Head & Hands Blog

Our new health educator

on

As sad as we are to say goodbye to Gabrielle after six years at Head & Hands, we are also so pleased to welcome Charlie as our new Health Educator! Charlie is joining our team to lead our visioning process of the Sense Project.

Karaoke star queer weirdo raised by virgo lesbian moms in Montreal’s East side, Charlie completed an internship at the Center for Gender Advocacy last year. With a background in social work, he’s very excited to share his knowledge of sexual health, help us create social change, and lead the next chapter of strong, fierce sex-positivity at Head & Hands.

Ask him anything, especially about Céline Dion or gonorrhea; despite being only 24, he’s a huge Celine dork, and he thinks that everyone should get the chance to learn all there is to know about gonorrhea!

PARCours 2016: One million Thank Yous!

on

dsc_0423

WOWIE GOSH! PARCours 2016 was such a success and we want to extend a HUGE, warm thank you to everyone who helped make our event possible and so vibrant!

This year, our team Head & Hands not only danced our beautiful dance to fundraise for our amazing Health Services- we built the PARCours event from the ground up! This year was exceptional in so many ways. What has remained constant is the forever-astounding dedication and involvement of our team, communities, and people who care about what we do.
We are filled with gratitude and love for you all. Thanks for making our 2016 HIV / AIDS fundraiser event one to remember.

dsc_0437
Currently, $9,690 has been raised of our $25,000 goal. With just under two months to go in our campaign ending Dec. 1st, we are counting on you to help us keep the momentum up. We can do this!

Every donation counts toward supporting our medical clinics, peer sex-ed Sense Project, and our Street Work program. You have all helped us celebrate Montreal’s youth and prevention, and support for those living with HIV/AIDS, and with your continued support, we can continue providing quality, holistic care. We’ll be sure to keep you posted on the total amount raised, and we’re hoping that with your help, we’ll soon be able to celebrate when we reach $25,000.

dsc_0375
This year, our fundraising dance-a-thon broke the sunny weather streak, but grey skies didn’t stop our team and HIV/AIDS organizations from Montreal and Quebec from coming out to Girouard Park in Notre-Dame-de-Grace in incredible outfits to flex our dance moves. Many thanks our J2K power team Eva Queen leading us in amazing dance choreography and tunes by Tshizimba.

It was the best day and we can’t wait until next year.
In the meantime, check out more great PARCours photos by Isabel here!

dsc_0381
To our partner organizations, staff, volunteers, donors, board members, dancers, and support systems, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Office coordinator and fundraising super star Linda talks PARCours!

on


14479637_10154652759145086_5832746421043015576_n
Today, we’re talking to our team about the importance of supporting Head & Hands’ unique youth health services through events like PARCours, which raises funds and awareness to support many Montreal groups working on research, prevention, and treatment of HIV/AIDS.

Hi hello, tell us about yourself!
My name is linda and I’m an info and referrals coordinator at Head & Hands, which means i’m usually the first point of contact for folks when they call / come into the office. We aim to foster an open, inviting environment for clients or visitors – making sure they feel comfortable when they come into the space.
i always win at belly-bump wars and i’ve only lost once

Why are you excited for PARCours?
It’s an initiative by and for our community(!) where we pool our expertise, energy, and resources for supporting those living with HIV/AIDS.
It’s stressful to do this every year, but also exciting, because our organization is funded by our members- everyday people; our friends, our families, and people who make up our community. We all make our efforts individually, and it culminates in a $25,000 revenue, which is a lot of money from a lot of people. it always fascinates and inspires me, how many people help support us.

What’s your plan for the big day?
Sleeping really well the night before so i have a lot of energy, and dressing in a bright, fun outfit. Even though i can’t dance i do a little bit of a shimmy.

How did you already raise $1000?!
‘Lil bit here, a lot there! I think i’m privileged to know people who are both generous and still able to contribute to my campaign.
I also organized an event that included an auction, where people volunteered their services for the cause! People were really into it. They liked where the money was going, but it was more than that: they liked getting directly involved and supporting us either non-monetarily, or through investing in something for themselves, while giving. It was really successful!

********

There you have it — some great words of wisdom and encouragement from Linda, a fundraising – and all around – super star who was also voted best Best Dressed*~ in Ça Marche last year.

