Strengthening local families
The Community Help Fund from Envision Financial, a division of First West Credit Union and First West Foundation is sending a grant of $500 to our friends SOS Children's Village BC to jumpstart their fundraising efforts. Join us and help local families.
Tell us about your charity and how the community can help your organization
My name is Shelina and I’m a full-time member of the Development team at SOS Children’s Village BC. I have three amazing children, a wonderful husband, and two curious dogs. To keep myself busy in my ‘off time’, I also run my own tea shop and teach prenatal classes.
Then along came COVID-19. I’ve had to close my business, I am not teaching any classes, and I am home with my family 24/7. Along with the surprising challenges of working from my dining room, this ‘forced’ family time has been my blessing. The other night, when I was having trouble falling asleep, I began to wonder about the homeless youth in our communities and how the global pandemic might be affecting them. I felt a swell of sadness and worry.
Six years ago, there was a youth standing outside our office in the pouring rain, so naturally I invited him in. This young man had no jacket and was shivering – he was waiting for a ride that never came. We chatted for quite some time and as he relaxed into the environment, I asked him if he would like something to eat. He ended up polishing off the lunches of two staff members. He shared with me that he had been in many different foster homes before aging out of care. He said that his defense mechanism was to make himself unlovable before his newest family had a chance to reject him.
With his permission he was immediately referred to the Transition to Adulthood (TTA) team. They supported him in finding safe accommodation, purchasing food and other necessities, and getting employment. The inner strength of these youth is always inspiring, and we nurture their natural resilience by providing a safe and stable relationship with a caring youth worker. At SOS BC we practice what we preach every day: “Once an SOS kid, always an SOS kid”. As a graduate of the TTA program he can reach out to us at any time as part of our community of belonging. After all, how many of your kids have come back home between lumps and bumps? We do not stop being parents when our kids leave the nest.
Please give what you can, and let these kids know that they do matter! With your gift you are sending them a clear message: SOS BC is their forever home and people are paying attention. Thank you in advance for continuing to be our Village through thick and thin.