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Anh and Chi: A Story of Success and Care for the Community

July 4, 2023

When times got hard for small restaurants during COVID, entrepreneur sister and brother, Amelie and Vincent Nguyen owners of Anh and Chi restaurant on Main St. in Vancouver, came up with a great way to keep staff and guests safe while supporting people who were struggling in the community.

“Reservation by Donation” gives guests an option to reserve a table by donating $10 per person to a charity of their choice. Every quarter to half a year, the Anh and Chi team shortlists 3-4 community-nominated charities to support BIPOC communities, young people living with mental illness, homelessness, drug use, or food scarcity; seniors living with dignity; and/or refugees and immigrants seeking food and shelter.

Aunt Leah’s was one of those lucky charities. We are thrilled and grateful to Vincent and Amelie for imagining this fabulous way to support the community and thank all of you who voted for us when you made your reservation. Our gift totalled $26,960! These funds will go toward providing housing and support for vulnerable young moms and their kids and youth from foster care with life skills learning, emergency food and funds, education navigation, and employment training.

Anh and Chi Fundraiser
Anh and Chi Fundraiser

Everyone at Aunt Leah’s appreciates the Nguyen family story of survival and commitment – how they built a home in a strange country, their innovation, and their street smarts. As Vietnamese refugees, Mom and Dad arrived in 1980 and began the Pho Hoàng, the very first and most iconic Pho specialty house in Vancouver. The family has thrived with their business endeavours ever since.

There are clear parallels between the Nguyen and the Stewart family who founded Aunt Leah’s. The two families, in fact, were born and brought up in the same East Vancouver neighbourhood, attended the same schools, and took part in local community activities.

 

Gale Stewart, Aunt Leah's founder, with Amélie Nguyễn
Gale Stewart, Aunt Leah’s founder, with Amélie Nguyễn

The Stewarts’ inspiration comes from their Aunt Leah, who took in people during the 1930s great depression and provided them with food and shelter.  Sarah Stewart, Executive Director, carries on the tradition of giving people a way forward, with 59 staff serving 720 young people from foster care last year.

In May this year, we all met at Aunt Leah’s centre in New Westminster. On presenting Aunt Leah’s staff with the giant cheque, Vincent told us, “This is one of the best things I get to do!”  
Aunt Leah’s is honoured to receive this gift from Anh and Chi, and we’ll continue our partnership to build and support our community.

 

Anh and Chi at Aunt Leah's New Westminster Office
Anh and Chi at Aunt Leah’s New Westminster Office Front Desk

June Celebrations

June 29, 2023

June signals the start of summer, but it also includes essential celebrations like BC Child & Youth in Care Week, National Indigenous History Month, Pride Month, and National Indigenous Peoples Day. We have been hard at work finding ways to involve participants in programming, meals, and events that tie in culture and celebrate diversity.

As part of BC Child & Youth in Care Week, participants came together to enjoy an evening at Central City Fun Park, where they shared a meal, played arcade games, and won prizes! Aunt Leah’s also held our Annual Youth Awards Celebration, where participants were recognized for their achievements and efforts with one of five awards.

BC Child & Youth in Care Week aims to raise social awareness and shift negative perceptions, to recognize children and youth in care, like all young people, as individuals with talents, contributions, and dreams. A group of youth in and from care advocated for this week so their siblings in care could grow up feeling celebrated for their diverse talents and accomplishments, surrounded by a supportive community that stands with them. They also wanted to raise awareness about the barriers they face and fight the stigma that comes with being a “foster kid.”

Proclaimed by the province of British Columbia in 2011, BC Child and Youth in Care Week (BCCYICW) is a time for everyone in communities across the province to support and celebrate our province’s incredible, diverse young people in government care. Youth envisioned a week that acknowledges and celebrates the unique strength of young people in care, and that’s how BC Child and Youth in Care Week was created.

