“To awaken hopes and dreams by overcoming hunger and poverty”
It has been a mandate of every community that no child should ever go hungry. A simple request that every child should have a full and nutritious breakfast, lunch and dinner is an idealistic goal, but unfortunately a goal that most communities cannot accomplish. Many children do go hungry, cannot afford even the basic school supplies and therefore their grades, self esteem and personal nutrition suffer greatly. Three women fromMontreal,QuebecCanadarealized a problem within their community and decided to do something about it.
In 1989, there was a public plea for clothing and food for the homeless.Montrealis known for its frigid winter temperatures so staying very warm is essential. Three women called the local newspaper, the Montreal Gazette, for aid in donating clothes and food. The response was great, many people called to give and to volunteer. The very next year, Share The Warmth was officially incorporated. They would collect food and clothing and deliver it to the homeless on the street. The rest would go to homeless shelters and drop in centers.
In 1992, after a public call for even more food and clothing for those living in homes under the poverty line, Share The Warmth expanded their mandate. Requests poured into share the warmth, to organize a food bank, to aid youth living in group homes and sadly, even schools were highly concerned about their many hungry students. Something needed to be done.
Share The Warmth was deeply concerned about the children. Children and youth in the area of Point St. Charles andVerdunwere very bright but needed the tools in order to succeed. Students were lacking supplies and some could not even afford notebooks to write in. Drop out rates in these areas were alarming. Share the Warmth organized a youth group, created scholarships for students, organized music clubs and aided tutoring programs through the generous donations of local businesses and people. Share The Warmth also has a second hand shop located on site. Most of the programs are organized by volunteers, willing to give back to their community.
Behind the great organization of Share The Warmth are its people. Debbie Gunn runs many of Share The Warmth’s programs. Once a single mother on welfare, Debbie decided to give back to the community 15 years ago and volunteer at Share The Warmth. Debbie was worried that her skills would not match what Share The Warmth was looking for. When asked what her talents were, she replied, “I am a good mother.” Little did Debbie know at the time that maternal instincts and a big heart was exactly what Share The Warmth needed. The organization gave her the confidence she needed to leave the welfare system and look for full time work. Share The Warmth, did not want to lose her and offered her a full time paid job immediately. She now heads their second hand shop, the Christmas Box program, volunteer program and back to school program. It’s all about people helping people.
Share The Warmth always needs volunteers and donations. There website is www.sharethewarmth.ca and they have an incredibly kind and generous staff. If you are looking to institute something similar in your community, what Share The Warmth has is an excellent model for you.
No one should ever go cold or hungry. Our children, no matter where they are born or in what financial situation, should have equal access to an education and have a chance to achieve their dreams and learn a skill set for their future. Share The Warmth is one organization making those dreams a reality. Thousands of people are eating, clothed and better educated because of such a small group of caring people.
As for me, finding real philanthropists making a difference has been a humbling experience. I am slowly receiving great stories from people across the world, but I want more! Visit me at my facebook page, Facebook: Grace Ste.Croix and tell me about someone or an organization that are making a difference for others.
For donations, information or to get in contact with Share The Warmth, visit: www.sharethewarmth.ca
Share the Warmth Foundation /Partageons l’espoir
625 Fortune St.
Tel.: (514) 933-5599
Fax.: (514) 933-7270
Registration No. 129600813 RR0001
Since 1989 – Share the Warmth Foundation