Archive for the ‘Give’ Category

H&H chats CA MARCHE with Parents at the YPP!

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This week, Head & Hands headed over to the Young Parents Program (YPP) to see what has motivated some of the program’s participants to walk in Ca Marche.

Today at the YPP, parents and kids are in full Ca Marche prep-mode, getting their swag ready for the walk.

For a variety of reasons, the youth we spoke to preferred to keep their identities confidential, but their touching remarks attest to the importance of supporting Head & Hands’ unique youth health services through events like Ca Marche, which raises funds and awareness to support many Montreal groups working on research, prevention, and treatment of HIV/AIDS.

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The parents were asked why they were walking in Ca Marche?, and why they attended Head & Hands’ Young Parents Program?

One parent said that her mother had been living with AIDS for 19 years now, so it was an issue that she has been affected by her whole life. Meanwhile, the YPP has been a sanctuary of sorts for her and many others: “It lets me get out of the house, helps to not be alone. And my kids can hang out with the other English kids, which is more rare at daycare”.

Another participant chimed in: “YPP broke my isolation from Elizabeth House [a private rehabilitation centre for young mothers]. You know, when I was there, I couldn’t talk to anyone. I felt alone. The YPP helped change that, and I’ve been coming since mid-december of last year!”

Another parent was adamant about her show of solidarity: “I know girls who have worked the streets, and have been infected by HIV. I’ve been there myself, and I’m lucky to have come out clean”.

The last parent we talked spoke courageously and with hope, despite fighting to hold back the tears. Someone close to her heart – a sibling – contracted HIV a few years back.

“It’s very taboo. I mean, she lives a normal life. It’s easier in 2014 than it was back then, but it’s hard to know someone you love has it.”

This parent has been affiliated with Head & Hands on and off for a long time. When she became pregnant and was afraid to tell her parents, she came to H&H. We proposed attending YPP, and though at first she was skeptical because she thought it was your average child protection agency, she quickly turned around when she started attending.

“I feel depression, you know. It’s hard getting off the couch sometimes. But it’s energizing for me to come here to the center to get things off my mind, and hang out with the other parents”

By now, she’s so confident that YPP is a great program for youth in her position that she even brought her roommate, who was attending YPP for the first time that day.

Our last parent left us with some uplifting words about why she is dancing in Ca Marche: “I’m going to dance because dancing makes me feel good! You dance to celebrate everything about who you are”.

 

And with those words, we at Head & Hands invite you once more to COME DANCE with us tomorrow at Ca Marche, or DONATE right HERE!

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If you’d like to donate directly to the YPP, please contact Allyson (ypp.pjp@headandhands.ca)

Why Are you Walking (*dancing), Richenda?

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This month, we are interviewing some of our walkers to see why they are participating in Ca Marche, a crucial fundraising event for us at Head & Hands. We’re so grateful to all of them, and are curious to know what motivates them!

This week’s Ca Marche walker:

RICHENDA GRAZETTE!

H&H: Who are you and what do you do at Head & Hands?

R: Well, I’m new! I started here at the end of July, and I couldn’t be more excited to be here! My job as Fundraising Administrator is to process all the donations that come into the organization, and write text for thank you cards to our donors.

H&H: That’s awesome. Tell us more about yourself! What’s your favourite food?

R: Well I’m currently a student at McGill University, majoring in Women’s studies, where I’m also a member of the Black Students Network. And as for a favourite food, I’m going to have to go with a cliché: chocolate!

H&H: So you’re participating in Ça Marche this year. What are your thoughts! What are your feelings!

R: Indeed I am! All of our super amazing services that we offer at Head & Hands need funding from fundraising campaigns, but I admit that I love the idea of getting to dance down the street in Montreal! And dressing up! All of our core programming benefits from this fundraiser, including awesome work we do towards HIV education, prevention, and testing!! Head & Hands has had to turn away 200 people from its clinic this year, and often these are people without health insurance or queer and trans people who may face judgement elsewhere. We don’t want to have to turn people away! So give us money! We have a week left! Please and thank you with chocolate on top.

H&H: I know we’re all excited for the dancing too. So now the second-most important question: what will your costume for Ça Marche be?

R: You’ll just have to come out on September 27th to see! But I am currently taking suggestions.

H&H: So let’s say after reading this, someone feels moved to donate right away? How would they go about doing that?

R: What a great question. You can sponsor me personally right here OR sponsor the whole Head & Hands’ team of sexy fundraising dancers right here.