Donate to her and our Head & Hands team – we can’t do this without you!
Join us at PARCours on Sunday Oct. 2nd!

PARCours: We’re in the Home Stretch!

on

Our HIV / AIDS Fundraiser, PARCours is happening sooooo soon- we have 5 (F-I-V-E, omg) days left until the big day on Sunday October 2nd and we are in crunch time!

So far, we have raised $5,215 of our $25,000 goal, and we super need *your* help to make our Health Services dreams and care a reality!

All funds raised will go towards: 
– Our Street Work program (harm-reduction based tools and support for street-involved youth and drug users of all ages)
– Our Sense Project peer-lead sex ed program
– Our Medical Clinic – open to all youth regardless of status, and the only informed-consent Trans health program for youth in Montreal.

There are SO many ways to support us in our fight to continue providing quality, non-judgemental care to youth and drug-users of all ages:

1. Register as a participant or as a team and ask family, coworkers, (ex)professors, friends to sponsor you

2. Donate fund$ / encourage others to donate

3. Host a creative third party fundraiser

*Like*: having a (by)donation jar to pass around at our next event or social gathering, and letting people know what great things their money is doing! More ideas and cute puppies this way

4. Let everyone know
– Share the Head & Hands CanadaHelps page, and PARCours facebook event and website on your social media with a personal message of why you are supporting
– Go analog – talk to and follow-up with family & friends offline******************************************************


If you care about supporting youth, do the thing(s)!
If you care about HIV / AIDS prevention and resources, do the thing(s)!
If you recognize consent, safer sex, and harm reduction as SO Vital, do the thing(s)!
If you favourite colour is BLUE, (or yellow, or ….) donate and share(!)

We need your support and appreciate you so much!
If you would consider being involved in 1 or all 4 of these ways in helping support our crucial Health Services, the Head & Hands team and all the youth and people who access direct care and support from them would be so grateful. Every bit has a huge impact.

Thanks so much and see you at the Girouard Park chalet at 12pm on Sunday!

PARCours: incredible fundraising incentives!

on

With PARCours only 19(!!) days away, the Head & Hands team is in full swing training– stretching, flexing, picking out our perfect neon outfit ensembles, and of course, reaching out to you – wonderful weberverse!

**We’ve raised $2,530 so far with your support** Let’s keep the momentum going!

This week, we are sharing helpful ideas and tools to support *you* joining the journey with us.

Thinking about becoming a participant but need a boost of PAR-Courage? We’re here for you!

We know that asking close networks of friends and family for money can feel awkward. At the same time, the beauty of peer-to-peer fundraisers is how personal they are. Let your networks know why *you* care about HIV AIDS activism and Hand & Hands’ Health Services – enthusiasm is contagious!

E.g. Do they know that Head & Hands believes in health care for all?
This year, we collaborated closely with Médecins du Monde, a health clinic for people without status: 642 youth accessed our Medical Clinic- including 103 youth without health care, and 53 youth without status. Health care and rapid HIV testing are crucial services that we believe everyone has a right to access – with or without papers.

Ever donor will get a Head &Hands thank you card and newsletter!

Another great tool for getting people excited about supporting you is offering… incredible incentives!
Offering donors perks by amount of money donated, or as they help you reach milestones of your fundraising goal can be great (and fun) motivators.

Here’s a list of amazing incentive ideas from H&H staff to help get you more and more inspired:

  • Writing each donor a poem
  • Sing a song for each donor who donates x amount
  • Tea party or 5-a-7 for donors
  • Donors voting for a new hair colour
  • Donors voting for pieces of your PARCours costume / outfit
  • Dressing up in a cupid costume and handing out condoms at McGill
  • Personal shopping or consulting session
  • Hosting a musical event or workshop
  • Fulfilling your internet celebrity dreams making motivational workout videos at each fundraising milestone

It’s better together! Consider teaming up with others to turn your fabulous fundraising dreams into reality:

  • Busking with friends & coworkers
  • Selling drawings or doing tattoos
  • Selling soap (or other homemade goods!)
  • Getting donations (gift cards, items, etc.) and then raffling them off and donating the money
  • Setting up an “auction” at your next event/party for services

So much amazing content! What emerged that’s key is: tapping into your hobbies, skills, fave activities, and using them to inspire your campaigning!

