Archive for the ‘Give’ Category

Meet Serhiy and Arwen: Tying the knot and creating change

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


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!


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!

Why I commit: Dr. Sam Freeman


Dr. Sam Freeman

“Head & Hands is the only organization of its kind in Montreal. Health is about so much more than what goes on in the clinic or hospital. Head & Hands gets that.” – Dr. Sam Freeman

Dr. Freeman signed up as a monthly in 2011, when he was still a medical student at the Université de Montréal. Today, Dr. Freeman is in the midst of his first year of a pediatrics residency at the Montreal Children’s Hospital, yet somehow finds the time to maintain his passion for soccer, the taste of home-grown Quebec Maple Syrup, and that new Arcade Fire album. We are also excited to announce that Dr. Freeman will be working and learning in the Head & Hands medical clinic in one of his upcoming rotations, and we can’t wait to show him around!

Monthly donor since: April 2011

I fill my days with: Work; playing, watching and reading about soccer; sitting in my neighbourhood café; watching whatever TV show I’m hooked on. 

As a teenager I was: Pretty excited to become an adult.

Top three things you’d want to have with you on a desert island: Good shoes, a knife (!), and a very long novel.

Song I have stuck in my head right now: It alternates between XO by Beyoncé and Afterlife by Arcade Fire

I can’t live without: A can of my uncle’s Quebec maple syrup in the fridge.

My advice for youth today: Try to do things without worrying about whether or not you’re good at them.

Want to be like Dr. Freeman and become a monthly donor before the end of our March monthly donor drive on March 31st? Visit our Monthly giving page, or give Juniper a call at 514-481-0277!

Why I commit: Angie



“As a gal who grew up with a rough childhood, it kills me knowing how it feels to be lost and judged when you ask for help. If my bit helps one teen avoid having to figure it out alone, words cannot express how relieved I am to know they might be ok.” – Angie

Monthly donor Angie first found out about H&H in 2003 when she saw a sign in the window at our former home across from Girourd Park. After reading up on us, she promised herself she’d get involved, and that day came when Angie participated in a Zombie walk, where a group of undead supporters lurched their way around town to raise funds for H&H! Since then, Angie not only got involved as a monthly, but also organized a zombie-themed bowling fundraiser for us (!!) and regularly volunteers as an event photographer! And as a small piece of trivia, Angie is the only monthly who literally brings us her donation in person each-month. How’s that for community-based funding?!

Name: Angie Radczenko

Monthly since: June 2013

I fill my days with: I work full-time as a studio framing assistant, but my passion outside work is horror, photography, nature, astronomy and anything I get creative on!

Is there a particular Head & Hands program that you are passionate about? Off the top of my head it would be Sense, as I learned about sex through TV and my own research. I had no idea what a period was until I saw an episode of Roseanne when I was 14!

As a teenager I was: Messed-up, quite simply. I met good people at 16 (still friends today!), and changed schools (by myself, no easy feat!) due to bullying, and by 17 I started to see it gets easier :)

Top three things you’d want to have with you on a desert island: Nature guides to the region, deluxe Swiss Army knife, and a harmonica. (Did I take this one too literal, hehe?)

On a lazy afternoon I: Roam around the river hunting for critters and talking to strangers

I can’t live without: Oxygen (nuknuk)

My fave book, zine, magazine, blog: That’s a tricky one…I guess anything non-fiction and science/nature related, I’m a learning junkie :)

Want to be like Angie and become a monthly donor? Visit our Monthly giving page, or give Juniper a call at 514-481-0277!