BC Youth In Care Week Celebration


Aunt Leah's  2SLGBTQIA+ support graphic

Aunt Leah’s is proud to provide a safe and inclusive space for our 2SLGBTQIA+ youth! June is historically known as Pride Month, but it also kicks off Pride Season, which refers to the wide range of Pride events that take place over the summer, including the New Westminster Pride Parade in June and the Vancouver Pride Parade in August.

Did you know that Pride gatherings emerged from the first large-scale protests for 2SLGBTQIA+ rights? In Canada, the first demonstrations took place in Ottawa and Vancouver in 1971.


In recognition of National Indigenous History Month and National Indigenous Peoples Day, Aunt Leah’s encouraged staff and participants to attend events in their local communities and learn more about the rich and diverse cultures, voices, experiences, and histories of First Nations, Inuit, and Metis Peoples.

National Indigenous History Month Aunt Leah's Booth

Grand Re-Opening of Aunt Leah’s House

April 26, 2023

Newly rebuilt Aunt Leah’s House welcomes women and their babies once again

Aunt Leah’s Foundation announced at the beginning of 2023, the completion of its most recent social purpose housing project, the rebuilding of the original Aunt Leah’s House. Operated by Aunt Leah’s Place, since the 1980s, Aunt Leah’s House has been a safe haven for young moms (often in foster care themselves) and their babies to ensure families remain together and not separated by the child welfare system.

In 2020, pandemic restrictions and protocols limited the number of moms that could be accommodated in an aging house, and repairs and maintenance costs increased to the point where the original house was no longer operable. Aunt Leah’s Foundation undertook the rebuilding of the original house. The project was funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Reaching Home program, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s National Housing Co-Investment Fund, and the Government of British Columbia’s Community Gaming Grants Capital Projects program, as well as a number of generous private donors.

Aunt Leah's House

A former foster parent herself, Gale Stewart, Founder of Aunt Leah’s and B.C. Medal of Good Citizenship Award recipient, saw first-hand the importance of “beginnings” as it applied to the bonding of mom & baby and how she could create a home where these young moms could enjoy the comfort of a lovely space, good food, and intimate times with their newborns. The new purpose-built home has four bedrooms with attached bathrooms, a large training kitchen, office space, and a second-stage self-contained suite that a mom can graduate into. “Together we will continue to provide comfortable beginnings for vulnerable moms and babies, helping to reunite and keep families together,“ said Gale Stewart.

Aunt Leah's House

Now, in 2023, Aunt Leah’s House is beginning to feel like home once again. Participants in Aunt Leah’s Thresholds program have started moving into the house and the legacy of the home that started it all, continues to grow.

Aunt Leah's House

Supported by Aunt Leah’s Thresholds Program, moms live in a safe, caring home environment where they can learn how to care for their babies with the guidance of staff and family support workers. “For 35 years this house has been dedicated to keeping families together,” said Sarah Stewart, Executive Director of Aunt Leah’s Place. “During this time more than 400 families have called Aunt Leah’s house home and we are honoured to continue to serve our community in this way.”

“Despite the challenges of fundraising and executing a project during pandemic times, it was the critical support of our partners, government funders, and donors who believed in its importance that made it possible,” said Jacqueline Dupuis, Executive Director of Aunt Leah’s Foundation.

Aunt Leah's House Aunt Leah's House

Spring 2023 E-Newsletter

April 26, 2023

In this edition, we share an update on Aunt Leah’s newest home for young mothers and their families in our Thresholds program. We have a story on one of our supporters, whose journey as a volunteer at Aunt Leah’s comes full circle. His story is powerful, shining light on what it means to give back to your community and how he continues to make a difference. Read on to catch up with how things are going at Aunt Leah’s so far, in 2023.

You can read these stories from our 2023 Spring issue below

Fulton’s Story

April 25, 2023

Fulton’s Story | Volunteering is great, but I want to do more!

