l’Amérique du Nord. Grâce à NYAC, ces jeunes apprennent à donner de la vision et des solutions créatives par des actions centrées sur de solides relations soutenues avec les personnes se trouvant en situation précaire. Inspirés par l’exemple de Jésus, ils ont à cœur les mêmes valeurs qu’ils partagent avec ceux qu’ils servent : les orphelins, ceux qui souffrent de la faim ou de troubles émotifs, les aînés, les malades et les victimes de catastrophes naturelles.

Océane François-Saint-Cyr, 16 ans, membre de HOPE worldwide à Montréal, vient tout juste d’intégrer le programme NYAC. Nous l’avons rencontrée pour mieux la connaître et chercher à savoir ce qui la motive à œuvrer à titre de bénévole.

D’où te vient ta passion pour le service?

Tout d’abord, dès un très jeune âge, j’ai eu plusieurs occasions de participer aux activités de HOPE worldwide en compagnie de mes parents, ce qui m’a connectée aux besoins de ma communauté. Ces occasions m’ont également permis de constater à quel point le temps et l’énergie que nous donnons touchent de façon concrète et durable la vie de ceux que nous aidons. En grandissant, je me suis rendu compte que j’aimais vraiment créer des liens avec les gens et que les occasions de servir me procuraient le cadre idéal pour le faire.

Finalement, lorsque je sers les gens dans le besoin, je me rends compte à quel point Dieu m’a donné une vie riche. Je suis reconnaissante qu’il m’offre des occasions de redonner à mon tour aux moins fortunés de ce monde.

Quel a été le projet qui t’a fait vibrer plus que tout?

Ce fut sans aucun doute le voyage que j’ai fait avec ma famille en Indonésie en 2013 pour aller aider une communauté dans le besoin. Avant notre départ, ma famille et moi avions recueilli des fournitures scolaires, de l’équipement de soccer et des médicaments qui étaient destinés à un groupe d’enfants vivant dans les bidonvilles de Jakarta. Leur quartier avait non seulement été inondé par la mousson, mais deux semaines avant notre arrivée, le même quartier avait aussi été ravagé par un incendie. Nous nous sommes donc joints à HOPE worldwide Jakarta qui participait déjà aux efforts d’aide déployés. J’ai été extrêmement touchée de voir à quel point ces enfants étaient heureux de simplement passer du temps avec nous et de recevoir le peu que nous leur apportions (un ballon de soccer, des cahiers et des sacs à dos). Ils semblaient oublier qu’ils venaient de tout perdre. De plus, ça m’a aidé à comprendre pourquoi le geste de redonner à la communauté  ou d’aider quelqu’un n’a pas besoin de coûter de milliers de dollars ni de mobiliser des centaines de bénévoles. Il peut suffire de partager un repas avec quelqu’un, d’offrir un t-shirt ou de tendre la main à quelqu’un.

Qu’est-ce qui t’a incitée à te joindre à NYAC?

J’ai décidé de faire partie de NYAC parce que je savais que ses programmes étaient conçus pour former les étudiants comme moi à diriger de façon efficace et à servir dans leur communauté. J’ai aussi été inspirée à le faire par certains de mes amis qui avaient participé à NYAC auparavant et qui m’avaient dit à quel point ce programme les avait aidés à grandir et à acquérir les habiletés nécessaires à gérer tout type de situation, peu importe le lieu.

Pourquoi as-tu choisi NYAC?

Ce que j’aime de NYAC c’est que, contrairement à d’autres programmes, son but est d’aider les participants à changer la vie des gens de la communauté qu’ils servent.  En me concentrant sur ma communauté, j’ai le moyen de toucher ceux dans le besoin non pas seulement le temps de ma visite, mais d’une façon durable. Ainsi, il est plus facile par la suite d’obtenir l’appui de partenaires publics ou privés lorsque les résultats sont tangibles et visibles. J’aime aussi le fait que NYAC s’étend sur toute l’année; il permet ainsi d’offrir aux étudiants le soutien dont ils ont besoin pour servir à long terme de façon plus efficace qu’avec un projet de petite envergure.

Qui est pour toi un modèle inspirant?

J’admire les internes qui dirigent des programmes HOPE Volunteer Corps un peu partout dans le monde. Le travail acharné et tous les efforts de planification dont ils font preuve m’inspirent au plus haut point. Cela prend un vrai cœur de serviteur pour arriver à diriger plusieurs programmes chaque année.

Nous sommes tout aussi enthousiastes qu’Océane face à tout ce que la prochaine année lui apportera. Nous encourageons tous ceux qui sont membres de l’équipe de Montréal à servir aux côtés d’Océane et de HOPE worldwide à Montréal.

