These are unprecedented times we are going through. How we have traditionally served and helped those going through challenging seasons in their lives has changed as well, as we continue to serve and “love our neighbours” while practicing safe physical distancing. Volunteers in Halifax have found several ways to do this and have been busy serving the community while keeping safe!
The Halifax Chapter of HOPE worldwide Canada is incredibly grateful for its many dedicated volunteers and generous donors!
With their assistance, since the COVID-19 virus broke, we have been able to (safely and with proper social distancing protocols in place) help our local community during these times by:
Collecting and donating Hand Sanitizer and Grocery Store gift cards to the “Adsum House” for women and children
Donating blankets to a local Emergency Pop-Up Shelter
Dropping off Tooth Paste & Toothbrushes, and Shaving Cream & Razors that were collected to the “Out of the Cold” Shelter
Making non-medical face masks at home and distributing them to those in our community who can use them
Purchasing, collecting, and donating Alcohol Sanitizer and Hand Soap for the local “Sunday Supper” program
We believe that together, we can all get through this! Stay tuned for more ways in which you can help us help others as we are “Bringing hope, Changing lives.”
The Power of Serving your community through volunteer work – a view from the Next Generation
For the past 18 years, volunteers from the Halifax Chapter of HOPE worldwide Canada and the Halifax-Dartmouth Church of Christ have been volunteering regularly at a local “Sunday Supper”. This is an opportunity for members of our community to come together and provide a warm meal and an even warmer smile for those in our community who may be experiencing homelessness or other challenges in their lives. Each week about 200 to 250 of our “Guests” will drop in for a meal and fellowship. Supporting the Sunday Supper program is the Signature local program of the Halifax Chapter of HOPE worldwide Canada.
We are grateful for all the volunteers who chip in to help make our support of this program possible. We had a chance to catch up with a couple of our Halifax volunteers, Jaylynn Skeete and Humberto Diaz to ask them about their experience serving with the Sunday Supper program and here is what they had to share:
First of all, thank you for volunteering with the Halifax Chapter, we could not do what we do without eager, dedicated volunteers like yourselves. What initially drew you to volunteer with HOPE worldwide Canada?
Humberto Diaz: “For the longest time I have always wanted to serve people and HOPE worldwide Canada provides opportunities for me to be able to do that”
Jaylynn Skeete: “Ever since I was young, my family has participated in HOPE worldwide Canada events, which I always enjoyed”
What is your favourite aspect of your time spent volunteering with us?
Humberto: “The chance to change the situation for those whom we are serving and the chance to change people’s lives”
Jaylynn: “Engaging with a wide variety of people from all ages and backgrounds and having the chance to hear their stories.”
Is there something you have learned or observed about the communities that we serve in that has helped you or had an impact on you in some way?
Humberto: “What has impacted me the most is that I get to live Jesus’ command to serve in Luke 14:13 “But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,” (NIV)
Jaylynn: “From serving in the community, I have observed many people facing immense trials and hardships in relation to poverty but have also seen them having joy. These individuals are enduring much more harsh trials than I have and many of them still manage to stand there smiling. This has helped me to have perspective regarding my own trials that may be far different than theirs. I can in some manner relate. If those facing much larger stressors and pain can continue to keep moving, they inspire me to do so as well. Individuals that I have talked to and connected with encourage me with their joy, love and strength during trials.”
Is there a motto or thought that motivates you to volunteer with and can you share a bit more about that?
Humberto: “Serve God, Love People”
Jaylynn: “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19 NIV). I am motivated to serve and to love others because Christ has loved me. I am amazed by his love and it encourages me to strive to show that love to others. Volunteering with HOPE worldwide Canada gives me the privilege to do so.”
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions. Is there anything else you would like to add, to end our time?
Humberto: “Let’s explore how we can reach others who are even more vulnerable, like people in jail”
This past December volunteers from the Halifax Chapter of HOPE worldwide Canada and friends from our community had the opportunity to wrap up Christmas gifts and to sing Christmas Carols for the residents of the Aborstone Enhanced Care nursing home in Halifax.