Check out the personal fundraising pages on our CanadaHelps for further inspiration – search for “Head and Hands” under ‘Find a Team’.

Bubbling with ideas? Sign up as an individual or as a team (teamwork makes the dream work) and write up your own!

export

Considering donating? Giving in support of HIV AIDS communities and resources is a gift in and of itself(!), BUT having the golden opportunity to make your friend dress up as cupid and bless the world with condoms is pretty priceless too!

************************************************************

Want  to JOIN our Parcours team? Sign up HERE!

Want to DONATE to an individual or H&H as a whole? Donate HERE!

Want to HELP / HANG OUT with us on October 2nd? Please do! We are seeking BBQ and Harm Reduction volunteers, AND people to eat snacks with us! Email Cinder at specialprojects@headandhands.ca

************************************************************
PARCours website
CanadaHelps
Facebook Event (invite your friends!)

Sign up for our super pretty and helpful PARCours mailing list by emailing Richenda at membres@headandhands.ca

PARCours = Solidarity in Motion

on

e4c570f4904c4e3ea826a1308dc65bd8-cm8

We’re gearing up for PARCours! Our annual HIV/AIDS fall fundraiser is taking a new, exciting neighbourhood-based approach this year and we are so stoked. A roving celebration through the streets of NDG, we’re keeping it local and vocal to raise funds to support Head & Hands’ amazing health services, meet continued needs in our communities, and celebrate how far we’ve come as we look towards the future.
Come join the journey with us!

This year, our goal is to raise $25,000 for our health services! Big numbers can be intimidating, but we know with your support that anything is possible! 
*We’ve raised $215 already*#wevegotthis

—————

Did you know?
Nearly one-quarter of all new HIV diagnoses in 2013 were in youth.1

HIV disproportionately impacts marginalized youth: The HIV prevalence rate for street-involved and homeless youth is five times the national youth average, while the rates for youth who inject drugs and young Men who have Sex with Men (MSM) are 15 and 20 times higher, respectively.2

Indigenous populations have incidence (new HIV infection) rates 2.7 times higher than people of other ethnicities.3

—————

At Head & Hands, we believe that our role in the movement to end HIV/AIDS means focusing on honest, youth-tailored methods of reducing risk of infection, holistic resources and support for people living with HIV/AIDS, and fighting stigma and criminalization.
We are committed to meeting youth where they’re at- providing the tools and resources they need to make informed decisions. We know that risk reduction works!

Your donation will go towards our three core health services:

1) Our twice-weekly medical clinics were accessed 785 times last year! Committed to levelling systemic and societal barriers to access to quality health care, our clinic welcomes all clients regardless of status, health insurance, and financial resources, and runs Montreal’s only trans health program for youth using an informed consent intake process.

2) The Sense Project is our peer-based sex-ed program! Reaching nearly 1700 youth last year – the project offers a series of holistic workshops covering topics including STIs, consent, gender identity, sexual orientation, contraception, and more!

3) Our Street Work program distributed 7,875 injection kits, 298 crack pipes, and 14,828 condoms last year! The only program of its kind in NDG, the program provides in-the-streets risk reduction resources and holistic support to youth and drug-users facing discrimination and marginalization.

—————

Just can’t get enough? Don’t worry, we have SO many more reasons for you to $upport and celebrate in the streets with us!

In the coming weeks, we will be interviewing PARCours-ers and donors to ask why they’re supporting, along with other sweet surprises!

*************************************************************
Want  to JOIN Parcours and danse la danse? Sign up HERE!

Want to DONATE to an individual or H&H as a whole? Donate HERE!

Want to HELP / HANG OUT with us on October 2nd for this fun-omenal fundraising day? Please do! Bonus: there will be BBQ~
*************************************************************

Questions? Wanna volunteer? <3
Get in touch with us: Richenda at membres@headandhands.ca and Cinder at specialprojects@headandhands.ca!

IT’S TIME! (for our Fall Fundraising Fun-omenon): PARCours!

on

(I know “Fun-omenon” is a stretch, let me have it).

parcour pitch pt. ii

CLICK ME TO SEE THE FULL POSTER!!

 

Well dear readers it’s time for our annual fall fundraising to benefit our amazing Head & Hands Health Services: Street Work, Medical Services, and the Sense Project!

