We have provided a $3,250 Emergency Community Support Fund grant to Young Life to support the development and delivery of a COVID safe space for teens to come and have breakfast, receive homework help and community support from staff and volunteers.
(Left to right) Randeep Sarai, Christine Buttkus, Kadie Hughes, Linda Annis
Young Life is a faith based youth outreach organization in North Surrey (Guildford, Whalley and Surrey Central). Young Life provides after school programming, camping opportunities throughout the province, and one on one mentorship to teenagers (ages 14-18) in the North Surrey community. Young Life also serves youth across Canada and works with different schools in different cities. Young Life allows these students to find a healthy and safe community, volunteers and staff that can support and care for them in tangible ways, and a chance to grow and flourish in their communities.
The Breakfast and Homework Club project fills a gap for North Surrey students who, before COVID, relied on spaces to go to when their homes or school environments feel unsafe or uncomfortable. Due to COVID, teens are either stuck inside, which for many is not healthy, or they are out with large groups of peers. This would offer another safe alternative to be in a space where COVID health measures are in place, they are given a meal and opportunities to do schoolwork or spend time with leaders, peers and staff.
“The implementation of a Breakfast and Homework program that follows all COVID restrictions will benefit our community for multiple reasons,” stated Kadie Hughes, Young Life Staff Representative. “Firstly, it is incredibly important to provide a safe space for students to process this overwhelming and anxious time. Secondly, this program supplies families with respite care and resources for their teens. Thirdly, it gives students tools, resources and accountability to do their schoolwork and an opportunity for safe face to face interaction, which is an ever growing need in the pandemic world.”
This grant is made possible through the Government of Canada's $350 million Emergency Community Support Fund, which saw over $900,000 allocated to SurreyCares in its first round and now, over $575,000 in the second round.
“Vulnerable youth have been experiencing increased barriers to receiving necessary support and services throughout the pandemic,” explains Christine Buttkus, the Executive Director of SurreyCares. “Therefore, we are grateful to be able to support YoungLife, an organization who wants to provide a safe space for Surrey youth to visit while still following COVID precautions.”
Individuals and businesses who wish to support Surrey charities are asked to give to the Surrey Community Relief Fund. In partnership with the Surrey Now-Leader, Surrey Board of Trade and The Saheli Foundation, the goal is to raise $500,000 to support the most vulnerable populations in Surrey.
Young Life is always open for more students who need a safe space that supports them in their education, leadership, and faith. To learn more about Young Life, visit https://younglifesurlangrock.com/.