Newsletter – Fall 2021

Posted on Oct 28, 2021

Despite the COVID pandemic, H.E.L.P. for Youth Canada Society & Project Backpack/PBP continued to do important work for those most in need: Vancouver’s homeless & at-risk youth. And while all of us were encouraged to ‘stay home’ during the pandemic, how does a homeless youth stay home?  

This question inspired empathy, creativity & hard work from local students, who despite the dire circumstances, ran their Project Backpack campaigns in unique & heartfelt ways.   School presentations were made virtually, caseworkers presented alongside PBP via zoom, & Q&A discussions took place, allowing all to participate.  

In the end, 850 backpacks were filled with items to help youth survive on the street. 

They have a contents value of $92,000; and, since inception PBP has donated over 4300 backpacks, totaling $340,000 worth of supplies donated to Vancouver youth shelters; including Directions Youth Centre & Hollyburn Family Services/Safe House.  

We were deeply moved by everyone’s efforts to make the 14th & 15th PBP campaigns soar. Many thanks to all the students from these schools for going above & beyond to help others.    

2019/20 & 2020/21 Project Backpack Campaign Update    
This year the students and schools that went above and beyond:   Carson Graham Elementary School Cleveland Elementary School, Handsworth Elementary School, Mountainside Secondary, Mulgrave School, Ridgeway Elementary School, Scott Creek Secondary, Selkirk/Gladstone Secondary Schools, Sir Winston Churchill Secondary, Southridge School, UBC Transition School, Van Tech Secondary, West Point Grey Academy ,The Mia Project @ Sir Charles Tupper Secondary, West Point Grey Academy,   Handsworth Secondary School,  Ridgeway Elementary School and Cleveland Elementary School.  

The organizations & individuals that helped make a difference:   Baker Tilly, Joico, Dannyco, Framar, Footlocker, Horizon, We Work, North Shore Winter Club PeeWee C2 Team, North Shore RCMP, Alex Chen (Rising Youth Campaign) & the Atkinson Family.    And, our important & generous donors:   A big Thank you to the many caring individuals and generous donors: Earlston Investments, National Bank Private Banking 1859, Grosvenor and McKesson.    

We would like to extend a sincere Thank You! to all the caseworkers. 
The HELP for YOUTH CANADA Bursary Program 
continued throughout Covid.  Three youth completed their programs on-line during the pandemic.
* Steven completed his BCIT Operations Management program, graduated virtually & is successfully employed by an international technology consulting firm & living in Calgary.
* Kaiden completed his BCIT TV & Film Production program, graduated virtually & recently landed a f/t position as an assistant editor & night PA on a show.  
* M.A., completed her Bachelor of Social Work from UBC, & is working within the seniors sector.  
* Manuel is nearing completion of his Marine Eng program @ BCIT & is currently working as the 4th Engineer on a ship in Quebec.
* Jessica is completing her practicum work for her Early Childhood Education Diploma, & hopes to be working with children within her indigenous community.  
* Daniela is doing a co-op with a biotech firm, & then returns to SFU to complete her BSc in Micro-Bio/Chem. Her dream is to become a doctor.   * Leena returned to University of British Columbia this fall & continues to excel in Computer Science courses, with her eye on a future in blockchain technology.  
* Caitlin continues to take pre-requisite courses at Douglas College towards applying to Social Work.  
* Sasha is nearing completion of the Social Work program at Thompson Rivers University.      

Other news  
We are happy to announce that HYC founder Cara Sinclair was awarded the British Columbia Medal of Good Citizenship by the Province, in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the community & to British Columbia.  

We are thrilled to share that the 16th annual Project Backpack campaign will begin this fall and our new website is coming soon!