As you know (because you are a devoted and loving fan) every fall we take part in fundraising for our amazing health services, with a focus on supporting HIV/AIDS communities! This year, organizations from around Montreal and Quebec have an opportunity to come together to not only meet continued needs in our communities, but also work together in a celebration of progress as we look towards the future.

You: “Wait, wait, wait…so what’s happening?” 

I’ll tell you! On October 2nd, 2016, we will be coming together with other incredible organizations for PARCours. This event is all about togetherness and helping one another in our diverse efforts for supporting HIV/AIDS communities!

The event will also be local to Head & Hands!!! We will be walking, dancing, rolling, moving, and celebrating in the streets around Parc Girouard in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, before a fun-filled (hopefully not too cold) park hang!

You: “This sounds so amazing I’m so hype and excited! How can I get involved?” 

There are so many ways that you can support us! I’m so so happy that you want to, thank you so much in your interest!!

  1. You can support us by joining us on our journey. Do you want to join as an individualDo you want to create a team and fundraise with your friends? YOU CAN DO BOTH OF THOSE THINGS!
  2. You can volunteer or come on the day to dance with us or eat!
  3. You can donate to an individual or to Head & Hands as a whole! 

You: “So let’s say I decide to donate. What does my donation even do?” 

Supporting PARCours means supporting Head & Hands’ amazing health services: the free medical clinic, our peer-based sex-ed Sense Project, and our Street Work Program! Last year, we raised $26,000 for our health services, and we can’t wait to reach even higher! We want to continue to meet youth where they’re at and give them the support that they need, but we can’t do it without the amazing relationships we build with our donors!

To find out more about what your gifts make possible, you can read our 2016 Annual Report,.

You: “Quick question… Why ‘PARCours’?” 

In French, parcours is a journey or a path. For us, this year’s event is just that! All different organizations, with all different styles, working towards the same goal and taking the same route along the way. And of course, we’ll be in Parc Girouard!

You: I WANT TO KNOW SO MUCH MORE INFORMATIONS!! 

I KNOW YOU DO, BECAUSE YOU’RE THE BEST!
To know more, you can email Richenda at membres@headandhands.ca, or Cinder at specialprojects@headandhands.ca – we’re here to answer each and every concern!
Comments Off on IT’S TIME! (for our Fall Fundraising Fun-omenon): PARCours!

AGM 2016- Proposed bylaw Changes!

on

We will be hosting our AGM on July 4th 2016 at 5:30pm in the old wading pool in beautiful Girouard Park. Theres lot’s on the agenda- we will tell you about the year we had, exciting plans for the future, we will vote in new board members,  and we will be proposing a number of bylaw changes! We are going to need your input and help! The proposed changes document is long, and text heavy, so please take a look at them before the AGM.  If you would prefer to talk them through rather then read them, that’s no problem- just get in touch and we’d be more than happy to chat. Of course, you should also get in touch if you have any questions.

Thanks! See you on the 4th of July, if not sooner!

 

 

Comments Off on AGM 2016- Proposed bylaw Changes!

SERVE 2016 IS HERE

on

9379365132_3800af8552_b

Is there a better feeling than the excitement that  comes from putting our gloves and coats back into our closet for the next six month, and saying goodbye to the boots we pranced around in all winter long?

It’s finally time to welcome Spring, and of course, the arrival of a new season is usually coupled with the welcoming of new and exciting challenges.

For people like me who have missed out on accomplishing their early New Year’s resolutions  (like heading back to the gym or starting to eat healthier) thankfully the arrival of buds can often be a second chance for new beginnings, thus creating an improved and empowered versions of ourselves.

On my side, I am ‘in ’between beginning my contract as a new Serve coordinator and ‘’restarting’’ my diet left between the doors of February and March.

The countdown has begun! For the next few months,  with the help of our dynamic and motivated team, we will work together, mixing all the best ingredients to make the 11th  annual Serve an amazing experience.

Serve is an initiative that we put on for old and new friends of Head & Hands, but for those who are hearing it for the first time, let me give you a little introduction:

Serve is the fundraising idea of the century!  It’s the perfect fusion of community action and education. Through this volleyball tournament, bars and restaurants  face off to fundraise for the Sense Project, our sexual education program.  In 2005, the Quebec government removed sex education as a mandatory part of the curriculum, so Head & Hands created the Sense Project to fill that gap.

