Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Meet Richenda: Fundraising Administrator and Monthly Donor!

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Happy Friday! Today I’d like you to read all about the wonderful Richenda, our Fundraising Administrator and new monthly donor! When she is not processing donations here at Head & Hands, Richenda is part of the Black Students Network and studies Women’s Studies at McGill! She is super happy to be featured on this blog, because according to Richenda, the Head & Hands blog helps you be perpared for anything! So sit back, relax, and let Richenda prepare you to become a monthly donor.

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I commit to Head & Hands every month because and/or Why did you sign up as a monthly donor?: Because I felt like it was the right thing to do for youth in the community (including myself who has accessed our services!), and because I love being profiled on the H&H website.

 How did you first find out about Head & Hands?

Quite a while ago when I volunteered with SACOMSS, and now I work here as Fundraising Administrator! I process my own donations and I send myself thank you cards!

 I fill my days with:

I fill my days with school and work, and my nights with red wine and Netflix.

 Is there a particular Head & Hands program that you are passionate about? Why?

I love all the programs!! But I especially love the Fundraising team.

As a teenager I was:

2 years younger than I am now

 Song I have stuck in my head right now:

Sex and The City theme song

 Celebrity crush (dead or alive):

Sidney Poitier in In The Heat of The Night (1967), Rihanna

 I can’t live without:

Rihanna

 If I won a trip anywhere in the world I would:Take Rihanna with me

My fave book, zine, magazine, blog: I love reading the Head & Hands blog because of what it tells me about my community and the world

My advice for youth today:

Listen to Rihanna’s music and read the Head & Hands blog and you will be prepared for anything.

Want to become a monthly donor? It’s super easy! Just visit our monthly giving page RIGHT HERE or contact Malaika at 514-481-0277. Monthly giving is also super accessible. All donations, from $3 to a million-billion per month are very important to us!

Meet Olivier: New Board Member and Monthly Donor!

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This week on the blog, we’re featuring Olivier, who, in addition to recently joining our Board of Directors, just signed up to become a monthly donor! Needless to say, we’re so excited to have Olivier literally on (the) board and as a brand new monthly donor! When he’s not being a volunteer extraordinaire at Head & Hands, Olivier works for an important organization that provides services to people with cancer, watches Netflix, and wears “sassy sweaters.”

Olivier, belting out an ode to Head & Hands

Olivier, belting out an ode to Head & Hands

Why did you sign up as a monthly donor? I want to sustainably contribute to services that youth need and don’t necessarily have access to! Best organization EVER: in my opinion, everyone involved with H&H is a local celebrity.

As a teenager I was: Very polite (how boring).

Top three things you’d want to have with you on a desert island: My friend Cameron (HI CAMERON), my friend Mariel (HI MARIEL), and like lots of food, to eat.

I can’t live without: Sassy sweaters

via Pinterest

via Pinterest

On a lazy afternoon I: watch Netflix in underpants

Celebrity crush (dead or alive): I know nothing whatsoever about celebrities WAIT I LOVE OPRAH but like half for real and half ironically? I’m not really sure. One year in art school I exclusively made art projects about, or featuring, Oprah.

My fave book, zine, magazine, blog: Notre-Dame-de-Paris by Hugo. It’s very good.

My advice for youth today: Fight the man! He deserves it.

Want to become a monthly donor like Olivier ? It’s super easy! Just visit our monthly giving page RIGHT HERE or contact Malaika at 514-481-0277. Monthly giving is also super accessible. All donations, from $3 to a million-billion per month are very important to us!

30 New Donors in 31 Days: Our March Monthly Campaign!

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It’s that time of year: the temperature is dropping, the snow is melting, and we’re gearing up for our Monthly Donor Campaign! As the days start to get longer, help Head & Hands continue our longterm relationship with our community by becoming a monthly donor! Our goal is to sign up 30 new monthlies in 31 days!!

