Queen Alexandra Elementary School Visit

What a great afternoon we had yesterday.  One of the best things about being on the CWC board is the places we find ourselves in and the people we meet that are making-on-the-ground level differences.  We have big hearts for single moms and kids struggling with poverty – every one of us onour board is a mother;  we mothers all over the world want only the best for our kids.  A few years ago, we added After School Care to our mandate to help where and when we could, depending on our incredibly generous and compassionate donors.  Long story short, we are now able to fund after school programs at 4 inner city schools!   Moms that know their kids have a place to be after school can work.

 So yesterday, we were able to visit and say hi to Queen Alex Elementary school, now that school is up and running.  We stopped by, to see things in action.  Taylor is the new program coordinator for the after school programs at Queen Alex (which used to be run off the side of the desk by a teacher, now that’s dedication!).  When you meet Taylor for the first time, she literally glows with excitement.  This is a woman who cares for kids!  Who revels in the chaos that elementary schools can be.  Armed with her meticulous attention to scheduling details and spreadsheets (think about it – 190 kids, 290 program time slots, volunteers from the programs themselves, student volunteers, parents, staff…and ALL THE KIDS – the coordination is “wow”), she calmly led us around and explained the things kids were able to participate in. 

 Piano.  Violin.  Choir.  Writers Room.  Big Brothers and soon to be Big Sisters.  Science.  Many more.  Taking place all over this school, using donated piano’s, hallways, classrooms, quiet areas, noisy areas, filled with the sounds of violins and piano, kids voices.  Engaged, meaningful, safe, nurtured sounds. To see 6 young kids sitting as close as they can to their university age volunteer who is teaching them the magic of music certainly brought smiles to our faces.  Peaking in the window at the small girl who’s feet did not reach the floor learning some piano (noting the sign on the door:  quiet please, piano lesson in session), knowing these teachers and volunteers are impacting these kids (and vice versa I’m sure) for years to come in ways they are not even aware of.   

 Inspiring.   Thank you again Taylor (and to all your volunteers!!), for your care, passion and organization for these kids and these awesome programs. 

Kids First at Hastings Elementary

We were thrilled to present a cheque today for $76,100 towards Kids First after-school programming at Hastings Elementary in Vancouver. Kids First is aimed at providing the city’s most vulnerable students with academic, social, and emotional support, as well as nutritional snacks in a safe and welcoming environment.

CWC is also pleased to announce that a total of $251,475 of funds has been pledged to four Vancouver schools, including Hastings Elementary, to enable them to continue their Kids First after-school programs over the next three years. CWC initially funded a pilot after-school program in 2013 at Thunderbird Elementary and this year, solely funded by CWC, the school has been able to expand their Kids First program from four to five days a week.

 CWC is also funding a pilot program at Queen Alexandra Elementary and at Macdonald Elementary and Hastings Elementarywhere the program has been running for 12 years —  CWC stepped in and funded their shortfall, whilst additionally committing to the same amount for 2015/16.

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Cause We Care Foundation Gives Again

It was a proud moment for Cause We Care Foundation yesterday as they presented Thunderbird Elementary School a cheque for $36,000 for the Kids First After School Program.  This program provides a healthy snack and additional support for kids in need.

Thank you to all of our donors who made this possible!


April Fundraiser party in support of after school programs

Our April Fundraiser party was an amazing success for after school programs in our city!  Thank you to our sponsors, Haywood Securities, Monique Badun and Kim Craig of MacDonald Realty, Scott Wilson, Equinox Gallery, Hawskworth Restaurant, Provident Security and Sim Digital for supporting our event. Thank you to all of the volunteers who worked at our event and to all of the supporters who attended and donated helping Cause We Care Foundation fund after school programs in our city.  The funds raised that night along with funds already raised will go to support after school programs at three inner city schools, a pilot program at another inner city school and a summer break program supporting 340 kids for 8 weeks this summer.

