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Serve 2014: Fundraising Dreams Do Come True

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FINAL SERVE WRAP UP INFOGRAPHIC

On Sunday, July 27th, Montreal’s vibrant service industry came together on the sandy courts of Parc Jeanne Mance to make Serve 2014 a glowing success!

We would like to thank the bars and restaurants, sponsors, volunteers, and staff who participated for helping to ensure Montreal’s youth get the sex education they deserve. Thanks to these amazing partners, we raised over $40,000 (and still counting!) for the Sense Project, our peer-based sex education program.

Although Mother Nature challenged us to set up for the event in the pouring rain, we overcame her obstacle and were rewarded with sun, refreshing scattered showers, and a gorgeous rainbow.

This year, as always, Grumpy’s took home the top fundraiser prize, raising $6,500 through their creative and flawless fundraising efforts, and beating their personal record once again! Sweet Treats by Shanice won first place in the tournament, and Café Chimera, participating for the first time this year, took home the Team Spirit award for their board-game-themed team (mascot included).

If you missed the event— or if you were there and you would like to relive the glitter & glory— you can check out the beautiful photos taken by Angie Radczenko and Jos, or the photo coverage from Nightlife.ca and Cult MTL!

Serve 2014 also got picked up by a ton of local news sources, including Cult MTL, Global TV, The Gazette, CBC Radio, and more. Check out their coverage of the event to learn more about why the Sense Project is crucial, and to see the Serve magic in action.

Next year is Serve’s 10th anniversary. We’ll be celebrating a decade of serving and spiking for sex ed, so stay tuned for updates on Serve 2015!

 

 

Diaphragms are back, and better than ever!

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Health services coordinator Jos shows the Caya diaphragm and spermicide!

Jos with Caya and contragel

As part two in our series about barrier contraceptives (see our March post about the Femcap), we’re excited to announce that Head & Hands is now distributing the CAYA diaphragm! The CAYA diaphragm has recently been approved for sale in Canada, so if you`re looking for hormone-free and user controlled birth control, check it out!

When used in conjunction with contragel (aka Cayagel), the CAYA diaphragm works as a mechanical barrier to block sperm from entering the cervix during vaginal intercourse. As with any barrier device, its effectiveness depends on how dedicated you are to using it properly. When used correctly, the CAYA diaphragm is as effective at preventing pregnancies as condoms. Unlike older diaphragm models, you don’t need to be fitted by a doctor because one size fits most users. It’s also made out of durable silicone and can be used for two years.

Caya Diaphragm!

Caya Diaphragm!

Interested? You can purchase a CAYA diaphragm (sold at cost) from Head & Hands for $50. Tubes of contragel are available as well for 20$. Check out the CAYA website for more info and insertion videos.

To purchase a diaphragm from us or for more info, contact our Health Services Coordinator, Jos, at (514) 481-0277 or health@headandhands.ca. You can also just swing by our office at 5833 Sherbrooke West! Not in Montreal? Don’t worry, you can order the CAYA online via Anarres Health (they are also the Canadian distributor for the Femcap)!

Spotlight on: super-volunteer lawyer Irving Narvey!

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Irving Narvey stopped by to chat after a couple rounds of tennis! Lovin the semi-retired life!

Irving Narvey stopped by to chat after a couple rounds of tennis! Gotta love the semi-retired life!

Today, we’re shining the spotlight on super-volunteer Irving Narvey, who, after 43 years giving his time and expertise at the Head & Hands legal clinic, has finally left us to enjoy the fruits of a semi-retired life. 43 years?! That’s right: Mr. Narvey has been volunteering since the inception of the legal clinic, and for almost the entirety of his career!

Fresh out of law school and just starting his own law practice, Irving was invited to get involved in 1971 by Eric Smith, who was one of the first volunteer lawyers at Head & Hands.

“I guess when you’re young and principled, and you carry your sword, you want to help people,” Mr. Narvey told us. “Coming to Head & Hands was an opportunity to meet people who were in need of legal advice, and obviously to give back. And there I was, in a position to do so, and I was thrilled to do it, so I did.”

