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Our new health educator


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!

Office coordinator and fundraising super star Linda talks PARCours!


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: incredible fundraising incentives!


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!


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

PARCours website
Facebook Event (invite your friends!)

Sign up for our super pretty and helpful PARCours mailing list by emailing Richenda at

AGM 2016- Proposed bylaw Changes!


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!



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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.

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Give the Gift: A Love Letter for Head & Hands


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



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Solidarity Through Action: Spotlight on Third Eye Ensemble


Solidarity Through Action: Spotlight on Third Eye Ensemble


Solidarity Through Action encourages students as well as the public to lead peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns and special events in their communities to help support Head & Hands. We all share common  goals, ideas, and the belief that the causes we hold dear are worth “our” time and effort. The desire to bring about social change is that common ground that creates unity and compels us to work together in solidarity.

The Third Eye Ensemble (TEE) truly understands the meaning of solidarity. As a non-profit theater company that dedicates itself to producing engaging and thought-provoking material, TEE consistently works to not only help create meaningful work for artists themselves, but to also help community organizations, including Head & Hands (H&H).

Co-Founder and Artistic Co-Director Anne-Marie Saheb says that the TEE is “an artist founded company whose mandate is to produce work that challenges audiences to fully explore common perceptions about social, political, and environmental issues”.TEE supported  H&H by donating funds raised from the production of the play Blue/Orange because of our commitment to the  physical and mental health of Montreal’s youth.

Blue/ Orange is a provocative,  satirical comedy that centers around racial dynamics and mental illness. Anne-Marie, graciously provided H&H  with an exclusive interview on third-party fundraising, the ensemble, and its relationship with community organizations.

H&H: How and why was the Third Eye Ensemble created?

TEE: The idea started with Frederick Ward (Founding Father and Chairman Emeritus of TEE) and a few emerging artists who sought to develop as actors, directors, writers, and producers, with the intention of providing a platform for recent graduates of the DOME (Dawson College Theater) to produce independent theater.

TEE was established in 2011 when we introduced ourselves to the community by presenting our inaugural production of The Exonerated, which involved the 13 actors of the ensemble.

The Ensemble’s core has adapted, to the ever-changing careers and lives of its members. We now find ourselves where we are today, with myself and Jaa as Artistic Co-Directors. Throughout this process, our mission statement remains the same:

“To persevere in our artistic service to humanity, never cloud imagination with facts, but to be truthful in our testimony.”  – FREDERICK WARD

H&H: Why did you choose Head & Hands as the recipient of the funds raised by the ensemble?


TEE: I had the privilege of directing our production of Blue/Orange, a play by Joe Penhall, touching on cultural differences and mental illness. In looking for a local organization that could benefit from a portion of our proceeds as well as have a particular interest in the story we were telling, I came across Head & Hands.

It is vital for members of a community to support each other, exchange ideas, and transfer knowledge by stimulating communication and bridging gaps between information and understanding. Communities, in turn, thrive on each other’s discoveries. Humanity then inevitably benefits and grows. As non-profit organizations, both Head & Hands and the Third Eye Ensemble want to see a healthy society in which we empower every individual with the resources required to stay healthy.


H&H: Why did you get involved with Solidarity Through Action?

TEE: The survival of non-profit organizations depends on people who feel compelled to support them. In order to feel compelled, people must first know these organizations exist and for that, organizations must reach out to the public and share why they do what they do, tell people what they believe in.The key to reaching out is to develop contacts outside of immediate partnerships.Those exchanges can create a very supportive network and that’s a great environment for fundraising opportunities.

Head & Hands is extremely grateful to the Third Eye Ensemble for working in solidarity with others, to encourage social change while promoting youth empowerment through engagement.

Solidarity Through Action is a great way to get involved and support Head & Hands’ core programs and services. To find out more about Solidarity Through Action please visit our webpage “Run an Event” or contact Victoria, our Funding and Partnerships Coordinator at      514-481-0277 or  via e-mail at  

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Solidarity Through Action With Jam For Justice (J4J)


On September 24th 2015, Jam for Justice (J4J) a little know non-profit student organization that organizes and hosts benefit concerts to support community organizations and Montreal’s local talent, took L’Alizé’s stage by storm to support Head & Hands. The crew took the initiative via Head & Hands’ peer-to-peer third party fundraising program Solidarity Through Action. The benefit concert focused on the MusikAddict program offered by Head & Hands’ very own Jeunesse 2000 (J2K) youth drop-in center. The production drew a significant crowd by showcasing acts such as MOOCH, Winterstone, as well as Magi Merlin, and   raised funds for our programs.

