Donation supports youth

The Children's Health Foundation of Vancouver recently donated $26,000 to the youth internet cafe in Campbell River

The Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island recently gave a generous donation to Delaware Youth Internet Cafe, as part of the foundation’s commitment to supporting the health and wellbeing of children and youth.

Thanks to the $26,815 grant, this valuable program offered by The John Howard Society of North Island now has funding to remain open until the end of March 2014. This is the second grant that Children’s Health has given to Delaware.

Delaware is a drop-in program that offers young people ages 13-24 a healthy start to the morning, a nutritious breakfast, literacy and pre-employment skill building, and connections to health programs and other services.

The program is available five mornings a week and is located in John Howard’s Activity Centre in the Campbell River Community Centre.

Laurie Fisher, Children’s Health Community Relations Representative for the North Island, said the foundation is pleased to donate to this program that helps young people who can benefit from the support.

“When I met some of the youth they told me about the importance of belonging and having a place to connect. A lot of youth have been able to reengage through this program, learn life skills, and get better connected with services that can help them,” she said.

After an initial pilot project and more than one year of solid operation for Delaware, participants are reporting many successes, including a decrease in substance use and improved relationships with family and friends.

Respect for each other, respect for the program space, and attending sober are project cornerstones the youth have decided on.

A young man who is a regular attendee said he recently resolved a difficult personal issue with the help of the program. He is now living by a quote inspired by this experience: “Commitment is a promise transformed into reality.”

Wendy Richardson, John Howard’s executive director, said this grant will make a difference in the lives of many youth.

“Delaware helps youth meet basic needs,” she said.

“With a nutritious meal to start the day and support with job searches and other needs, young people who attend Delaware have the opportunity to take positive steps in their lives.”

John Howard operates Delaware in partnership with many other local organizations that support youth.

For more information about Delaware Youth Internet Cafe, call Leanne McIntee at 250-203-3111.