For thirty years, Fulton Tom was an economics professor at Langara College. “When covid hit, all our classes went online and I didn’t enjoy teaching online, it wasn’t very personal, you didn’t get to see the student’s faces, and you just didn’t know if they were understanding the lesson at all.” When the pandemic struck, moving classes to a virtual format, Fulton thought back to his life goal of retirement at age 55. “It would be great around 55 if I didn’t like what I was doing I could just stop doing it and so covid and the fact that all my teaching was online during covid, sort of convinced me I was done with teaching and I wanted to try some different things.” As Fulton transitioned into his retirement, enjoying all of his extra downtime, came the thought of what next?

 

After volunteering with Aunt Leah’s, Fulton’s dedication to the organization transitioned him to an official staff role, as Aunt Leah’s Food Security Specialist. Recognizing ways to improve efficiency and cut costs as a volunteer, Fulton wanted to give more of his time to Aunt Leah’s Place, including using his background in teaching to provide essential life skills to participants. Fulton loves to cook and loves to teach, so naturally he wanted to teach participants how to cook their own meals at home. “On Aunt Leah’s website, it talked about helping the participants learn basic cooking skills, and basic food preparation skills, so coming from a teaching background I was still really interested in teaching. I wasn’t that keen on teaching economics anymore, but cooking was something I thought I could teach to participants.”

Fulton Tom cooking in the kitchen

Every volunteer has something that connects them to the organization they support, and with Fulton, that connection goes almost as far back as the organization itself. “I had a long-ago connection with Aunt Leah’s, over 30 years ago I used to make ornaments and jewelry and tried to sell them. One of the first places I was selling them through, was Leah’s retail store in the Marpole area near marine drive. So, when it came to looking for a non-profit to volunteer for, I was looking locally, I live in New Westminster, and Aunt Leah’s was based in New Westminster. I had that connection long ago and Aunt Leah’s is really highly rated on Charity Intelligence, so those were some of the main reasons why I chose to volunteer with Aunt Leah’s.”

 

Fulton also acknowledges his own home life as part of the reason he decided to give back and volunteer with Aunt Leah’s. “I have an adult son that lives at home and I recognize the challenges that youth face today with high housing costs and low employment income and how they need support well into their adult years. It got me thinking, well if I’m supporting my adult son, what about youth that don’t have family support? I felt that given what I saw my son going through it was important to give back to the community and see how I could help others.”

Food stores for participants

“I have to say, the most heartwarming recognition that I get is from the participants when they come to get the meals and they tell me how much they appreciate getting a home-cooked meal. That’s really the best part of being a volunteer. Knowing that I’m doing something in the community that has value to someone is what makes it fulfilling.”

—Fulton Tom, Aunt Leah’s Food Security Specialist

Fulton Tom organizing food kits for participants

On the transition from a volunteer position to a staff role, Fulton says, “I see becoming a staff member, sort of extending my role as a volunteer and trying to make what we do here at Aunt Leah’s more efficient, both cost-efficient and more effective for the participants. One of my tasks is to try to increase the amount of food donations we get. So, it’s also a learning experience for me. Having volunteered, I thought there were some things that would really improve things for the participants and also, budget-wise for Aunt Leah’s. So, I thought I did retire, and I have a lot of time on my hands so that all sort of fell together and that’s the reason why I decided to apply for the role here. One of the things I’ve been trying to do is to give back some of the money, so I just signed up to be a monthly donor for Aunt Leah’s too.”

In May of 2022, Fulton began volunteering at Aunt Leah’s Place, supporting the organization with our food security program. He prepared meals for Aunt Leah’s participants on a weekly basis and organized grocery hampers for youth to bring home. “As a volunteer, I would come every Wednesday and my main role was to prepare and cook the Wednesday meal for participants. I would also be here when the food donation came in, so if I had time, I would help sort through that. Sometimes something comes in that perhaps doesn’t look good enough to go into a hamper, but I might be able to incorporate it into our meal. I equate it to the cooking competition chopped, where you get this mystery box and then you have to figure out what to make with it.”