We can’t stress how much we love our monthly donors! Each week on the blog, we’ll be introducing you to some of the amazing people who donate monthly to Head & Hands. Becoming a monthly donor is one of the best ways to contribute to our 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! In the last year, about $18K of our budget came from monthly donors, who gave in increments ranging from $5 to $200 a month!

Richenda, our Fundraising Administrator, with a thank you card for our monthlies!

Richenda, our Fundraising Administrator, with a thank you card for our monthlies!

Gifts of all sizes make a huge difference, and we hope you’ll help us reach our goal by signing up or helping us spread the word! Visit our “Give Monthly” page for more information, or to sign up! And if you have questions, contact our Fundraising and Development Coordinator Malaika at gifts@headandhands.ca or 514-481-0277.

We love our Volunteers!

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Are you one of our volunteers?

As you know, Head & Hands offers all kinds of services and resources to youth in our communities—a medical clinic, a legal clinic, a youth drop-in space, a young parents program, street work and risk-reduction support, dozens of sexual health workshops, popular education, and advocacy. We also have a comprehensive information and referral system, offer a food pantry, and provide counselling, tutoring, and instrumental support to youth and young adults from our local NDG community as well as across Montreal. Hundreds and hundreds of people come through our doors, reach out through email, and call us for support and resources. Our main office is open 11.5 hours a day, 5 days a week, with services offered at J2K on Saturdays as well!

How do we manage to do so much? VOLUNTEERS!!! OUR FANTASTIC RELIABLE AMAZING INSPIRING WONDERFUL  BRILLIANT VOLUNTEERS!!!! Whether you’ve given 2 hours once this year or dozens of hours multiple times, we couldn’t have done it without you. You are literally the reason we can run all of our programs and provide so much support to youth in our communities! Let’s be extra clear: You are at the heart of Head & Hands.

WE THINK YOU ARE AMAZING AND WE WANT TO TELL YOU!

SO WE ARE THROWING YOU A PARTY!

When: Friday, March 27th, 6:30 pm–9:00 pm

Where: Centre Communautaire St Raymond’s Community Centre, 5600 Chemin Upper Lachine (Metro Vendome + 90 bus or 104 bus or a 5-7 minute walk)

Who: You, other volunteers, and the Head & Hands staff – feel free to bring a plus one

What to expect: Light food and drinks, music, games, prizes, mingling

Accessibility information: St Raymond’s Community Centre is wheelchair accessible with an automatic door and elevator. There is a wheelchair-accessible, single-stall bathroom on the same floor as the event. Childcare will be available. Please let us know if you have any other accessibility requests by emailing eoc@headandhands.ca.

Please RSVP by March 14, 2014.

We hope you can make it!

Solidarity through Action at Ecole St. Luc

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This week, 5 students from the Ecole St. Luc set up shop in their school cafeteria to spread the word about Head & Hands and raise funds to support our programs and services.

In case you may have forgotten, the secondary school cafeteria is not a quiet space. During the lunch hour, the cafeteria was loud and bursting with energy in every direction. The students rose to the challenge, managing a line-up at their bake sale table while distributing pamphlets and starting conversations with fellow students about the support available to them at Head & Hands. According to the students, their biggest challenge was attracting youth to the table, because many of the youth in their school didn’t know about Head & Hands yet.

Their creative pitch: $1 for a brownie, and to help us make sure you have support in your adolescent lives!

This week’s fundraiser was part of a year-long project that the students are working on, with support from Madame Blondin. According to the students, they wanted to get involved with Head & Hands because we’re in their neighborhood, and we help people who are their age.

Earlier in the school year, they came to Head & Hands for a tour of our programs and services. They met the team, and talked about what it means to work in solidarity with an organization. They learned about our holistic and harm-reductive approach, and why it is so important to have youth services that meet youth where they’re at, so that they could become advocates for Head & Hands in their school and community. They have outreach and fundraising activities planned throughout the year, including a car wash coming up in the spring!