Let me give you 5 kicking good reasons why you should be at Serve on July 24th.

  1. Bow down’’ to the sand: if you’re like me and you hate that annoying crunching noise of boots on snow, Serve is the perfect time to enjoy the beach volleyball courts and to let the little grains of sand caress your feet.
  2. Combine the useful and the enjoyable, by supporting a good cause: help us in our mission to inform and educate our youth! The Sense Project is coordinated by amazing animators who travel around Montreal responding to youths’ questions and giving workshops.
  3. Take the chance to be carried away by new smiles: if you’re like me and your winter has ended with a tough break-up, Serve will be a great opportunity to embrace all things new, because when you smile at life, life smiles back.
  4. Sip some refreshing beer or pop in the warm weather, definitely what we love most about summer.
  5. Allow yourself to cut loose a little, to step out of your daily routine : because every summer has its story.

#Sunscreen #sunglasses #beach #volleyball #drinks #Sunday: you’ve got all the #best #summer #hashtags at #Servemtl. Mark July 24th into your schedule and come share in the fun.

Comments Off on SERVE 2016 IS HERE

Give the Gift: A Love Letter for Head & Hands

on

Give the Gift: A Love Letter for Head & Hands

happy valentine's!

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

For the past seven months, I have been working at Head & Hands as a Special Events and Fundraising Assistant, and what a journey has it been. Although, it is now time for us to part ways, it certainly is not the end of one of the healthiest most wonderful, and rewarding relationship, I have ever experienced. It has been a labour of love from beginning to end, every second spent at H&H has been magical. Of course, I was already quite familiar with the organization, but I did not expect to be this enthralled. From the first moment I stepped foot into the office, I fell in love with the staff, the clients, its mission, programs and services, and even its oddly charming offices.It has never been a chore to get up in the morning to go work, because I know that every day is filled with a degree of excitement. It is with great sadness that I have to  leave the first job that I actually genuinely loved and enjoyed, but it only makes me appreciate the organization even more. My time at H&H has truly been a life-changing experience that I will forever cherish, and from the bottom of my heart I thank H&H not only for all that it has given me, but for all of the amazing work it does for its clients and the community. In my heart H&H is the best nonprofit organization out there, and it deserves all the support it can get.

Whether or not one could argue that Valentine’s day has been commercialized and is no longer representative of a celebration of love, the presence of love all around us is undeniable, and with everything happening around the world, there is no harm in being reminded that love is the most powerful and positive energy in the universe. Love and compassion are the driving force that compels us to work for social change. Although some of us tend to ignore the holiday all together, out of principle, a lack of interest, or because we are single, it is of the utmost importance to take a second to think about everyone we appreciate, and most of all take care ourselves. Ok so, Valentine’s Day is just like every other day, and we should celebrate love on a daily basis, but if you have been forgetful lately, why not use the day as an excuse to take yourself out on a date,  treat yourself to something nice, or just do something that makes you feel good? Give the Gift is a great way to make you feel good about yourself, and also a way of making a difference in your community, by supporting Head & Hands (H&H).

If you care about H&H and its clients as much as I do, Valentine’s Day is a wonderful occasion to show your appreciation and devotion to the organization by “giving the gift” of making a difference and making yourself feel good in the process. Give the Gift  to everyone to help us meet the growing demand for our medical, social, and legal services! This past year alone, our health services were accessed by over 1,200 youth, close to 6,520 clean injection kits were distributed by our Street Worker, and an estimated 309 people registered for the emergency food pantry. No matter who is on the receiving end, there is nothing more satisfying than the goodness that comes from a donation being made in one’s honour to support youth in our community.

Gifts of all sizes make a difference to Montreal youth:

  • $15 provides 2 days of healthy food for a young family
  • $25 funds one counselling session
  • $50 covers the cost of 5 after-school tutoring sessions
  • $75 allows us to give one sexual health workshop to a group of youth
  • $250 puts our Street Worker in the community for 15 hours of outre
  • ach, distributing clean needles, crack pipes, and condoms
  • $500 foots the bill for one week of evening medical clinics

ENG CARD

 

Comments Off on Give the Gift: A Love Letter for Head & Hands