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10 years and 10 facts about the SERVE TOURNAMENT!

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serveis10

 *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!"
terrifying.

 

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!
henbane!

 

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: serve@headandhands.ca.

SEE YOU ON THE COURTS!!

The Serve Tournament is Seeking Volunteers!!

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The Serve Tournament needs YOU for our volunteer Planning Committee!

The Serve Tournament, an annual beach volleyball tournament fundraiser, is seeking three (3) people to join its volunteer Planning Committee! Now in its 10th consecutive year, Serve raises funds to support the Sense Project, Head & Hands’ non-judgmental and inclusive sex education program by and for youth. This year’s tournament will take place Sunday July 26th at Parc Jeanne Mance (corner of Park and Duluth).

The Planning Committee is responsible for supporting the Serve Coordinator in various aspects of organizing the event. Volunteers are asked to commit an average of 15 hours per month, from May 1st 2015 to August 1st 2015.

We are looking for individuals to fill the following positions:

Sponsorships Coordinator: The Sponsorship Coordinator will be responsible for securing food and prize sponsorships for the event. Responsibilities include: researching potential sponsorships, approaching local businesses for food and prize sponsorships, picking up prizes, documentation and follow up, and thanking sponsors.

Participant Coordinators (2): The Participant Coordinators will work directly with the Serve Coordinator to establish relationships with bars, restaurants, cafés, and other establishments participating in the tournament. Responsibilities include: recruiting and signing up teams, supporting teams with fundraising efforts, attending bar/restaurant fundraisers. ***Due to provincial liquor laws, volunteers for this position must be over the age of 18***

In addition to these profiles, all volunteers will assist with promotion and outreach regarding the event including social media updates, postering/flyering, and helping get the word out about Serve! In exchange for your time, we are happy to offer leadership development and support, skill building, letters of reference, and/or volunteer hours.

To apply, email Kay at serve@headandhands.ca with a cover letter explaining which position interests you, why you want to get involved with Serve, and what you would bring to the Planning Committee (you can talk about your previous experiences, motivation, personal interests – anything you feel is relevant to the position!). Working knowledge of both French and English is required for these public-facing positions, but letters may be submitted in either language.\

Applications are due April 24th at 10:00 A.M!

Head & Hands welcomes the contributions that individuals from traditionally marginalized communities bring to the organization. We encourage applicants to identify in their letter the unique perspective they would bring to Head & Hands. Please also feel free to consult our website for tips on writing a cover letter!

Click here for a PDF: Committee callout_ english

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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Ecole st luc collage

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

affirmation deck 1-page-001 (2)

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.

 

example 2-page-001 (2)

example 3-page-001 (2)

example 5-page-001 (2)

 

example 1-page-001 (2)