We truly love when youth get involved in supporting other youth in our community. No effort is too small, and everyone has something to contribute. We’re thrilled that these Ecole St. Luc students are learning fundraising skills, and becoming advocates for youth health in Montreal!

If you would like more information about how to become involved with our Solidarity through Action campaign, here are guides for students and the general public

 

 

Ten Tips for Keeping your Vagina Healthy and Happy!

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The vagina is an amazing sexual and reproductive organ. Most of the time vaginas are really good at taking care of themselves. Sometimes though, harmful bacteria and parasites are introduced into the vagina and its surrounding areas, which can result in unpleasant infections such as yeast, bacterial vaginosis (BV), urinary tract infections (UTIs), and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Here are a few helpful tips to keep your vagina happy and healthy!

Health Services Coordinator Jos with a Happy and Healthy (albeit fabric) Vagina!

Health Services Coordinator Jos with a Happy and Healthy (albeit fabric) Vagina!

1) Wear cotton underwear. Avoid synthetic materials like polyester so your vagina can breathe.

2) Wash your hands. Remember to wash your hands before you insert a tampon or menstrual cup, before masturbating and/or having sex. Ask your partner(s)s to wash their hands before sex too.

3) Avoid getting soap inside your vagina. Soap can upset your vaginal flora, so best to wash your genitalia with just water.

4) Don’t douche. Douches often contain irritating perfumes and can flush out the flora that you need to maintain a healthy vagina. Douching can lead to an infection or help spread an infection farther into the reproductive system, so best to not do it.

5) Wipe from front to back after you pee. There can be harmful bacteria hanging around your bum, don’t bring it forward to your sensitive parts! Use the same logic when it comes to anal sex. If a penis, toy or finger has been in your bum, don’t put it in your vagina afterwards without washing it or putting a new condom on it.

6) Pee after sex. This helps to flush out any bacteria that could have entered the urethra during sex, helping to prevent UTIs. Drinking cranberry juice can help prevent UTIs as well.

7) Eat plain yoghurt! It contains active bacterial culture that is good for your vaginal health and helps to prevent yeast infections. It’s an especially good idea to eat yogurt (ideally without sugar) anytime you’re taking antibiotics because they can make you more prone to yeast infections. If you don’t eat yogurt, you can also get acidophilus in pill form at your local health food store.

8) Use a condom. Penises and shared sex toys can introduce harmful bacterias into the vagina, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea (and other STIs). Be safe, use a condom if you’re having penetrative sex. And make sure to get tested regularly.

9) Never leave a tampon in for longer than 6-8 hours. Leaving a tampon in for too long can result in toxic shock syndrome (TSS), which can be fatal. Avoid sleeping with tampons in. Consider using pads or menstrual cups (like the Keeper or Divacup) instead. Menstrual cups can be left in for up to 12 hours.

10) Get to know your vagina! Look at it with a mirror. Get to know how it looks, smells and tastes. It’s normal for your vagina to have a slight odour and some discharge. Your discharge will change somewhat throughout your menstrual cycle and when you are sexually aroused. While you’re at it, get to know your menstrual cycle too (you can track it on a calendar, or there are lots of free period apps now for smart phones!). Pay attention to what’s normal for you, that way if ever something is out of the ordinary (like increased discharge, a funny smell, itchiness or irritation, pain, bumps/sores/rashes, abnormal bleeding and/or a late period), you’ll know to get it checked out.

Faggity Ass Saturday: Return to the Playhouse!

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faggity ass fridays january

For the past 8 YEARS, Faggity Ass Fridays (FAF) has brought party people onto the dance floor and straight into our hearts at Head & Hands. As Montreal’s longest-running queer dance party, FAF is forever young and forever grateful for all of the folks who come out every month to dance for social change.

2015 marks a new chapter for FAF: we’re moving venues, back to The Playhouse! The Playhouse saw our favorite little dance party grow into its fabulous self, and now we’re back, stronger than ever and ready to party.

