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Hello all, I am so excited to announce this upcoming event that combines two of my favourite things: adventure and my work! This May 24th, I have the opportunity to rappel down one of the highest buildings in Vancouver, the Hyatt Regency, while raising money for BGC South Coast.
BGC South Coast (formerly known as the Boys and Girls Club), is a non-profit organization that services over 12,000 children, youth, and families each year. BGC has four areas of service that include Camp, Clubs, Employment, and Counselling. Through these four areas, BGC provides out of school care, a unique camp experience in the Howe Sound, employment guidance, and youth and family counselling, among many other things.
I work as a youth counsellor through the counselling stream. My team at Odyssey II focuses primarily on substance-use affected youth between the ages of 12-24. Some of the areas that my youth have been impacted by include mental health, substance use, trauma, abuse and/or neglect, gang affiliations, and the current housing crisis. We work to mitigate barriers to services by providing outreach counselling in the community, and I have youth who I meet with anywhere from the Northshore to the Downtown East Side to Surrey.
On top of counselling, we run a drop-in space twice a week where we create a feeling of community through games, art, and food. At our Odyssey II space we also have a food bank that the counsellors stock weekly thanks to our partnership with the Vancouver Food Bank. Clothing and some household items can be found onsite through our donation area. Throughout the year we will put on special holiday events and facilitate social recreation opportunities like ziplining and skiing. Another part of my job includes community outreach like attending other community drop-ins or schools, and participating in advocating for pro-social change for our youth and community.
My youth are some of my favourite people to be around. I have never worked a job where I have laughed as hard, been as silly, and been so truly impacted by the genuine nature of these wonderful human beings. I feel so fortunate to work for an organization that actively strives to improve and reflect upon itself so that we can show up better for those accessing our services.
My goal for this fundraiser is to be able to raise $1000 so that I may rappel down the Hyatt, however any and all monetary donations will be beyond my expectations and will most definitely go to the most deserving of people. Thank you 😊
For 85 years, BGC has been giving children and youth a place to belong during the critical out-of-school hours, where with the help and guidance of highly trained staff and volunteers, they discover who they are, that they matter, what they are capable of, and that they have promising futures. Serving more than 10,000 individuals each year, BGC specifically offers nearly 500 youth social recreation, academic, and mental health programs through our Clubs.
During COVID-19, the required restrictions have meant that youth have been separated from peers and mentors, and from their learning environments. Meanwhile, the online world (including social media channels) serves as both their library, and playground. We are already concerned about the frequency and amount that youth turn to the online world for distraction, escape, and to seek connections, but in this time of social distancing and restrictions, that increases the chance that youth become further isolated and at risk.
All of this, combined with research that consistently shows that vulnerable youth fall further behind academically during times when they are out of school, calls on us to act now to help BGC to enhance their academic and mental health supports for youth right now.
By making a donation through Over The Edge, you will be supporting kids and youth to succeed, both right now, and for their future!
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