For many, the holiday season can be a time joy and love, but for several people in our communities, it can also be a time that brings on feelings of great loneliness. We are grateful that we were able to visit the residents at Aborstone. We had the opportunity to sing with them, to spend time with them, and to spread Christmas joy which was evident in the smiles on so many faces as the residents joined along in singing their favourite carols.
A few days earlier, a group of our volunteers got together to assemble and wrap almost 200 individual gifts that we were able to hand out to the residents after we finished our caroling.
HOPE worldwide Canada had a chance to ask one of our volunteers, Lynne Gallagher, what this time of serving and helping meant to her this holiday season:
“Christmas was always a time that my mom made special for so many others. Helping out with this event was, for me, a special way to honour the memory of my mother, by doing something meaningful for others at Christmas.” – Lynne Gallagher, HOPE worldwide Canada volunteer
For more information about the Halifax chapter and to volunteer contact firstname.lastname@example.org
“I needed clothes and you clothed me…” Jesus of Nazareth, Matthew 25:36a (NIV)
On April 14 members of the Halifax business community came together at a local Halifax restaurant as the Halifax chapter conducted their first donation drive in support of our local “Dress for Success” chapter. The mission of Dress for Success is to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.
The Halifax chapter’s goal through this Donation Drive was to strive to assist women in our community who may be struggling to make ends meet for themselves and their families. “Dress for Success” is a unique organization, in which they provide professional attire, support, and tools vital to helping women flourish in the work environment and attain a sense of economic independence. This volunteer-driven organization considers their work as “suiting women for employment, from the inside out.” The lives of many women within our community have been changed, not only economically but also by giving these women a sense of empowerment.
“Dress for Success’ aim is to have an impact on the lives of women in our community through the type of assistance that we offer. We are so grateful for the support of HOPE worldwide Canada, for their support and for all the donors who helped make this event such a success. We had a great time and we had a lot of fun together. We also learned a lot about each other’s organizations. Most importantly, we teamed up and partnered together to have a positive impact on our community!”
– Brenda Todd-Saunders, Executive Director, Dress for Success Halifax
In the end, we had collected almost 40 bags and boxes filled with women’s professional attire of various sizes, attire suitable to wear to a job interview., in addition to accessories such as scarves, purses, and shoes. These donations will go a long way to support women in our community and to help them take a crucial first step towards a better future. Thank you to everyone who came out to support us and here’s to our next “Dress for Success” Donation Drive!
By Kiyalyn Reneé Bump, Halifax HOPE worldwide Canada volunteer.
December 6th, 2017 marked the 100th anniversary of the Halifax Explosion, the worst disaster ever to hit our communities. Two munitions ships collided in the harbour during the First World War, catching fire and the ensuing explosion killed at least 1,950 men, women, and children, with thousands injured as well.
Overwhelming response and aid to the plight of the citizens of Halifax, Dartmouth and Turtle Cove soon poured in from across the Maritimes, Canada and the US Northeast (specifically Boston) in our hour of need. The legacy of appreciation for those acts of kindness continues to this day with the province of Nova Scotia sending a giant Christmas Tree to the City of Boston each year.
One hundred years later, volunteers from the Halifax Chapter of HOPE worldwide Canada, partnering with the Halifax Dartmouth Church of Christ set out to give 1,950 hours of community service back to honour those who perished in the Halifax Explosion, and to look for ways for our volunteers to continue let our lights shine and to be known across our communities for our hearts to serve. Our hashtag for the year was #ServingToHonour6Dec1917.
From Amherst to Windsor to Cole Harbour to Halifax and Dartmouth and Upper/Middle/Lower Sackville, Bedford and Bridgewater and places in-between, we got out there to serve!
The ideas were numerous and the creativity was inspiring!
Volunteers served at a local Drop In Foot Clinic, shopped for and prepared meals for and served at a local ‘Sunday Supper’, started a Hearing Test Clinic, volunteered as a local University football team chaplain & coach, gathered used clothing, helped at various Food Banks, packed backpacks for schoolchildren in need, donated time and energy by serving overseas, utilized their skills helping local non-profits in Web Design, prepared and served food for hungry students, sang Christmas Carols at a Seniors Home, served in and around their neighbourhoods and in their local schools, fundraised to help those in need, the list goes on and on!