On January 31st, come celebrate a new year and a new venue with us as Faggity Goes Homo, exceptionally on a Saturday this month.

As always, all donations collected at the door go directly to the Sense Project, Head & Hands’ holistic, sex-positive, and queer-friendly sex education program. We’ll  be on the dance floor, sweating and grooving to make sure Montreal youth get the sex education they deserve.

Unfortunately, The Playhouse is not wheelchair accessible. There is one flight of stairs into the venue. If you’re interested in specific measurements or more information about accessibility, please contact the host of the party at faggity@headandhands.ca

DJs:

JNNBNNRCK

J’VLYN D’ARK

Hostess: 

J’VLYN D’ARK

Saturday January 31st, 10pm-3am

18+

The Playhouse (5656 avenue du Parc) 

$10 suggested donation, PWYC, no one turned away

 

Affirmations Deck

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“We thought carefully about things we wished we had access to when we were struggling with our identities, or when we were struggling with the erasure, normativity, and violence in our everyday world…It is our hope that this deck finds its way to the hands of young queer and trans folks who might not otherwise have access to supportive communities.”

– “The Affirmations Deck” intro

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If you’ve been in the reception area at Head & Hands lately, you may have noticed a few new posters up on our wall. We recently came across the Affirmations Deck and loved them so much we had to put them up!

The Affirmations Deck was created by a group of queer and trans* youth involved with Planned Parenthood Toronto’s Filling in the Blanks: Queering SexEd project, coordinated by former Head & Hands boardie, and monthly donor, Carly Boyce!  Each card features a statement to help youth feel seen, valued, and supported. The cards touch on A BUNCH of topics, including bodies, consent, gender, identity, healing/recovery, self-love, relationships, and more.

You can scroll through a few examples below, or check out the entire deck & learn more about Queering SexEd online here (you can even print your own copy and add your own affirmations!). You can also flip through the deck at our main office– we’ve got them all printed out in our reception area.

 

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Check out Monster Academy!!!

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monster academy logo

Are you under 25? Are you interested in talking about mental health?

Monster Academy might be the right fit for you!

Head & Hands has long been committed to combating the silence around mental health, a silence which can lead to isolation, alienation, stigma and criminalization. We think that conversations about mental health can be powerful and transformative, and we are pretty excited to introduce you to Monster Academy, an exciting new(ish) initiative launched in Montreal in June 2014.

Monster Academy is a social justice–oriented workshop series designed to provide accessible, anti-oppressive mental health skills training to youth in Montreal. It is also intended to open a restorative dialogue around the silencing and stigmatization of “being crazy” in the broader Montreal community. Monster Academy is based upon the principles of empowerment, harm reduction, respect for self and others, interdependence, mindfulness, and community serving community.

Here at Head & Hands, we believe in the power of youth as leaders, teachers, and educators. We believe in prioritizing and creating space for voices in our communities. These are shared values with Monster Academy.

Monster Academy offers a FREE 8-workshop course for youth aged 16 to 25. Workshops contain practical components such as self-care and mental health intervention skills, guided discussion on mental health–related topics, and other skills such as group animation. They also offer support to youth interested in developing their own community projects.

Monster Academy is currently accepting participants for the winter 2015 Monster Academy: Mental Health Skills for Montreal Youth program. Application deadline is January 31st! Click here if you are interested in more information or would like to take a look at the application.

Winter Closure

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Winter is here! As usual, all Head & Hands locations and services are shutting down for the next two weeks (December 22, 2014 – January 4, 2015) so that we can rest up and prepare for the year ahead.

All our services will re-open and run on their regular schedules as of January 5, 2015.

Thank you to our volunteers, interns, board of directors, donors, supporters, friends, allies, and staff, as well as to NDG youth and the community for an amazing year!

We wish you all a very happy new year. See you in 2015!