President Dave Fang, VP Michelle Shi, VP External Jamie Snytte, VP Design Prerna Ramaswamy, VP Internal Liang Chen, and VP Finance/Charity of the McGill Students’ Chapter of Jam for Justice Aidan Steinmetz-Wood, gracefully provided us with some insight into Jam for Justice. The team works wonders together and makes a concerted effort to promote social change through music..

J4J Crew

The J4J crew Michelle Shi, Aidan Steinmetz-Wood, and Toby Moore

H&H: Why did you decide to organize a benefit concert for Head & Hands specifically?

Aidan: For each benefit concert, all the execs research a charity that is important to them and that they want to donate to. We then have a meeting and vote on which one we all like best. For this concert, Head & Hands was actually my choice. My mom worked with you guys when she was in her twenties, so I looked you guys up and really liked what I saw. We really liked the idea behind the MusikAddict program that promotes musical growth in kids and teenagers, so we decided to donate to you guys.


jam 2

Magi Merlin

H&H: Why did you get involved with Solidarity Through Action by holding your own fundraiser?

Aidan: I think that third party funding is important because it supports charities that may not have the manpower to fundraise for themselves, and it helps expose the charities to the world. As a University chapter one of our main goals is to expose McGill students to local charities and initiatives. Many students are not from Montreal and just stay in the “McGill Bubble”, so they aren’t exposed to what’s going on in much of the city. Our concerts introduce these students to different charities and organizations that they can support or get involved with.”

Jam for Justice takes great pride in helping community organizations and its youth by showcasing local musical talent in innovative ways. Head & Hands is extremely grateful to Jam for Justice for working in solidarity with others, to encourage social change while promoting youth empowerment through engagement.   

jam 3


Solidarity Through Action is a great way to get involved and support Head & Hands’ core programs and services. To find out more about Solidarity Through Action please visit our webpage “Run an Event” or contact our Funding and Partnerships Coordinator at 514-481-0277 or  

Please have a look at  the McGill Students Chapter of Jam for Justice‘s facebook page, as well at the Jam for Justice page to see their upcoming events, and the amazing work they have been doing. If you wish to join-in the efforts please feel free to consult their website


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Please join us in celebrating Paul’s memory


Last month, we were extremely saddened to share the news that our dear colleague Paul passed away suddenly on Friday April 3rd, 2015. Paul was one of our two Street Workers, and provided on-the-spot support to NDG youth where, when, and how they needed it. His dedication, empathy, and joy were both infectious and inspiring. The loss of this unique and wonderful person is deeply felt throughout the many communities Paul touched with his light.

bees 1

Please join us in celebrating Paul’s memory and time with us. On Tuesday May 26th, we invite community members to gather together to plant seeds around NDG – in honour of Paul’s impact on the neighbourhood. The seeds we will help support and nourish bees contributing to environmental and community wellbeing; philosophies that embodied Paul’s work and represents Head & Hands’ approach to holistic health.


There are a number of ways to participate in this memorial:

  • On May 26th you can join us at 5833 Sherbrooke West (our main office) to pick up seedbombs as of 2pm. You are invited to join a small walking group that will leave around 2:15pm or you can grab the seeds and commemorate Paul in your own way.
  • We will give out seeds until they run out – so if you can’t make it on the 26th and would like to participate, give us a call and if we have any left we would be happy for you to come get some.


If you need support, we invite you to please call us at our main office at 514-481-0277.  

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10 years and 10 facts about the SERVE TOURNAMENT!



 *image descriptions to come!*

Hey H&H community!

My name is Kay and I am this year’s Serve Tournament Coordinator! (Not gonna lie – I practiced saying that a few times in the mirror leading up to my interview for this position.) I am so excited to get to work with the incredible team at Head & Hands to help produce this year’s Serve Tournament, in support of the amaaazing Sense Project!

Given that this is actually the TENTH year of Serve, I figured I’d give you one fact about Serve for every year we’ve been around, and sprinkle in some fun tidbits about me here and there too so we can get to know each other a little better. Ready?

