Giving back to my community is something very important to me.
I have been blessed with many opportunities in my life and with every fibre of my being I believe that every single one of us should have the chance at wonderful opportunities too.
There are a great many causes, organizations and areas of concern to choose from in terms of charitable efforts but one cause that is near and dear to me is opening the doors for youth in London Ontario and my community.
When I was a young person myself I witnessed hardships for many of my peers. Even still today I can see the affects that these hardships had on some of them. I have also seen the turn around some of these peers were able to achieve with the help of certain organizations in London Ontario.
So it has been my mission to offer help and support in any way I possibly can to the organizations that have helped build and change the lives of some of my peers and many other at risk youth and families in the City of London. I have done this as much as I can from a personal perspective and have now began doing this with our company The Agency Real Estate Brokerage bringing in the support of our real estate agents and their networks to bring attention to these wonderful causes.
Our charity committee met a year ago and we chose what we felt was the “under dog” in London helping youth. Western Area Youth Services (WAYS). We called them the “under dog” because they are relatively small and not as well known as some of the other organizations in the city. There for they don’t get a lot of the media attention or support. However the things that they do and the lives that they change in London Ontario are sure in need of recognition.
There are a range of services from Community Programs offering assistance to Youth and Families in Crisis such as aid in dealing with trauma or just general support. There are Residential Programs providing mental health support and life skills training for youth up to the age of 18 helping them achieve their goals and build skills to carry them through out adulthood. There is enhanced foster care providing every child with the sense of security and the love of a family. To Youth Justice Programs helping young women in trouble with the law a caring and supportive environment.
That is just the blanket explanation of what this organization does. There are many behind the scenes things going on. For example, this spring they will be hosting their 2nd annual event “ONSTAGE For WAYS” which is a talent show style event with local performers and celebrity judges. It’s a night filled with food and entertainment and all proceeds are going to their Free Laundry Program. This program is something WAYS is launching to help youth in need have access to free laundry facilities so they may have clean clothes to wear.
Just let that sink in for a minute.
One thing most of us take for granted in life is the amazing smell of clean laundry. Something we don’t even realize is a privilege denied to many. Particularly teens who more then anything need to feel and smell clean. Not just for the fact of their own self confidence.
So you see, WAYS is much more then just a counselling service for Youth and Families. For some it could be that one thing that made someone look back later in life and say, “I survived because of them”
Believe me when I say that I know that this is true.
To learn more about Western Area Youth Services (WAYS) visit their website.
Every one deserves a chance in life, and sometimes it’s that one little thing that makes all the difference.
Until Next Time…