As a 28-year-old, I have a hard time understanding how anybody could do anything for 43 years, so I had to ask: what kept you coming back to volunteer, after a long day at work, for more than four decades?! “It really wasn’t a hefty burden at all,” said Irving. “I always saw myself as a litigator, representing the people before the courts, and fighting for their rights…I’d like to think that my practice was people-oriented, so coming here was really an extension of what I did on a full-time basis for a living.”

When asked about the best part of volunteering at Head & Hands, Mr. Narvey didn’t hesitate: “Being in touch with the people. What can I tell you? People need people! As a matter of fact, if I didn’t know that Barbara Streisand had already done it I would have written the song.”

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On behalf of the entire team at Head & Hands, and the hundreds of community members who have benefited from your legal expertise over the past four decades, thank you Irving! We wish you many healthy and happy years of relaxation as you move into a very well-deserved semi-retirement.

SERVE IS HERE!

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It’s here, it’s here! Serve is descending upon the sandy volleyball courts of park Jeanne Mance this Sunday, July 27th.  At this magical day of fun in the sun (and in the rain/thunder, too!), Montreal’s vibrant service industry shows us once again that they don’t just serve beer– they “serve” for sex ed!

Serve is the Sense Project’s largest fundraiser, and funds raised by the Serve tournament are crucial for the Sense Project to continue to meet the needs of Montreal youth.  Last year, the Sense Project volunteer team reached just under 1,700 youth in high schools, community centers, and group homes across the island. This year, our goal is $50,000, to help ensure the Sense Project can continue to provide Montreal youth with the sex education they deserve!

This year, we have 28 teams made up of staff from Montreal bars and restaurants. Check out the list below to see what places are playing, and come by to cheer on your favorite establishment! We’ll have beer, a barbecue, Slip n Slide, massages from Setsuko massage, and SO MUCH MORE!! 

2014 Serve Participants: 

Mickibbons St.Laurent
Grumpy’s
Café Chimera
Brutopia
Tavern on the Square
Bifteck
Ye Old Orchard
Mcleans Pub
Sir Winstons Churchill
Irish Embassy
Forum sports bar
Hurley’s
Monkland tavern
Saka-Ba!
Burger Bar
Sweet Treats by Shanice
Dundees
Madhatters
Burgundy Lion
Bier Markt
Chateau du lac
Lola Rosa
Deville
Quatro
Café Campus

And of course, the incredible Sense Project team!

 

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!

Why I commit: Angie

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“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

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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

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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!

Solidarity Through Action at Selwyn House School!

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Yiwen, Matthew, Kyriakos, and Guillermo

Yiwen, Matthew, Kyriakos, and Guillermo

 Today on the blog, we’re shining the spotlight on a group of grade 10 students at Selwyn House School who are working hard to support other youth in our community!

After doing their Youth in Philanthropy Initiative (YPI) school project on Head & Hands, they decided to get further involved and hold their own fundraiser. Through their YPI project and creative fundraising efforts at their school, they have directly supported our programs and helped us spread the word about Head & Hands in their school community.

We caught up with Yiwen, Matthew, Kyriakos, and Guillermo to learn more about their experience!

H&H: Why did you choose to get involved with Head & Hands?

We got involved with Head & Hands because we felt we were part of the charity already. Since we ourselves fall into the category of people the charity offers services to, we felt obligated to lend a hand and engage to help our community become a better place.

H&H:  What has been your favorite part, or the most rewarding part, of your work so far? Have you faced any difficulties?

The project helped us to open our eyes and see our community in different eyes. As we were introduced to the severity of certain social issues, we became engaged to help build a more compassionate community. To us, this was the most important aspect of our project, as well as the most rewarding part.

One difficulty we had was brainstorming a way we could present our ideas to help others understand the impact of Head & Hands. We spent numerous hours creating presentations, videos, and scripts to find the most creative way we could capture the attention of other students, teachers, and the judges.

H&H: What is one key thing you have learned through your YPI and fundraising experience?

Our project has definitely taught us many things: working as a team, interacting with people, and articulating our ideas. The one key thing we have learned from the project as well as our fundraising experience was ultimately learning to be able to give back to our community.