April Fundraiser for After School Programs - 2015

Cause We Care supports Women in trades training

Tradeworks Training Society is an organization situated in the DTES with a mission to assist women and youth with barriers to employment to develop skills and abilities to secure meaningful employment. Since 1994 Tradeworks has been providing training in life and employment skills and training in the trade of carpentry. Through their Women's Workshop over 48 women annually are provided an introductory carpentry training program providing essential skills for entry to employment in the trades. The women who attend the program are a diverse group all with significant barriers to employment and over half of the participants are single mothers.Once the women graduate from the program some return for extra support which may include additional workshop time to hone a particular carpentry skill, meeting with a life and employable skills instructor to help with issues they may be experiencing or for general support. Cause We Care Foundation is proud to help fund this post-program support and instruction and to see these women go onto sustainable employment and futures for themselves and their families. We were excited to visit the Tradeworks shop and meet some of the current participants.

Groundbreaking @ YWCA Cause We Care House

It was with much anticipation, excitement and pride that we attended the official groundbreaking ceremony for the Vancouver Public Library's nə́c̓aʔmat ct Strathcona Branch and the YWCA Cause We Care House on Monday, January 19th. Beginning with a Coast Salish brushing off ceremony and inspiring words from Chief Ian Campbell, we heard from all levels of government, the VPL, the YWCA and other representatives of supporters of the project. This project will be a legacy in the neighbourhood as well as for Vancouver as a whole and we are proud to have the Cause We Care name on the building.

Thank you!! Christmas Hamper Drive 2014 and Thunderbird Christmas Party 2014

Thank you! On December 9th over 70 volunteers came together to fill and deliver over 600 Christmas hampers to 20 front-line organizations, transition houses and inner city schools to distribute to single mother-led families this Christmas.  Thank you to all of the sponsors and donors who helped make this possible. Many thanks to these companies for contributing to and supporting our hamper drive.

Aritzia

Army & Navy

Bosa Foods

Creative Packaging

Dr. Laura Wan

Dueck Auto Group

Nova 2 Beauty Ltd.

Purdy's Chocolates

Save-On-Foods Cambie St.

Urban Impact Recycling

 

Thank you to the Glowbal Group of Restaurants for partnering with us and putting on the first ever Christmas dinner at Thunderbird Elementary.  Thanks also goes to A&B Partytime Rentals for donating all of the rentals for the event, Moore's Bakery for the gingerbread cookies and Butter Baked Goods for the candy for decorating and all the volunteers who helped at the event.

KidsFirst

We here at CWC are passionate about our programs and initiatives.  We love the community connections on all levels, big and small.  We get so excited about our plans….and often find ourselves caught up in the all the details about how to possibly pull it all together – and we’ve such awesome volunteers alongside  in everything we do! We LOVE when we are reminded of WHY we are doing what we do with the amazing support of our donors and volunteers, so when we were touched by a simple heartfelt note from someone who is a crusader for the kids at Thunderbird Elementary, we wanted to share it with you as well:

“…..I can see how the support of Kids First helps to ensure that homework is completed and gives them that extra push to ensure their success. 

I continue to believe that Kids First is the best program for our school.  We have the best people working with the students.  The space is amazing, warm and welcome.  The kids are nourished both with food and ideas to stretch their minds to think beyond.  There have been many  success as why we continue to need Kids First.  An example of this is Nathan- who comes each day and says "I like LIFE better. What are we going to do today."  He comes each day to the warm safe environment it provides.  The biggest thing is that he stays.  Another student wanted to leave Thunderbird.  Kids First kept her here.  She has been given the opportunity to take on a leadership role and by having her here after school it creates a piece of mind for her single mom.

Kids First is a place that is consistent, nurturing.  I am so grateful for you and Cause We Care.  You support us in making it possible, making it happen.  Cause We Care is our guardian angel.” 

This is why it is indeed KidsFirst.

Save the Date Change

Our fall fundraiser has been postponed until February.   The event was to raise funds which directly support Cause We Care school programs.  However due to the strike, those programs are suspended.  Unfortunately for needy, inner city students, no classes means no meal programs or after-school programs. We will be in touch with our 2015 date soon.