Marty Udall, Evangelist for the Halifax-Dartmouth Church of Christ shared these thoughts, “I believe that this is a great way to honour those lost in this tragic anniversary on it’s 100th anniversary by all of us rolling up our sleeves, helping those around us in whatever way we can; volunteering, serving and meeting the needs in our communities.”
One of our volunteers, Cameron Taylor explains that his favourite service time this past year was volunteering with the Mobile Outreach Street Health (MOSH). “Going out to meet people was a testament to the level of humility Jesus showed in Philippians 2 and Mark 1:41.” He goes on to recall that his favourite memory would be when “one of the nurses showed me that making some scrambled eggs for a gentleman who hadn’t eaten in a few days, and sharing a conversation, was just as much a part of medicine as medications and blood pressures are.”
A goal of 1,950 service hours is what we set out to do. We knew it was ambitious for a church of 60 members, but we also knew that if we all did a little bit, and prayed about our goal, God would help us accomplish anything! When all was said and done, we were able to account for over 2,700 hours of community service! Without the hearts and dedication of our volunteers, we would not have been able to have such an impact on our communities! We are so grateful for our many dedicated volunteers and supporters and want to use this opportunity to say, “THANK YOU”! All glory to God for this huge success, and we are eager to see what he does with us in 2019!
Eighteen years ago, volunteers from the Halifax-Dartmouth Church of Christ started to serve at a local Sunday Supper. Each Sunday evening, people from the surrounding communities who may be experiencing homelessness, or going through challenging times, or just need a warm meal and an even warmer smile are invited to drop by a local church hall. Over the years, this Supper has grown to serve almost 10,000 meals a year.
Five years ago, the Halifax Chapter of HOPE worldwide Canada took over the responsibility of fundraising, procuring, preparing and coordinating the serving of the meals when our turn in the weekly rotations came up; continuing upon the foundation laid by and increasing our partnership with the Halifax Dartmouth Church of Christ.
One of our volunteers, Marie-Elle Charlemagne recently shared that “most impacting moment of this past year” was serving at the Sunday Suppers. “This year my grandad passed away and my grandma was close to it, too. I decided to volunteer and took just a few moments one night to look at the people around me. The laughter I heard as our guests sat around the tables with their friends and family, telling stories and enjoying their meals, the smiles on the kids’ faces as they bit through their dessert, in those moments at Sunday Suppers, my heart was no longer consumed by grief and sadness but filled with warmth and joy.”
The Sunday Supper program has become the “flagship” community service program that HOPE worldwide Canada runs locally. One of the benefits of the level of engagement from our volunteers is to experience the ways that they are able to use their natural gifts and talents to meet more and more needs in the community.
As the Sunday Supper program has grown over the years, so too has the ways in which our many volunteers are able to “step up” and to meet these needs. One example is with a Foot Clinic that was set up to meet the needs of the Sunday Supper guests. This past September, the Foot Clinic was due for a “reboot” and one of our volunteers, Cameron Taylor (a second year Medical Student at Dalhousie University in Halifax) took over the operation and organization of the Foot Clinic, with several of his classmates and other students with an interest and calling in Health and Medical studies assisting him.
Another example is a new Clinic that we recently started at the Sunday Suppers. HOPE worldwide Canada volunteer, Jennifer Anyegah (a local Audiologist), observed one Sunday night that what she’s been trained in and does for a career could benefit the quality of life for some of the guests who were there, so she decided to start a “Hearing Test Clinic” run once a month at the Sunday Suppers. Jennifer shared, “I think the thing I appreciate the most about the opportunity to serve in this way is the way it gives those who are so often oppressed and forgotten in this society access to an aspect of health care that they might not necessarily go after or succeed in getting on their own. I appreciate the opportunity to make sure the people I see feel valued and that their health care needs are important.”
We appreciate all the ways in which the volunteers from the Halifax Chapter of HOPE worldwide Canada and from the Halifax-Dartmouth Church of Christ look for ways to meet needs in our community, and are willing to step up to meet those needs in a practical and compassionate way!
One of the goals of HOPE worldwide Canada is to raise and train the next generation of volunteers who are passionate about serving, bringing hope and changing lives.