Public Consultation on Prostitution-Related Offenses

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Following the Bedford v. Canada decision to strike the three provisions that regulate and criminalize sex work from the Criminal Code, the Canadian government has called a public consultation on sex work. We’re sharing our responses in hopes that they will inspire you to create your own! You can get in touch with us at info@headandhands.ca if you’d like to see recommendations from sex workers and sex workers’ advocacy organizations compiled by Stella. Please use these recommendations and our responses as inspiration to create your own unique response, so that the government sees many individual voices in support of sex workers’ human and labour rights! You can add your voice in solidarity with sex workers any time before March 17th by clicking here.

1. Do you think that purchasing sexual services from an adult should be a criminal offence? Should there be any exceptions? Please explain.

No, the purchase of sexual services from an adult should not be a criminal offense, with no exception. The Nordic/Swedish model of criminalizing those who purchase sexual services from adults has been demonstrated to reproduce many of the harmful conditions for sex workers that the Bedford ruling aimed to end. In this way, criminalizing the purchase of sexual services from an adult would be both unconstitutional and regressive.
These harmful conditions often result from aggressive policing and fear of arrest or incarceration. They include:

  • decreased ability to negotiate safer sex and boundaries with clients,
  • client reluctance to share personal information that helps sex workers screen them for safety,
  • reluctance to report witnessed violence against sex workers,
  • further stigmatization and marginalization of sex work and sex workers.

Criminalization drives the sex industry underground, which makes it more difficult for sex workers to access social benefits and services (including legal advocacy and health services), as well as to pay taxes, since their income relies on criminalized transactions.

Head & Hands supports the right of sex workers to do their work in safety and with dignity; criminalizing those who employ sex workers is an infringement on that right.

2. Do you think that selling sexual services by an adult should be a criminal offence? Should there be any exceptions? Please explain.

No, selling sexual services by an adult should not be a criminal offense, with no exception.

Head & Hands supports the full decriminalization of sex work, and believes that adults who sell sexual services should never be threatened with criminal charges.

The criminalization of those who sell sexual services creates dangerous working conditions and infringes on sex workers’ right to safety. Sex workers must be able to report abuses without fear of arrest or incarceration. Criminalization puts sex workers at higher risk of violence, because predators know that sex workers are made vulnerable and considered less valuable due to the stigma associated with their work. Sex workers must be able to take time to communicate clearly with their clients without fearing arrest or incarceration. They must be able to do their work in safe places, without constantly being displaced to more isolated areas. Criminalization also contributes to stigma and discrimination that prevents sex workers from accessing basic and necessary social services, including health care and legal advice.

3. If you support allowing the sale or purchase of sexual services, what limitations should there be, if any, on where or how this can be conducted? Please explain.

Any regulations or limitations on sex work should be created under the leadership of sex workers themselves. There should be no further limitations placed on the freedoms or civil liberties of sex workers, including immigration and anti-trafficking laws. Sex work should not be subject to more restrictive or invasive laws than the regulations for other forms of work, and legislation should be driven by civil rights and liberties. Any future regulations or limitations on sex work should consider sex workers of all genders and sex workers in all sectors of the industry. Canada should rely on existing Criminal Code provisions that address violence and abuse to protect sex workers from assault, harassment, and threats.

4. Do you think that it should be a criminal offence for a person to benefit economically from the prostitution of an adult? Should there be any exceptions? Please explain.

Criminal laws targeting those who benefit economically from sex work done by adults isolate sex workers and thus endanger them, infringing on their right to safety. Third parties involved with sex workers are necessary to their livelihood and well-being. Sex workers are professionals who must be able to practice in groups, just as lawyers and health workers do. Sex workers must be able to hire security guards, drivers, receptionists, bookkeepers, and other people who make their work safer and easier. Sex workers must be able to rent or buy homes. Sex workers’ families, friends, roommates, and partners should not be criminalized by the work of their loved ones. Such restrictions further isolate sex workers—people who deserve love, family, and community, just as we all do.

5. Are there any other comments you wish to offer to inform the Government’s response to the Bedford decision?

Head & Hands fully supports the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Bedford v. Canada to strike down the three major provisions on sex work.

Those provisions prevented those engaged in legal activities from taking steps to protect themselves from the risks associated with those activities. Head & Hands encourages the creation of a “made-in-Canada” model that is based on the leadership of sex workers and sex work advocacy organizations based in this country, and that respects and protects sex workers’ human and labour rights.