Volunteer helping out in the kitchen

When asked what he would say to people who are considering volunteering, Fulton says, “I think they should take that step. Another benefit of volunteering, is you get to meet other people, like Esther, we were acquaintances before but we really didn’t know each other very well, but by volunteering together we have gotten to know each other much more and we have become really good friends.”

On whether or not he would recommend volunteering with Aunt Leah’s, Fulton says, “I would! Aunt Leah’s work is really meaningful to the participants that it helps. Talking with people at the appreciation dinner last night, they all talked about how they enjoyed their volunteer work, and how they really valued being part of Aunt Leah’s, noting that Aunt Leah’s is a top-rated charity, which I think should be encouraging for people. Letting people know that they have wonderful services for our participants and really make a difference in their lives. So those are things that people should keep in mind when they’re looking for volunteer opportunities.”

We are incredibly thankful for our volunteers, and without support from volunteers, Aunt Leah’s certainly would not be the organization we are today. A special thank you goes out to Fulton, we are so excited to see you continue to make a difference in the lives of our participants. 

Fulton Tom

Considering volunteering?

Learn more on our volunteers’ page


Aunt Leah’s House Reopening Celebration

January 25, 2023

Opening of the New Aunt Leah’s House Marks its 35th Anniversary

In January 2023, the newly rebuilt Aunt Leah’s House is set to welcome vulnerable women and their babies once again.

VANCOUVER, BCAunt Leah’s Foundation announced today the completion of its most recent social purpose housing project, the rebuilding of the original Aunt Leah’s House. Operated by Aunt Leah’s Place, since the 1980’s, Aunt Leah’s House has been a safe haven for young moms (often in foster care themselves) and their babies to ensure families remain together and not separated by the child welfare system. 

Supported by Aunt Leah’s Place Thresholds Program, moms live in a safe, caring home environment where they can learn how to care for their baby with the guidance of staff and family support workers. “For 35 years this house has been dedicated to keeping families together,” said Sarah Stewart, Executive Director of Aunt Leah’s Place. “During this time more than 400 families have called Aunt Leah’s house home and we are honoured to continue to serve our community in this way.” A former foster parent herself, Gale Stewart, Founder of Aunt Leah’s and B.C. Medal of Good Citizenship Award recipient, saw first-hand the importance of “beginnings” as it applied to the bonding of mom & baby and how she could create a home where these young moms could enjoy the comfort of a lovely space, good food and intimate times with their newborns. The new purpose-built home will have four bedrooms with attached bathrooms, a large training kitchen, office space and a second stage self-contained suite that a mom can graduate into. “Together we will continue to provide comfortable beginnings for vulnerable moms and babies, helping to re-unite and keep families together,“ said Gale Stewart.

In 2020, pandemic restrictions and protocols limited the number of moms that could be accommodated in an aging house, and repairs and maintenance costs increased to the point where the original house was no longer operable. Aunt Leah’s Foundation undertook the rebuilding of the original house. The project was funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Reaching Home program, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s National Housing Co-Investment Fund and the Government of British Columbia’s Community Gaming Grants Capital Projects program, as well as a number of generous private donors. “Despite the challenges of fundraising and executing a project during pandemic times, it was the critical support of our partners, government funders and donors who believed in its importance that made it possible,” said Jacqueline Dupuis, Executive Director, Aunt Leah’s Foundation.

“Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home,” said The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion. Our government is proud to support the redevelopment of Aunt Leah’s House, a home where mothers can rest, grow and regain their independence in a safe and secure environment. At Aunt Leah’s, mothers will have the opportunity to rebuild their lives and access the critical support services necessary for them to emerge stronger. This is one way our government’s National Housing Strategy is ensuring no one is left behind.”

