Posts Tagged ‘we love our volunteers’

Welcome, New Sense Animators!


Sense Class 2014-15


We’re excited to introduce you to our 16 new and returning Sense Animators! These wonderful volunteers just finished their 33-hour-long training and are ready to head out to schools, community centres, and group homes to give sexual health education workshops to Montreal youth.

Led by Health Educator Gabrielle, and Sense Project Research Assistant Shanice, this training session familiarized our peer animators with the Sense Project’s holistic, non-judgmental and youth-centered approach. They were also provided with the tools, skills, and knowledge to facilitate discussions with youth around sexuality and sexual health.

One of the many essential elements to a successful training session is having copious amounts of food available and for that we’d like to thank the People’s potato, Nouveau Palais, Burritoville, Dépanneur Le Pick-up, Lola Rosa, and Aux Vivres, for supplying us with three weeks’ worth of delicious food!

As always, we invite YOUR school or community group to get in touch about booking workshops! We can do them in English or in French, and can provide harm reductive, non-judgemental drug education workshops in addition to our sex ed offerings. If we don’t already have a workshop or presentation that fits the bill, we can often create one that meets your health or sexuality needs! Just email Gabrielle at And if you want to volunteer as a Sense animator during the next academic year, keep an eye out for an application callout in the summer of 2015!



Spotlight on: super-volunteer lawyer Irving Narvey!

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.

Centraide honours Dr. T for outstanding Citizen Engagement

Winner Dr. Tellier, surrounded by Head & Hands staff, stand in  clinic waiting room.

Dr. Tellier with his gorgeous award and some very excited Head & Hands staff members

This April, we headed to the Montreal Science Centre to celebrate our very own Dr. Tellier, winner of Centraide’s prestigious Citizen Engagement Award! Centraide presented Dr. T with a beautiful trophy, and Head & Hands with a $10, 000 cheque. And they made a totally awesome video about Head & Hands and Dr. T!

For those of you who know Dr. T, this award likely doesn’t come as a surprise. For over 30 years, Dr. T has tirelessly provided front-line health services to Montreal’s most marginalized young people, both at Head & Hands, and, on a few occasions, in the streets, bars, and raves of Montreal’s Gay Village.  We estimate that Dr. T has treated more than 20, 000 youth in our clinic over the years.

Internationally renowned as a champion of LGBTQ and youth health, Dr. T has mentored countless medical residents, and has presented at numerous conferences on his non-judgemental, harm-reductive, and inclusive approach to medicine.


Congrats, Dr. T!


Meet the front-desk crew!


Volunteer Appreciation Party, March 2014

Meet our current group of front desk volunteers! After this winter’s 30-hour training, we’re up to sixteen wonderful people who are on the desk once a month or more at our main offices. Volunteers commit to one year with us, but in our third year running this program, we still have folks from our first ever front desk volunteer training working with us. We rely on these volunteers to give our Office Coordinators time off the desk: to supervise their colleagues, go to committee meetings, do community outreach and advocacy work, or take a day off. Front desk volunteers also support our programs in many different ways. Not only do they take on projects like funding research, calendar maintenance, and resource preparation, they also provide front-line support as part of our Information & Referral program. We love our front desk folks, and couldn’t do what we do without them!

Why I commit: Angie



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

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

Name: Angie Radczenko

Monthly since: June 2013

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

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

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

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

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

I can’t live without: Oxygen (nuknuk)

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

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

Solidarity through Action: Fundraising Guides

Jen shows her excitement for the fundraising guide launch.

Jen shows her excitement for the fundraising guide launch.

Over the years, we have been so lucky to benefit from the awesome fundraising support of our community. From cocktails to student bake sales to a little dance party that could, third party fundraisers have a big impact on our budget, and that’s why we’re hoping to make it even easier for people to get involved with our Solidarity through Action fundraising guide!

We’ve created two third-party fundraising guides: one for the general public and one for students and student groups. Click the links to see the full guides.

Public: We often have people asking how they can help out and since we know that each person has something unique to offer, we hope that this guide can be used by anyone and everyone who wants to lend a hand, be more involved with philanthropy, and show their support in their own ways.

Schools and student groups: This guide offers support for any student who wants to hold a fundraiser at their school! Whether you are from a high-school, CEGEP, university, or other school-setting, we encourage all students to get involved and become advocates for youth services!

We can’t express enough how important peer-to-peer fundraisers are to us, especially the volunteers who organize them! When Head & Hands supporters take the time to put together an event for the benefit of other youth, to introduce who we are to new communities, to show solidarity  for the services we offer and for making sure youth have the support they deserve, we fall in love with this work all over again. We hope that this guide will make it even easier for you to get involved, and we hope to hear from you soon!

Speaking of Solidarity through Action, the guides were designed by local youth, Katelyn Bishop.  How could it get any better?

Join our Board!


Become a member of our Board of Directors! Support our organization and community!

The Opportunity:

Head & Hands is currently looking for motivated, passionate people to run for election to our Board of Directors. Applications are due April 29th at 6pm.

