Friday, January 28, 2011

They Inspire ME!

The other day i got the greatest privilege to meet with an amazing woman named Poonam. She is the program coordinator at Youth Without Shelter.
I found this great organization while researching for a new place to volunteer my time. I came across a few, but this one truly resonated with me as i read the stories online. I was completely inspired and blown away but the amount of programs they had. I had no idea which program i wanted to get involved with. So, i chose 2 that really stuck out for me.
"My Own Kits" and "The Cooking On Site"

As i waited just a minute for Poonam in the lobby, i looked around and enjoyed the smiles on every ones faces. This was already a great impression for me. It is important for me to feel love in the place i give back my time too. Why? Because if there is no love, it is only a matter of time, that the people will reject you. Be it, the kids or the staff. But this place was amazing.

Poonam happily gave me a tour of the building and i was in awww! Her mannerism was on point yet so natural. She was young and sweet. I could def see that her heart was in it for the long run. After our tour, we took a seat in her office where she began to tell me in detail about all the programs. I remember at one point, i almost started to cry. Ther is a program called ADOPT -A-BED where a company or group of people raise $1000 to give a room a total make over. I'm talking lighting, painting, heating etc. You should see these rooms. Talk about IKEA style. All different shapes and designs on the walls. But their all shapes. triangles, circles and squares. The colour theme is green, blue and some yellow. They are painted ONLY by professionals. Right now, there are 5 rooms left to be painted. This project blew my mind.

I mean, you could feel the amazing energy in this place. The smiles. The warm eye contact from the youth and staff. I could clearly see they were happy and this humbled me so much. As a foster parent myself, i know exactly  how they feel. As a youth, i was also homeless at one point and know the feeling of not trusting anyone or not having anywhere to go. God, i wish they had more places like these in Toronto/Peel. I could almost feel that the youth probably don't want to leave when it is time to go. lol. I didn't want to go either lol.

Poonam and i had such a great time chatting and I'm officially a volunteer :-)))
This is not just a place for youth to sleep. They literally receive all the assistance they need to be young men and women and to go on their own. Eventually. Education is a MUST here. Life skills workshops. Health needs...and much more. Please take a moment to log onto their site and see for yourself.

I'm writing this blog to ask you for a favour.

I have taken the responsibility of volunteering for My Own Kits Program.
When a youth arrives at Youth Without Shelter they are provided with an "intake kit". This lit contains all of the items they need to look after their hygiene. Each year the serve more than 1,000 youth and on any given night 50 youth will sleep under their roof (they house 50 youth)
The following items generally make up an "intake kit"
  • One tube of toothpaste
  • One toothbrush
  • One larger bar of soap or several smaller bars of soap
  • One deodorant
  • One package of skin care product
  • One small container of conditioner
  • One small container of shampoo
  • One comb/hair brush
  • Lip balm (chap stick)
  • A washcloth
Please visit their website at to donate directly to them or please contact me direct and i will make arrangements to pick up the items.

Look, if you make one stop at the dollerama and spend $10 on toothbrushes, that is 10 tooth brushes. Or $5 on wash clothes and $5 on soap bars. Spend how ever much you want. Every piece makes a difference. You can also donate funds and i will make sure you receive a receipt for your donations.

I'm telling you all, you have no idea how this visit impacted me. I will never forget it.

February 13 will be my first "cooking session" with the youth there and I'm totally looking forward to it. My great friend Veena will be joining me and I'm so excited. We have decided to go with an Indian dish and i will probably make a fish dish.

Please help me to make a difference. Many of you know how important this is to me.

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