“Aunt Leah’s House provides a crucial service to those most vulnerable in our society. Its rebuilding ensures that more mothers and children will receive safe housing and services they need,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Municipal Affairs. “By funding important projects like this, the Province is helping support a brighter future for mothers, families and their little ones entering the world.”

About Aunt Leah’s Place
For over 30 years, Aunt Leah’s Place has been helping kids in foster care and young mothers achieve a better future. We do this by providing guidance, supported housing, job training and
coaching on essential life skills. We believe every individual deserves to feel safe, cared for, and have a sense of belonging. Unfortunately, this is not a reality for many teens in the foster care system. When they “age out” of government care at 19, they find themselves completely alone. Aunt Leah’s often provides the only thread of care and continuity for youth whose lives are
marked by abuse, neglect, abandonment and multiple foster home placements. Over the years, we have seen how support at this critical time can help these young people realize their
potential while becoming resilient, independent adults.

About Aunt Leah’s Foundation
In 2013, recognizing the need for more housing options, Aunt Leah’s Place launched a foundation for the purpose of building a social purpose housing portfolio that would provide safe, affordable housing for new mothers and young people leaving foster care. Today the Foundation has a portfolio of four shared-living homes and an 11-unit apartment building, housing 25-30 at-risk youth each year. Most recently the Foundation undertook a project to rebuild the original Aunt Leah’s House.

Aunt Leah’s Christmas Tree Lots Provide Housing and Hope for Young Moms

January 24, 2023

For folks looking to get into the Christmas spirit this year, purchasing a fresh, locally sourced Aunt Leah’s Tree or volunteering at an Aunt Leah’s Tree lot – open in Vancouver November 24th, and in Burnaby and Coquitlam November 25th – is the perfect way to experience some holiday cheer and help support vulnerable foster youth and young moms and their children.

Chelsea was a pregnant 15-year-old in foster care with nowhere to go. That was when Aunt Leah’s Place, a Vancouver charity that provides housing and support for young moms and fosters teens, stepped in.

“I don’t think I could have raised my daughter on my own without that help,” says Chelsea. “Aunt Leah’s has been like a family to me. They taught me how to take care of my baby and myself.”

Without the stable housing and support that Aunt Leah’s House offered, Chelsea would have been at risk of losing her baby to the child welfare system.

“Without a supportive home to go to, these young moms would be homeless and lose their babies to the foster care system,” says Sarah Stewart, Executive Director of Aunt Leah’s. “We are trying to stop this cycle.”

With Aunt Leah’s support Chelsea learned life skills and how to care for her baby. She also went back to school and graduated from South Burnaby High school.

The Aunt Leah’s Tree sales are a major source of revenue for the housing and programs that Aunt Leah’s provides for vulnerable foster youth and young moms and babies. Studies show that 50% of BC foster youth will experience homelessness, and young single moms have experienced even greater levels of housing and food insecurity during the pandemic.

After establishing a career as an aesthetician and successfully caring for her two children, Chelsea found herself homeless and without a job at the beginning of the pandemic. “It was brutal. I was renovicted, and the salon was shut down due to Covid. I was couch-surfing on a friend’s couch with nowhere to go. An Aunt Leah’s participant reached out to me, and I contacted them. They were so helpful.”

Chelsea moved into the Aunt Leah’s Laneway house with her two children. They are now in school, and Chelsea is upgrading her skills at college with hopes of opening her own salon.

Aunt Leah’s has been a lifeline for moms in need, providing housing, food hampers, living essentials and a supportive and compassionate adult to help them navigate these challenging times. In addition to the current housing that Aunt Leah’s provides for young moms and children, Aunt Leah’s House in Burnaby is almost complete with 5 more families ready to move in January 2023. Plans are also underway to build a laneway house on the premises which will provide more housing and activity space, giving Aunt Leah’s new capacity to provide affordable housing to moms from care and their babies.