 

An Interview with Teen Volunteer Oceane François-Saint-Cyr

Throughout the HOPE worldwide global community there are countless opportunities for volunteers to meet needs, whether it is for those in their own local community or across the globe in a majority nation. There are also several programs run by HOPE worldwide that many of our HOPE worldwide Canada young volunteers can get involved in to make a difference and grow in their leadership skills. One such program is the National Youth Advisory Council (NYAC). NYAC is for North American high school and post-secondary students who are trained to provide vision and creative solutions as servant leaders through meaningful, ongoing, relationship-oriented service to the materially poor and those in need. Council members aim to capture and share the heart of Jesus, journeying with orphaned, hungry, materially poor, elderly, sick, disaster-struck and broken-hearted people.

Oceane François-Saint-Cyr from our Montreal Chapter, age 16, has just this year been accepted into the NYAC program. We are excited for her and what she will learn in this year of training and meeting needs. We wanted to get to know her better and asked her some questions to see what drives her as a volunteer.

Where does your passion to serve come from?

Firstly, from a young age, I had the opportunity to participate in various HOPE worldwide activities with my parents and I was made aware of various needs in the community. Through those activities, I was also able to see how the gift of our time and our energy can have a real and tangible impact on those that we serve. As I grew older, I learnt that I am passionate about connecting with people, and that serving gives me a great opportunity to do so.

Finally, service has shown me that I am very blessed in my living condition. God has showered me with blessings and given me opportunities to give to those who are less fortunate, through service.

What has been your favourite service project?

It was definitely a trip that I took with my family to Indonesia in 2013, to help serve a community that was in need. Prior to the trip, my family and I collected some school supplies, soccer supplies and some medicine to deliver to a group of underprivileged children who were living in the slums of Jakarta. Not only was their neighbourhood flooded by the seasonal monsoon, but a couple weeks before our visit, they had suffered another disaster in the form of a fire. We were able to work in collaboration with the Jakarta HOPE worldwide chapter that was already involved in the situation. I was utterly amazed by the joy that these kids had, whilst living a life that seemed to be falling apart, simply to spend time with us and receive the little that we had to offer. It was very touching to see how something so very small, like a soccer ball, a notebook or a new backpack can bring someone so much joy. Moreover, it helped me understand that giving back to your community or helping someone in need doesn’t have to be something that costs thousands of dollars or requires hundreds of people to volunteer, it can be something as simple as a shared meal, a new shirt or a simple act of service.

Why did you join NYAC?

I decided to join NYAC because I knew that the program was designed to train students like me to be effective leaders and a servants in their local communities. I was also inspired by some of my friends who had participated on NYAC in previous years who had shared just how much this program helped them grow and learn tangible skills to be a leader wherever they are.

Why did you choose NYAC as a way to serve?

What I love about NYAC as opposed to any other program is that it is focused on helping the participants impact the people in need in their local communities. By focusing on my community, it provides a way to not only have a momentary impact to help those in need, but a sustainable one. It is much easier to get the involvement of public or private partners when the results are tangible and visible. Furthermore, I love the fact that NYAC is a year-long program, because it provides a helpful environment and the support needed for students who have a desire to serve, so that they can plan long term projects that will be more effective than small, personal, short term projects.

Who is your role model?I look up to GSIs (Global Service Interns) who run HOPE Volunteer Corps sites as role models. I am constantly amazed and inspired by all the hard work and effort they put into organizing and putting into motion a Hope Youth Corps or a Hope Volunteer Corps. It takes so much planning and determination and a true heart to serve to accomplish leading not only one but several different programs.

We are excited to see how much Oceane will learn and put into practise this year and encourage all who are in Montreal to serve alongside Oceane and the Montreal Chapter.

Helping Others Stay Warm in Edmonton

On October 19th our Edmonton Chapter held it’s 3rd Annual Coat and Food Drive in support of the United Way’s Coats for Kids & Families Program.

The drive began early Saturday morning on October 12th when volunteers travelled throughout neighbourhoods in Edmonton and St. Albert to deliver 2400 door hangers listing details of what was needed for the drive.

On October 19th, Edmonton volunteers happily returned to the communities they had canvassed and collected 146 coats, 113 scarves, 164 hats, 127 gloves, 16 snow pants, 33 pairs of boots and 250 kg of food.  Volunteers then delivered the clothing to the local Page the Cleaners for free dry-cleaning and passing on the items to the United Way for distribution to beneficiaries of the Coats for Kids and Families Program. Food donations were delivered by volunteers to local food banks.

A big thank you to all our volunteers who donated their 2 Saturdays in support of this initiative and a big thank you to the donors in the communities who contributed so much to those in need.

If you are interested in getting involved with the Edmonton Chapter programs for those in need, please contact edmonton@hopewwcanada.org.