Why I commit: Carly



“I want Montreal’s youth, especially those who live and love in the margins, to have a safe place to seek support.” – Carly

Monthly donor Carly’s relationship to H&H has truly blossomed since that fateful night in 2005 when she accidentally attended an H&H fundraiser titled “Dance Dance Revolution”, thinking she’d be playing the video game. From there, Carly says, “I got involved as a Sense animator and a board member in 2007. I got paps at the clinic. I prez’d the board for two years, which was the coolest and hardest job I ever had. I no longer live in Montreal, but I still give to H&H and encourage my loved ones to do the same.” Supporters like Carly, who know us inside and out, are truly one in a million, which is why we decided to profile her this month despite the 543km between us. Read on for more on her passions, her advice for youth today, and that celebrity crush that just smolders on.

Name: Carly

Monthly since: February 2014

 I fill my days with: helping create and spread sex ed resources for queer and trans youth, knitting, blogging about knitting, painting my nails, roasting cauliflower, reading tarot, boxing.

 Is there a particular Head & Hands program that you are passionate about? I think that what makes H&H so special is having so many services available with the same approach and values, so picking one out is hard. But I do have a tender spot in my heart for Sense. I want all youth to be able to make informed and empowered decisions about their bodies, and giving folks peer based, accessible, inclusive information is such a powerful way to facilitate that. Oh man, and Street Work! We all talk about meeting youth where they’re at; Street Workers *literally* do that.

Celebrity crush (dead or alive): Catwoman

Issues that I feel particularly passionate about: Probably too many.  Body autonomy; consent; prison abolition; dismantling white supremacy; unlearning transmisogyny; queering desire.

My advice for youth today: You’re the expert on your own self; only take advice from people who believe that.

Want to be like Carly and become a monthly donor? Visit our Monthly giving page, or give Juniper a call at 514-481-0277!


Why I commit: Steph Guico

Steph at work!

Steph at work!

“Head & Hands gives to local youth on a daily basis in innumerable ways, and my small contribution is the least I can do to say thank you. Head & Hands was a no-brainer when it came to deciding on a worthy place to dedicate my ‘latte fund’ to!”     – Steph

Allow us to kick of this sixth annual monthly donor drive with Steph, longtime supporter of Head & Hands and current President of our Board of Directors! Steph first heard about Head & Hands while volunteering with SACOMSS: “Back then H&H was a constant source of resources, allieship and inspiration… and it still is!”

Although we have a hard time imagining this firecracker having a lazy afternoon, Steph swears she spends them binging on Netflix and reading like the rest of us. Then again, she also GETS UP BEFORE SUNRISE and then fills her days with about a million amazing projects. Meet Steph Guico, dear readers!

Name: Stephanie Guico

Monthly donor since: April 2012

I fill my days with: Sunrises before anything. Then tea. Then? Dividing my time between community organizing, cooperative management, and building a course curriculum in business management and community accountability.

If I won a trip anywhere in the world I would: Go back to the Phils!

Top three things you’d want to have with you on a desert island: A loom, a notebook and a mirror… don’t want to be stuck there forever!

As a teenager I: Oh no, you went there. I’ll put it like this: I didn’t quite fit anywhere, so I found ways of building custom-made places for myself. Oh, and I was watching a lot of Dawson’s Creek when I should have really been watching more Buffy.

Why did you sign up as a monthly donor? I first plugged into donations through the Ça Marche campaign. Seeing the team’s dedication to fundraising and their creativity in finding ways to hook people in made it hard to resist! After realising that I could still round off my month “despite” that donation, I figured I’d work a monthly donation into my budget. It seemed more sustainable, committed and realistic than doing a large one-off donation, and I barely notice it go through my account now.

Want to be like Steph and become a monthly donor? Visit our Monthly giving page, or give Juniper a call at 514-481-0277!

March’s monthly donor mayhem!


This March, it’s  monthly donor mayhem at Head & Hands! Each week on the blog, we’ll be introducing you to some of the amazing people that donate monthly to Head & Hands and keep this place flourishing! We’ll also be engaging in the pandemonium needed to sign up thirty new monthlies by March 31!