“Why Are You Walking CA MARCHE?”, Part II: Lex Gill

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There are SO many good reasons to dance the dance with us, so over the coming weeks, we will be interviewing some of our dancers to see why they do it!

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Want to JOIN the Head & Hands team? Sign up HERE!!

Want to SEE last year’s epic dance moves? Check them our HERE!!

Want to DONATE? Donate HERE!!

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This week’s walker:

LEX GILL! (To the right of the storm trooper)
LEX
Who are you, and how are you associated to Head & Hands?My name is Lex, and I’m a member of the board of directors at Head & Hands. I study law at McGill University and work for a civil liberties org. I can also do a handstand!

Why are you participating in Ca Marche?

One of the important things about Ca Marche is that events like it work to combat stigma around HIV/AIDS, and give us an opportunity to celebrate life, get inspired, and support amazing organizations doing rad work (like Head & Hands!). I’m participating in Ca Marche because I know it has an impact!

Why should others participate in Ca Marche?

Because we need your support! And also because it’s going to be tons of fun.

I also promised all my donors that if I met my first fundraising goal, I’d dress up like a fairy princess for the walk. Well, we blew right past that target and I had to increase my fundraising goal almost immediately, so you’ll definitely get to see me in wings and a tiara!

Say something about the importance of H&H and its health services within the Montreal community.

Head & Hands is one of the most amazing places in Montreal: it approaches health care and community work from a place non-judgemental, holistic support. Its work has had such a huge impact on the lives of so many young people—including my own.

Anything else you’d like to add about H&H or Ca Marche!

Do it! See you there September 27!

Solidarity through Action: Back-to-School Edition!

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To be in solidarity with someone is to support a person by working beside them instead of from above or pushing up from below. It is recognizing that everyone needs help in different ways, everyone is capable of different things, and everyone is deserving of justice and access to services.

It’s September, back-to-school season in Montreal, and the signs are everywhere: crisp fall breezes, packs of students on the streets and buses, and our medical clinics buzzing with the annual summer-is-over rush. September at Head & Hands also signals another wonderful arrival— phone calls and emails from students wanting to get involved in our Solidarity Through Action campaign.

Solidarity Through Action supports students in leading peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns and events in their communities, because wonderful things happen when youth get involved in supporting other youth. Fundraising is one of the strongest, most active, and most effective ways to show your support for a cause you believe in. From bake sales to educational campaigns, we raise an important part of our budget through the creative efforts of students from elementary schools to universities— over $20,000 last year alone!

If you’re a student and you have an idea for a Solidarity Through Action campaign or event, or if you’re an educator or school animator and you would like to know more about how to get your students involved, contact Victoria at funds@headandhands.ca.

We’ve got detailed guides for students in any school setting, and we’re available to meet with you or your class to brainstorm ideas and to give you the tools you need to become Head & Hands ambassadors. We look forward to working shoulder to shoulder with you to ensure that our city’s youth get the support they deserve!

WE’RE BAAAAAACK: CA MARCHE 2014!!

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On Saturday September 27th, Head & Hands supporters, staff, and board, will take to the streets as part of Ça Marche 2014, the Farha Foundation’s annual HIV/AIDS walk.

This year, we’re setting our sights high with an objective of $30,000! We know, we’re ambitious – but we also know that with your help we can make it happen!!
Your donation will support three core health services:

1) Our twice-weekly weekly medical clinics: accessible and welcoming to youth regardless of income, sexual orientation, gender identity or immigration status. It’s the only community-based youth-clinic in Montreal, and our health services were accessed almost 2,000 times last year!

2) The Sense Project: peer-based sex-ed program that reached nearly 800 youth last year. Sense offers a series of three holistic workshops covering topics including STIs, contraception, consent, gender identity, sexual orientation and more!

3) You’ll also be contributing to help our newly reinstated Street Work program run better than ever! This program supports NDG’s most marginalized youth with in-the-streets risk reduction. It’s the only program of its kind in NDG, and offers HIV and Hepatitis C prevention, crisis intervention and active listening, accompaniments, support navigating social services, educational workshops, clean gear, and condoms.

There are SO many good reasons to dance the dance with us, so over the coming weeks, we will be interviewing some of our dancers to see why they do it!

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Want to JOIN the Head & Hands team? Sign up HERE!!

Want to SEE last year’s epic dance moves? Check them our HERE!!

Want to DONATE? Donate HERE!!