Proceeds from Aunt Leah’s Christmas Tree Lots will go toward supporting the programs needed to successfully run these housing projects.

Aunt Leah’s is also proud to announce that they have been selected as one of Canada’s Top 10 Impact Charities for 2022 by Charity Intelligence (Ci).

Fall 2022 E-Newsletter

September 14, 2022

Fall 2022 E-Newsletter

It’s time for new beginnings and Aunt Leah’s fall newsletter!

With the school season starting, we’d like to place Aunt Leah’s SEFFY (Supporting Education for Foster Youth) program in the spotlight! The fall edition of our newsletter celebrates the educational achievements of our participants and the ongoing impact of our donors.

Read Andrea’s journey through the SEFFY program and how her experience influenced her to become a supporter. You’ll also learn about the positive impact that our donors’ contributions make in fulfilling the educational goals of foster youth.

Andrea’s Story | A Journey of Support to Giving Back

 

As summer comes to a close, a new chapter begins for those starting post-secondary this fall. Aunt Leah’s SEFFY (Supporting Education for Foster Youth) program works with participants throughout their educational journey. Aunt Leah’s provided support to Andrea after she had graduated from high school and begun her post-secondary education. The pressures of maintaining housing while attending university full-time led to Andrea seeking out Aunt Leah’s SEFFY program. SEFFY staff provided support for Andrea to access various funding sources so she could gain some financial stability while continuing with her program. Aunt Leah’s staff remained connected with Andrea, checking in with her periodically, about her health and wellbeing. When Andrea was having difficulty navigating the post-secondary education system, SEFFY staff members advocated for Andrea and formed a support system for her.

Staff additionally met with Andrea to celebrate educational milestones and achievements, and to discuss any other education support she needed. 

Youth need connection, community and to celebrate important moments, and Aunt Leah’s Place provides this important support as well as financial assistance to support their education. 

Andrea has since gone on to graduate from her program and now works in the health care sector, as an emergency department nurse. She’s in contact with SEFFY staff. To give back and create opportunities for others like herself, Andrea created a peer-to-peer bursary, at Aunt Leah’s which she contributes to yearly.

Andrea, a previous SEFFY participant

“I’m so excited to be able to be in a position to help someone, just like how the SEFFY team and Aunt Leah’s Place helped me. I hope that as the years go by, I can increase the amount and help out more.” 

—Andrea, Former SEFFY Participant

Fall newsletter, a young man graduating

Education Supporters go to the Head of the Class!  

Did you know that in BC only 32% of foster youth graduate from high school within six years of entering Grade 8? That’s a marked difference from the overall graduation rate of 84%!

One of Aunt Leah’s most important achievements is the 74 youth who have graduated or are on track to graduate from high school between 2019 to 2022. 

We want to thank the Allan and Gill Gray Foundation – founded by Allan Gray, the owner of the international firm – Orbis Investments, for their extremely generous support which totaled $764,000. 

This deep commitment over the past 3 years enabled us to provide rental subsidies, bursaries, and tuition fees, as well as deliver staff support for education planning and navigation.

And our own local hero – The Trevor Linden Foundation, has supported our “High Needs Fund” which supports young people who need help with housing, childcare, technology, and supplies so they can continue with school. Since 2014 Trevor Linden has granted a total of $318,182 to the SEFFY program and this vital fund. Of that amount, $158,000 was given out to 140 students to enable them to participate in learning opportunities that significantly furthered their life goals.

Needless to say, these amazing philanthropists leave big shoes to fill. We ask that you share our stories of success far and wide as we reach out to future donors.  

Last year 176 young people took part in a wide variety of learning opportunities because of you, our generous donors – thank you! 

Supporters large and small – individuals, businesses and charitable foundations – continue to form the foundation of our education program. We deeply appreciate each and every one of you! Please continue to support the brighter futures that learning and education bring.


How else can I help?

There are many ways that you can help make a difference in the lives of the youth and moms we work with.