In the last year, about $21, 000 of our budget came from 96 monthly donors, who gave in increments ranging from $3-$125 each month.  Becoming a monthly donor is one of the best ways to contribute to Head & Hands financial stability and ensure that we can be there for Montreal’s young people. Many of our most crucial services— including our legal services, medical clinics, info and referral program, and the Sense Project—receive no designated funding, and monthly donations go a long way towards keeping these services alive.

Gifts of all sizes make a huge difference, and we hope you’ll help us reach our goal by signing up or helping spread the word! Visit our “Give Monthly” page for more information, or to sign up! And if you have any questions, our Fundraising and Development coordinator Juniper is always there to answer them, at or 514-481-0277!

What’s up with Street Work: 4-month update!


Last October, we re-launched our Street Work program after a 2-year hiatus, restoring this essential service to our community. Since then, Sara, our Street Worker, has been back on the streets of NDG, bringing our harm-reductive services outside the Head & Hands office and straight to the young people who need her support. We’re excited to share with you some exciting updates about Street Work’s first 4 months back in action!

Sara has been busy giving on-the-spot support, clean needles, crack kits, condoms, and safer-sex and drug use information to youth in NDG.  So far, she has already met with 230 new clients, and has provided 1,425 clean needles 2,151 condoms, and 37 crack kits. From just 4 months of work on the streets, it is clear to us that Street Work is addressing a serious need in our community that would not otherwise be met.

During these cold winter months, Sara has kept busy visiting neighborhood schools and group homes, dropping by to say hi, meet youth, and distribute condoms and information. Sara has also given several harm-reduction and drug workshops to youth in schools and group homes. She wants youth to leave her workshops drug-savvy, and tells participants that she wants them to “be that friend in your friend group” that folks can come to for information.

In the coming months, Sara is looking forward to giving workshops at Jeunesse 2000, our teen drop-in center, and visiting more community centers and teen drop-in spaces in the neighborhood. She is also looking forward to the warmer months, where she will be able to meet more youth in parks and outdoor spaces!

Visit Street Work’s brand-new page on our website to learn more about the services Sara offers, check out other resources on harm-reduction, and learn how you can support Street Work and help keep the program alive!

Faggity Ass Fridays: Sex ed on the dance floor!

Intern poses on table holding anonymous sex-ed questions.

UQAM Sexology intern Shanna poses with some of the questions anonymously asked last Faggity.

This week on the blog we’re shining the spotlight on Faggity Ass Fridays, our queer monthly dance party that raised over $22, 000 last year for the Sense Project. If you like what you read, we hope you’ll come out and groove with us this Friday!

Since its inception in 2007, the Sense Project has reached thousands of Montreal youth with reliable, approachable information on safer sex and sexuality.  Now it’s set to reach even more, by bringing sex ed to the dance floor at Faggity Ass Fridays!

“There are pamphlets, condoms, lube and dental dams available when you come into the event, but we’re taking it to another level,” says Shanna, the UQAM Sexology intern who is heading up the project.  At each event, Shanna will collect anonymous sexual health questions and post answers in washrooms at the following event. “Restrooms during parties can be independent environments from the parties themselves where a lot of stuff can go on,” says Shanna. “They also give the opportunity to take a breather, refresh, and exchange.”

Shanna will also be available during the party to answer questions, encouraging “folks to dare to ask the one question they wouldn’t ask anyone else about sexuality.” So far, Shanna says, party goers have been up for it: “It’s a pleasure to see peoples’ eyes light up knowing that they have the possibility to ask anything, and get sex positive and real answers.”

Up next? A drag king performance, and some special sex-ed workshops, just for Faggity Ass Fridays. “We want folks to know that sex ed is not just available in schools, but that it can be available everywhere and that it can be fun,” Shanna explains. We couldn’t agree more!

Music by:

Nouvel Âge


Binderful of Woman



Performance at midnight!

Friday, January 31st, 10pm-3am


Il Motore (179 Jean Talon St W.)

$10 suggested donation, PWYC, no one turned away