Mother's Day Drive 2014 Thank you

Thank you!  Thanks to your generous donations and support we filled and delivered 350 Mother's Day hampers to 14 front-line organizations in time for Mother's Day.  Thank you to Army & Navy for sponsoring the hampers this year and to Halo Salon and Save-On-Foods Cambie street for added items.  We had amazing volunteers who helped with filling and delivering the hampers.  Below are some pics from the day. We have received various thank you's from moms who received a hamper and volunteers.  We wanted to share some of these with you.

[box type="shadow"]Thank you so much for the mother's day basket. Being a single mom of a 7 year old boy meant this mothers day was mostly work with no pampering or relaxing, so the basket I received from you was the highlight of my day topped only by my son's loving poem. Thank you again, I don't think you can know how much it means, it made me feel special, and I really needed that. May good fortune follow you like a puppy dog. ~ Candace, Single Mother's Group, North Shore Women's Centre

I just wanted to say Thank you so much for the lovely Mothers Day baskets for the young moms. I delivered them on Friday and each mom was deeply touched by the thoughtfulness of "Cause we care". We really appreciate you thinking of the Young Parent Program year after year. It means a lot to the moms. ~ North Shore Neighbourhood House

I just delivered the 10 hampers, bus passes and cream envelopes to Monroe House. The ladies were so appreciative and thankful, I walked away brimming with tears. If I can help further, please let me know. If they need anything please let me know, I would be happy to help at anytime.  Thank you to your foundation on an excellent cause. ~ Cause We Care volunteer[/box]

Mother's Day Luncheon

On May 1st, just in time for Mother’s Day, over 100 women gathered at Trattoria Italian Kitchen on West 4th Avenue in Vancouver to honour all mothers and to support single mothers in need through Cause We Care Foundation.  Thank you to the staff at Trattoria for their wonderful service and support.  Thank you to Bacci's for donating a gorgeous Celine bag for our raffle. Thank you to Kid Carson for attending as our guest of honour and for speaking on his experience of growing up with limited means and being raised by a single mom.   Finally, thank you to all those who supported and attended our event.

March Break at Thunderbird

Now that March has arrived, you may be asked several times a day what your family’s plans are for March break.  With excitement, you relay your plans to take the kids skiing or maybe Disneyland or a sunny, warm destination.  For many families, March break causes stress because without school, many kids have no place to be that is safe, secure and provides something to do. With 51 kids on their list for the after school program at Thunderbird Elementary, there are many kids that need a safe-haven at March break.  Cause We Care is honoured to fund the first ever March break program at Thunderbird where kids can go from 8:30 to 3:00pm with lunch and snacks provided and activities to boot.  Thanks to your donations, Cause We Care is able to relieve a little stress around the school breaks this year. We (and the kids) thank you for your support; it is making a very real difference in the lives of the Thunderbird Elementary students.

Sketch pads and coloured felts

Sketch pads and colored felts – how art can educate, nurture, excite and calm all at the same time! Heartfelt thanks again to David & Jill for their thoughtful and compassionate donation – each child in the after school program KidsFirst at Thunderbird Elementary received their very own sketch pad and pack of felts in the fall, and the teachers report great benefits already!

For each child to have their own drawing supplies, for their own personal  use and care, to express privately or for sharing whatever they feel given to creating on any given day is a powerful blessing for kids living in an at risk and vulnerable area in our own corner of the world.  Each child keeps their art tucked away in their own cubby, with ownership and pride.

A child who is unable to put words to a situation or a fear or a feeling may often be able to express themselves in drawing and color to “speak” what they cannot say - vividly and safely. Joy and Sadness. Fear and Excitement.  Worry and Relief. The art often speaks for itself.

Thunderbird Elementary is an Inner City School and the KidsFirst Afterschool program is funded by the Cause We Care Foundation (see our blog for more details).