Cameron Taylor is one of the key volunteers from Halifax. He graduated recently from Saint Mary’s University in Halifax with a degree in Biology and will start medical studies this fall at Dalhousie University.
Nadine Templar, Director of International Volunteer Programs, HOPE worldwide, recently shared this about Cameron:
“I have received a lot of compliments on the “Go and Do Likewise!” 2017 Volunteer Corps quiet times series I post every day. The series was written by a small team of HOPE worldwide Global Service Interns, the talented campus students who are trained to lead HOPE Youth Corps. They are young, but amazing servant leaders.
The young man who led the team who wrote the quiet times is Cameron Taylor, from Canada. He has just graduated from Saint Mary’s BSc Biology “summa cum laude”, Governor General’s Silver Medal and Biology Memorial Award. Next: medical school!
Oh, and going on two HYCs this year… He is the Global Service Intern (GSI) who led the Budapest, Hungary, HYC in July, and he and his whole family are coming on the Christmas Philippines HYC as well. Oh, and did I say Cameron is also a track star?
He is such an overachiever, and yet, he is one of the most humble and kind young men I know.”
You can also make a difference through HOPE Youth Corp
The HOPE Youth Corp Global Service Internship (GSI) allows you to serve in different parts of the world and change lives. It’s also lots of fun.
If you are interested in applying or for more information, please read this article:
September 2016, Halifax Nova Scotia – Now that fall is upon us, we’d like to take a few minutes to reflect on the summer that we’ve just left and the numerous opportunities that our volunteers have been able to serve, both here in Halifax as well as internationally.
June saw our Halifax volunteers raise funds and collect shoes, socks and supplies during our 4th annual “SOCK IT to Poverty” event, in support of a local drop in foot clinic for those in need in our community. Over the past four years, we’ve been able to raise over $ 2,100 and have been able to donate over 650 pairs of shoes and almost 1800 pairs of socks and supplies to the foot clinic. We are very grateful to our corporate partners – Glenbourne Chiropractic, École Beaubassin, WINNER’s and CLEVE’s Source for Sports for their support this year.
Summer of 2016 saw two of our volunteers travel to Pennsylvania to serve in HOPE projects there. Cameron Taylor is currently serving a two-year term as a HOPE Youth Corps “Global Service Intern” and helped to lead one of the HOPE Youth Corps sites in Philadelphia, which had over 20 youth serve and mentor inner city children.
Patty Burrage spent the summer working at Camp Hope for Kids in At Camp Hope for Kids in Schwenksville, Pennsylvania. Over the past 24 years, this camp has helped to change children’s lives by connecting kids from widely different backgrounds with each other, with caring and consistent mentors, and with nature’s miracles. Stay tuned for future articles from both of these volunteers about their summer experiences!
The beginning of August saw us once again prepare and serve a meal for our friends and guests at the “Sunday Suppers”. This project is the signature project for our local chapter, and we’ve been privileged to be a part of this need in our community, in partnership with the Halifax Dartmouth Church of Christ for over 13 years.
At the end of August, our chapter was able to provide back to school supplies, as well as assist in sorting and preparing the supplies for a special project being run by the Parker Street Food and Furniture Bank in downtown Halifax.
“On behalf of the families served by the Parker Street Food & Furniture Bank, I wish to say thank you and to acknowledge your generous donation of school supplies towards our back to school supplies program…helping us help many students in our community to have a great start for the school year.”
Kevin McKay, Operations Manager, Parker Street Food & Furniture Bank, Halifax
Catch us this coming Saturday, October 1st as our HOPE Volunteers will be fundraising, raising awareness and riding their bikes in the “Ride for Refuge” for both local Halifax needs and the Tacloban Center of Hope in the Philippines. For more information, check out our team page at:
Patty Burrage from Halifax shares her reflections after an incredible time serving with HOPE Youth Corp (HYC) in the Philippines.