Who we are looking for:

We encourage all applications to our Board, and seek to create a balanced group to reflect the skills and priorities of our community. Head & Hands welcomes the unique contributions that youth (25 and under) and individuals from marginalized and oppressed communities bring to our organization, and invites these individuals to apply. We encourage applicants to describe the unique contributions they, as individuals with diverse experiences, would bring to Head & Hands in their cover letter.


  • Commitment to social justice and to our mission
  • Willingness to participate in fundraising activities in a collaborative context
  • Desire to work with a diversity of people on common goals
  • Available for monthly evening Board meetings and ongoing committee work (total time commitment is approximately 8-10 hrs/month)

Interested? Find out how to apply here!!

To support us in carrying out our mission, we feel it’s important for the Head & Hands Board to be strong and diverse in terms of skills, connections to programming, and connections to client communities.  Having analyzed the balance of these qualities on our current Board, and asked ourselves which missing qualities would be most valuable to us, we have produced the following diagrams to share our perspective with the broader membership.

To support us in carrying out our mission, we feel it’s important for the Head & Hands Board to be strong and diverse in terms of skills, connections to programming, and connections to client communities. Having analyzed the balance of these qualities on our current Board, and asked ourselves which missing qualities would be most valuable to us, we have produced these diagrams to share our perspective with the broader membership.

Volunteers, You’re Invited!

Volunteers eat, drink, and hang while watching the slide show at last year's VAP.

Volunteers eat, drink, and hang while watching the slide show at last year’s VAP.

At Head & Hands, we rely on volunteers to do what we do. Volunteers coach basketball at J2K, tutor students at the main offices, provide childcare at the Young Parents Program, work at the front desk, help plan and pull off Faggity Ass Fridays every month, translate blog posts like this one, keep score at SERVE, file financial records, and serve on our Board of Directors. WHEW, that’s a lot! Last year, 308 volunteers gave more than 9000 hours of their time to Head & Hands, and we think y’all deserve a huge thank you in the form of a party! An awesome party!

If you’ve volunteered with us in the past year, you’re invited to our annual Volunteer Appreciation Party, where we will celebrate you with food, drinks, and amazing raffle prizes! This year will also feature a photo booth and karaoke for all of our entertainment. This evening of awesome will take place on March 15th from 7:00 – 10:00 pm! To find out where, please RSVP to the program coordinator with whom you volunteered by March 10th.

Accessibility information: wheelchair accessible with automatic door and elevator. There is a wheelchair accessible, single-stall bathroom on the same floor as the event. Please let us know if you require childcare or have any other accessibility requests by emailing Juniper at by March 10th!

New Volunteers on the Front Desk!


Intern Émilie and volunteer ZaZa reorganize our zine library. Check it out next time you’re in!

We are so excited to welcome six awesome new front desk volunteers to Head & Hands! This group completed a thirty-hour training in February, where they learned about our approach and protocols through workshops and roleplays, and got to know most members of the H&H team. Huge thanks to intern Émilie, whose (often hilarious) contributions to the coordination and facilitation of this training were invaluable.

Volunteers will take on regular shifts each month, during which they’ll help keep our pamphlets stocked, our resources up-to-date, and our offices comfortable and welcoming for clients, while providing information, referrals, and support to those who call or walk through our doors. Their volunteer shifts also provide time off the front desk for our Info & Referral Coordinators, so they can carry out collective duties like committee work and peer-to-peer supervision, and create space for program visioning and coordination. This is the second year we’ve offered this volunteer opportunity, and we’re so excited to see what unfolds with this group over the next year!

Volunteer Opportunity: Front Desk


We are looking for committed, open-minded and enthusiastic volunteers whose actions, mindset, and temperament parallel the non-judgmental, anti-oppressive, and empowering fundamentals of Head & Hands.

These volunteers will replace at the front desk (approximately one to three shifts per month), which involves directing clients to the appropriate Head & Hands service, providing referrals and information about other Montréal organizations, and acting as first responder to clients in need of support.

Training will include a variety of workshops aimed at introducing you to Head & Hands’ diverse clientele and different approaches to meet their needs.

Ideal applicants will meet the following criteria:

  • Age 17 years or older
  • Able to commit to 12 months of volunteering
  • Able to commit to 5 to 20 hours a month of volunteering
  • Monday-Friday daytime or evening availability
  • Fluency in English and spoken French
  • Available for training sessions at the following dates in 2013:
Monday 21 January, 6:00 - 9:00 pmWednesday 23 January, 6:00 - 9:00 pmSaturday 26 January, 12:00 - 4:00 pm
Monday 28 January, 6:00 - 9:00 pmWednesday 30 January, 6:00 - 9:00 pmSaturday 2 February, 12:00 - 4:00 pm
Monday 4 February, 6:00 - 9:00 pmWednesday 6 February, 6:00 - 9:00 pmSaturday 9 February, 12:00 - 4:00 pm

If you meet the above criteria and are interested in being part of our team, please complete the volunteer application form and send to Hannah at by 5 December 2012.

If you have any questions please feel free to email, or call at (514) 481-0277!