FACT #1: This year’s Serve tournament is taking place Sunday July 26, which is 168 days before the end of the year, and 1+6+8 is 15, and 15 is the age I was when I came out to my little sister (she said “I don’t care what gender they are, I don’t want to think about you kissing *anybody*!!” … fair enough, sis.)

image description: two cute little girls, one 4 and one 2. they are both white and blonde. the one on the left is wearing a giant straw hat, a striped grey and white shirt with a pink and yellow shirt underneath. she is reaching out to her left toward her younger sister, who is wearing a similar giant straw hat, a long sleeved white shirt and a floral dress overtop. she is also reaching out and touching her sister on the shoulder. this is me and my sister in the 90s!
me and my sis!


FACT#2: The Sense Project was created in 2005 in response to the Quebec education reform, which virtually eliminated sexual health education from the high school curriculum. In 2005, I created a patented rag-on-the-end-of-a-broom technique to chase spiders out of a boathouse without having to directly touch them with my hands, which means that Sense and I are all about YOUTH INGENUITY.

image description: colour photo of a brown striped dock spider centered in frame, with text. the image is titled "dock spider facts" in white text with a green background, and various facts surround the spider, in brown circles with white text. the facts, going clockwise, are as follows: "they can swim!" "they can catch fish!" "they carry the egg sac in their fangs!" and "they walk on water!"


FACT#3: Since the beginning of Sense Project, some 300 volunteers have been trained as workshop facilitators, providing holistic and non-judgmental info on everything from sex to how our bodies work to consent to relationships to safer drug and alcohol use. I am also a trained peer sexual health facilitator through this wicked project in Toronto called Empower! Youth and I am super passionate about youth and sexual health promotion.

image description: photo of a person standing with their back to us, their hands are on their hips and we can only see from their waist down. they are wearing light blue mom jeans with a skinny brown belt. different hands of people of different races are reaching towards this person's epic butt.
this is actually my butt.


FACT#4: The Serve Tournament was actually started by a group of restaurant employees to help raise money for Serve and contribute to their community, and it’s been a raging success ever since.

FACT#5: Last year’s Serve tournament raised $40,400 for youth sexual health education!

FACT #6: Head&Hands (perhaps unsurprisingly) is home to a number of Virgos. My dad is a Virgo! So either we are all going to enjoy some brutal puns together or argue about politics. Or maybe both – time will tellllll.

image description: a black and white illustration of wings, with black lines stretching up from the bottom of the frame and the word "virgo" in an italic font at the base of the image. the centre of the image has beautiful wings stretching out toward the right and left of the image, and three strands of oats overlapping between the wings. above the wings is the virgo constellation.
from The Wild Unknown (I covet their tarot!)


FACT#7: On average, Serve participants drink roughly 18 kegs of beer. When a keg of beer is tapped it stays fresh for approximately 12 hours, so even at the end of the long, hot day of volleyball in the sun, our beer is gonna be super tasty! Me, I also stay cool and fresh under pressure and barely sweat at all, so I can assure you I’ll probably smell okay if we are standing next to each other cheering on the teams at Serve.

FACT#8: On another beer-related note, Parc Jeanne Mance, where we hold the tournament every year, has a wild connection to beer making. No really. In 1879, it was actually named by the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain as a significant source of this psychoactive plant called henbane that before the German Beer Purity Law (a real thing too, still in use today by German beer makers!) was used as a flavouring agent in beer! I don’t know how to connect this to me really except to tell you that I am the sort of nerd who got really excited about learning this fact.


image description: a photo of the plant henbane growing in what seems to be a park, caged by a black oval cage, with a sign on the front. the sign has an image of a skull and crossbones, and reads "hysocyamus niger, henbane". there is two paragraphs of text with more information below that is too small for me to read/caption!


FACT #9: Last year, our hosts at Serve were Juniper, the former Fundraising and Development Coordinator, and Julie, both of whom are talented, femme-identifying musicians and performers. Me, I’m a singer and a femme too. FEMME POWAAAH!!

image description: an embroidered pair of hands. the hands are embroidered in black, and have hot pink nails. one of the hands is painting the middle finger of the other hand, which is raised in a "fuck you" gesture.
source: FemmeThings etsy shop


FACT#10: I tried out for my school’s volleyball team three times, and didn’t get picked. This year at Serve we’ll be bringing back the LOSERS’ TOURNAMENT, an opportunity for people like me to get some measure of glory and dignity back and reclaim our right to have fun playing sports!

Well team, I hope this has been informative. For me it’s been mildly humiliating BUT it’s also gotten me jazzed about this year’s event (and given me some ideas for future less research-intensive blog posts.) If you have any questions about Serve — or wanna get involved!! — feel free to shoot me an email:


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