I was really excited in December when I heard that Philippines was a December site for Hope Youth Corps. I had always loved and appreciated their culture as I grew up in a church in Ontario where there was a thriving Filipino community. As a result, the desire to visit this place was planted in my heart for years. While serving on the National Youth Advisory Council (NYAC), which is part of HOPEworldwide, God continued to open my eyes and heart to the needs of underprivileged communities in my own neighbourhood as well as on a national and global scale. I no longer wanted to live in the comfort of my cushy North American lifestyle but wanted to help the poor and vulnerable and see God in a whole new way.
Serving In Cebu
There were over 60 volunteers from different age groups that came to the Philippines from all over the world. While we were there, we were involved in a many service projects in the northern city of Cebu called Daanbantayan, including:
Helping the fishermen in this area by re-painting their boats
Implementing service projects for children in the community
Helping renovate the new HOPE worldwide Philipines centre.
My favorite project was when my team was assigned a family to build a house for in a span of three days. I would have never dreamed of having had the opportunity to learn how to build a house, but it was amazing to learn from the two men who were helping us. Our team also built extremely close ties with the family and and their neighbors. The amount of love that these people showed us as we were there was incredible and life changing. They gave so much to us and, in spite of the fact that they knew very little about us, were so willing to share their lives with us.
Personal Spiritual Journey
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” -Ephesians 3:20
This scripture immediately came to mind because this is exactly what He did when He allowed me to visit the place of my dreams while being challenged in a capacity that I had been praying for.
I remember feeling surprised by how much energy I had despite the visible sleep withdrawals and long days. I felt as though God had stretched my heart to love others in a way that I did not think was possible under the circumstances.
During my time in the Philippines, I realized that I am someone who tends to be focused on altering my behavior as opposed to changing my heart. I recognize that God was calling me to recognize that I needed to be broken by God and repent of my self-reliant nature. I was not called to be perfect, but God was calling me to a spirit of humility and of vulnerability. This is something that I wish to emulate and grow in as I am back home.
I saw the fruit of my reliance on God as I served with my whole heart, mind, soul and strength. I was able to build unforgettable relationships with one particular group of kids. They filled my heart with more joy than I could have ever hoped for as they loved me unconditionally, laughed with me and overflowed with gratitude. God taught me to give in a way that I never thought I could and I was deeply enriched by those that I was serving. I was there to help, but little did I know that they would be my teachers for the days that we were at their home.
Bottom line is that God can do amazing things when we surrender ourselves fully to His plan. This place will forever be the place that stole a piece of my heart and that taught me the value of surrendering myself over to God. I caught a glimpse of the Lord’s compassion, which is abounding and infinite, and I hope to continue to grow in this area.
For more information on HOPE Youth Corp click here
As we start 2016, it is helpful to reflect back on the memories and lessons from the past year and all those many volunteers who made possible what our Halifax Chapter of HOPE worldwide of Canada was able to accomplish in 2015 in “bringing hope, changing lives”, and for that we are extremely grateful.
This past December saw our local volunteers and chapter help spread some extra Christmas cheer in many ways and areas. On Friday, December 18th, more than 20 Youth and Campus volunteers from HOPE worldwide descended on Melville Heights Retirement Home for an evening of Christmas Caroling, snacks and encouragement for the seniors who live there.
Earlier that week, Patty Burrage departed from Halifax for the Philippines to join up with HOPE Youth Corps, where she spent her Christmas vacation serving the poor and needy in an around Cebu. Stay tuned in January, when we will feature an article written by Patty, sharing her experiences and what she learned there. We are very proud of Patty, who was able to fundraise over $ 3,000 for her service trip and our Halifax Chapter was privileged to help assist her in reach her goal.
December closed off with our HOPE Chapter, in partnership with the Halifax-Dartmouth Church of Christ once again serving at the Sundays Suppers. This was a special season of serving there, as 30 years ago Christmas 1985, the very first Sunday Suppers was held for just over a dozen guests in need of a warm meal and a friendly smile.
This December, HOPE worldwide of Canada was very grateful for the community support from our friends at Glenbourne Chiropractic who offered and collected donations from their staff and patients to go towards making our usual meal extra special and extra festive! We are very grateful for their support, which we used to purchase extra holiday treats as well as fresh fruits for our guests, which made their Christmas dinner extra special!
We look forward to the new year and the promise that it holds, as well as the opportunities to continue to serve in our community – Happy New Year!