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Now, without further ado, let us introduce our very own
 WAAHLI YUSSEF!
Whaalii

 

Who are you and what do you do at Head & Hands?

My name is Ralph also known as Waahli, I coordinate the legal services and the legal clinic at Head and Hands. As a paralegal I provide legal information to youth explore options and empower youth to make informed decision in a legal situation.

On my free time, I’m also MC, Producer, and performer for Global Hip Hop collective Nomadic Massive, and operate Wyzah Musk Soap, a business environmentally friendly organic soaps.

Still, somehow I find the time to partake in Ca Marche!

Why are you participating in Ca Marche?

I’ve done it in the past and I feel that it is important to raise HIV/AIDS awareness and demystify the myth around it by applying concrete action by walking without taking the fun away, you know being creative about it. It’s also way to gather, share and celebrate life and its many facets in a positive way.

Why should others participate in Ca Marche?

Cuz’ it happens once a year, and it’s one of Head & Hands’ most important fundraisers! Working here, I also recognize the importance and direct impact that these funds have on our programs. Oh yeah, and because it’s always good times!

Anything else you’d like to add?

Be there on sept27th!!

 

 

Rising from the soggy ashes of Samedi in the Park… STREET VIBES #11 on Thursday!!

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This weekend was a very sad one here at H&H: after months of preparation, a full day of rain forced us to cancel Samedi in the Park. It was a tough decision to make, but it feels important to focus our community-building energy towards events that can really bring people together – and Saturday just wasn’t the day for that to happen.

Those rain clouds, however, definitely had a silver lining, and we’re channeling all our energy from the weekend towards our next event on Thursday evening: STREET VIBES is NDG’s ultimate showcase of youth talent, and this year’s event is gonna be on a whole other level than ever before!

From 8pm onwards on Thursday, we’re transforming Sub V into a pop-up music venue and dance club, and hosting a sidewalk BBQ for the whole neighbourhood to celebrate youth culture.  Join us to see a dozen amazing up-and-coming youth acts from NDG and beyond, get a drink at our bar and some food from the BBQ, and dance into the night thanks to DJ OG Kevin Smith.

TL;DR – STREET VIBES!  THURSDAY NIGHT!  8PM!  NDG POP-UP CONCERT AND DANCE PARTY!  AMAZING MUSIC, CHEAP BBQ AND DRINKS, FREE ENTRY!  DONATIONS SUGGESTED TO SUPPORT J2K, OUR TEEN DROP-IN CENTRE!

Featuring performances by: 

- Mello
– No Dance No Life Crew
– Young Kraze
– The Moors
– Susiety
– Strange Froots

Special Guests:

- Danny Rebel
– Athena Holmes
– CeasRock

Street Vibes

 

Saying goodbye to Juniper, and welcoming Malaika

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Today at Head & Hands, we are filled with emotions. It’s a little complicated, so we’d like to break them down for you:

  • We’re sad to say goodbye to Juniper, who is leaving after 4 years as Fundraising and Development coordinator to pursue full-time studies.
  • We’re filled with pride and joy, thinking about all the wonderful things she’s brought to this organization – from helping us climb out of debt and raising funds to restore our street work program to raising our spirits with spontaneous hallway dance routines.
  • We’re incredibly excited to welcome Malaika, our new Fundraising and Development coordinator, who comes to us with amazing energy and impressive experience. We can’t wait to see what she will bring to this position, and we’re so excited for all of you to meet her!
  • We’re overwhelmed with gratitude, as happens every time we reflect on the amazing community support that flows into our work and makes everything we do possible. We often feel like we have the best donors in the world, and our fundraising team is so lucky to work with you all!

 

Meet Serhiy and Arwen: Tying the knot and creating change

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Arwen and Serhiy on their balcony. Arwen et Serhiy sur leur balcon!

Arwen and Serhiy on their balcony.

Like out of some Montreal rom-com, Arwen and Serhiy met in French class at Centre Saint-Louis, and the rest is history. “Arwen wanted to learn Ukrainian for some music projects she was working on, so she asked me if I would give her lessons. I asked her if she wanted to join me for lunch instead,” says Serhiy. “We spent almost every lunch together for the rest of that course, talking about everything and anything. It’s been almost four years, and we still haven’t run out of things to talk about!”

This June, Arwen and Serhiy are getting married in Jarry Park, followed with a big potluck dinner and dance at a community centre nearby. The kicker to this “big Jewish-Ukrainian party”? They’ve asked guests to donate to Head & Hands in lieu of gifts.

