More than 100 specially trained volunteers and 700 donors generously support Peel Children’s Centre each year. Their contributions enable us to extend significantly the services we can provide for children, youth and families who are experiencing mental health difficulties.
VOLUNTEERS: PASSION. ACTION. IMPACT.
From tutors and mentors to drivers, childcare providers and fundraising assistants, volunteers are critical to the success of our services at Peel Children’s Centre. We were honoured to recognize our volunteers during Canada’s National Volunteer Week from April 10 to 16, 2011. This year’s campaign — built on the theme, Volunteers: Passion. Action. Impact. — celebrated volunteers as Canada’s superheroes.
PCC’s very own superhero began his volunteer journey just over a year ago. Kevin, a 25-year-old university student, became a mentor in hopes of gaining field-related experience. What he didn’t know when he embarked on his journey was that he would not only gain practical experience, but also make a profound difference in someone’s life and make a new friend.
Kevin has played an integral role in the mentorship program since being matched with 13-year-old Chris. As Chris’ mentor, Kevin’s role was to participate in fun and engaging activities, while helping Chris to improve his attitude towards school. Kevin’s determination, tenacity, compassion and creativity led to a wonderful success story about the power of hope.
It was apparent that Chris’ literacy skills needed to be developed, but Kevin met much resistance due to Chris’ negative experiences in the classroom. When Chris continued to express his frustration by refusing to read aloud or share his written work, it became apparent to Kevin that he needed to find creative ways to engage Chris and motivate him to read.
Kevin used Xbox game manuals, performed charades to demonstrate new words — also providing comic relief! — and signed out books of interest at the library. Progress remained slow, but Kevin was determined to make a difference.
One day, Kevin noticed that Chris was carrying around a book. It occurred to Kevin that this book might work as a learning tool. When asked about the characters in the book, Chris became extremely animated and talked easily and freely about the story line. While earlier sessions had not been very successful, Kevin left this one feeling motivated and hopeful.
When Kevin arrived home, he realized that he had forgotten his cell phone at Chris’ house. He returned to find the family’s annual Super Bowl party underway. When Kevin went upstairs to get his phone, he was surprised but mostly overjoyed to find Chris reading his book on the couch. When asked why he wasn’t downstairs enjoying the party, Chris replied, “I can’t wait to see what happens at the end of this chapter.”
The next time they met, Chris was already on chapter three.
A heartfelt thank-you to Kevin and to every volunteer who has made a positive contribution, no matter how big or small, to the lives of the children, youth and families at Peel Children’s Centre.
LEADERSHIP GIFT FROM RBC SUPPORTS GROUP SERVICES
Peel Children’s Centre is delighted to receive a further $40,000 leadership gift in 2011 as part of RBC’s Children’s Mental Health Project. This RBC initiative supports community-based and hospital programs that reduce stigma, provide early intervention, and increase public awareness about children’s mental health issues.
This is the ninth year that RBC Foundation has supported programs at PCC, with overall support totalling $200,000. RBC’s 2011 grant will again help to fund our broad range of treatment, parenting and special-purpose Group Services. In 2010/11, more than 400 children or youth benefited from Groups at PCC.
Group Services will again offer a series of Parenting Workshops this summer. Visit our website (peelcc.org/about/publications) to download the brochure, or request printed brochures using our website form (peelcc.org/feedback). Register for these workshops by calling Mental Health Services for Children and Youth (Centralized Intake) at 905-451-4655.
We extend our sincere thanks to RBC and to all the generous donors who support PCC’s services for children, youth and their families who are experiencing serious mental health difficulties.