“Both of us have received compassionate, non-judgmental care at Head & Hands when we needed it most, and we want to help other young folks continue to benefit from their services.” They shared over email recently. “Head & Hands’ services have made a profound difference in our own lives, especially when Arwen sought care following a sexual assault several years ago. We’ve also witnessed first-hand through our community work the positive impact that services like the Young Parents’ Program and the Sense Project can have on young folks and their support networks. It’s so important that services like these remain accessible and free, especially when they aren’t being provided elsewhere.”

A huge thank you to Arwen and Serhiy for sharing their stories with us, and for including us in their celebration. If you’d like to donate to in their honour, you can do it online here.

Oh and before we go, we had to share their answers to a few of our silly questions, ’cause they are too cute. As teens, Arwen was “desperately waiting for high school to be over!” while Serhiy was a “shy video game player and a surprisingly successful suits salesperson.” Also, Arwen has a celeb crush on Helene Cixous because “(Mega-babe, mega-brains)”, while Serhiy’s fave book is Moominsummer Madness by Tove Jansson. Now aren’t they just a delight?

Visit our “Give in Honour” page for more information about giving, or receiving, the gift of Head & Hands!

Belated Birthday Goodness

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At Head & Hands, we love to shed the spotlight on the incredible people in our community who make our work possible, and today we are doing just that, by recognizing the contributions of 8-year-old friends Sarah and Charlotte, and their moms Kate and Cathy.

But first, we have to come clean about something. We are late writing this blog post. Like, over a year late. At the same time, we thought this goodness was just too good to go unrecognized, and as the old saying goes, better late than never!

So here’s the scoop: A few Novembers ago, 6-year-old pals Sarah and Charlotte were planning a joint-party in celebration of their 7th birthdays, and, as Kate explains, their moms got to thinking: “Cathy and I agreed that neither of our kids really needed any more toys so we’d see if we could get the invited kids to donate to a worthy cause and help our girls understand how fortunate they are and get them interested in charity.” Both mothers had donated to Head & Hands before, and were particularly interested in supporting the Young Parents Program.

So how did two six-year-olds take to the idea that their gifts would be given to other children? “The girls were really proud to donate their gifts. We helped them get over not getting gifts from friends by promising a larger family gift. We talked about how proud we were, and took them for a special lunch after we visited the YPP. They had mixed feelings in the beginning, but once they met your staff and saw the space, they were really proud.” says Kate.

Charlotte and Sarah make a wish for their 7th year!

Charlotte and Sarah make a wish for their 7th year!

The party took place at Pointe à Callière, and in addition to collecting donations of toys and diapers, the kids dug for artifacts, made their own clay pot artifact to take home, and of course, ate cake! “Several of the parents told us how much they liked the idea, and we really hope that some of them will consider doing something similar,” shares Kate.

Charlotte, Sarah, and their mums visited YPP, and then went out for a special lunch!

Charlotte and Sarah pose with YPP child educators Marnie and Melissa during their visit!

After the party, the girls went visited the Young Parents Program to drop off their donation, and met program staff to talk about the families they were helping out. “The thing that made it concrete for Charlotte was knowing that two families went to the Aqua Dome because of the money she donated that she had earned busking. It was really important that Charlotte and Sarah that the YPP staff spent so much time with them and were so kind to our girls and showed them the playroom and talked to them about what YPP does.

Monthly Donor Drive Roundup: 22 Beaming Rays of Sunshine!

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2014 Monthly Donor Drive

After a looong winter that felt like it would never end, we’d secretly hoped that our Monthly Donor Drive this March would give us that little burst of sunshine we’d all been waiting for, in addition to some much-needed financial support. And guess what, it did!!!

We were so touched by the amazing outpouring of community support this month—from our hard working board members and staff who reached out to their communities, asking them to donate, to monthlies who graciously agreed to be photographed and featured on our website, to allies who spread the word about our campaign to anyone they thought might listen! Y’all rock our world, and you are the amazing forces that help this organization thrive!

And then we got the final total of monthlies who signed up, and our hearts warmed, and we think yours will too. That’s right: we are so excited to announce that 22 new monthly donors came on board this month, meaning that we now have 22 more supporters that have this organization’s well-being close to their hearts. Oh! And it also means that we beat last year’s formidable Monthly Donor Drive record of 17 bundles of awesome. Let’s just say this year’s Monthly Donor Drive brought us 22 beaming rays of sunshine. And the spring. Hurrah!