Get Involved Today

Summer 2022 E-Newsletter

July 7, 2022

Summer 2022 E-Newsletter

Aunt Leah’s is happy to welcome you to our summer e-news for 2022!

This quarter, we’d like to share the wonderful impact of our supporters within the community along with Aunt Leah’s amazing participants.  

Read about Ik Sansar’s inspiring dedication and generosity in their mission to help women and children. And hear the stories of moms in need and foster youth while celebrating the milestones they have achieved during our Award’s Ceremony.

Ik Sansar Foundation

Ik Sansar Foundation’s team; starting from the left: Roman, Sheema, Dal, Justin, Vipran and Roman’s nieces Sadha and Naseeb.

Ik Sansar Foundation and Roman Singh | Donor Profile

 

 

Aunt Leah’s Place thrives because of the thousands of donors and supporters who care about the futures of young people leaving foster care.

 This summer edition of e-news celebrates the generosity of the Ik Sansar Foundation.

 We interviewed Roman Singh who told us about the organization.

Ik Sansar means “one world”, and this not-for-profit organization believes in treating everyone equally and like brothers and sisters.  They dedicate themselves to helping at-risk women and children and indigenous communities. Aunt Leah’s is honoured to partner with this committed organization.

The organization began a few years ago through the goodwill and intention of a small group of friends and family who own and run Vakari Creations furniture company 

They began to support the local community by helping out with Kiwassa Neighbourhood House Youth, starting the Homework Club by providing supplies and sports equipment. Meals for local shelters came next and when the floods hit Abbotsford and the surrounding area they mobilized their team to organize emergency food and supplies and transport them by any way possible to remote areas.

 

Aunt Leah’s benefits enormously from Ik Sansar’s support.  Our Wednesday lunches are now supplied by Ik Sansar and we often receive special deliveries of bulk groceries thanks to their network.  Our young people came out to celebrate  Youth in Care Week a few weeks ago at Central City Fun Park, an awesome event that was made possible with their sponsorship. Everyone loved the mini-golf, bowling, arcade games, and especially rollerskating!

Giving back is important for Roman and friends. Having made the connection to Aunt Leah’s through one of our staff, they are convinced that the young people we serve should have the opportunity to get the education, skills and employment that they need to live successfully.  We couldn’t agree more.  Thanks to everyone at Ik Sansar Foundation!


Celebrating Youth in Care | Youth in Care Week, May 30th – June 3rd 

 

Youth in Care don’t often have many opportunities for celebration; working to finish high school, trying to find housing, and navigating the harsh reality of life after government care, there doesn’t leave much time for celebrations.

 “Aunt Leah’s provided me with the opportunity to be acknowledged for my efforts and passion when I won the Jeremy Wright award for following my bliss in 2016,” says Braydon, a former participant in the Support Link program, and active Link program participant.

This year for the 12th annual BC Youth in Care week, Aunt Leah’s held its 18th annual Youth Awards, celebrating youth in Aunt Leah’s programs, as recipients of four special awards. “Having someone recognize that I had something in my life that I was deeply committed to, and the fact that it showed through my actions, was really important” said Braydon, when asked about being the recipient of his award.

Braydon was in attendance at this year’s awards ceremony, where he was able to once again experience that same joy of the award he received, being given to a new youth who exemplifies those same qualities in following their bliss. With one of Aunt Leah’s core values being “celebration is essential to a successful life”, Aunt Leah’s Youth Awards serves as an annual reminder that just because we might not always feel that life is worth celebrating, or sometimes our achievements feel minuscule, it is still important to remember that we are worth celebrating!

Award Winners 2022

Photo of Aunt Leah’s Youth Award winners: Jason (Jeremy Wright Award), Kaylie (Champion Award), Sim (Leah Award), Andy (Rona Award).

Thank you for Supporting Aunt Leah’s Youth! 

We are so glad that we held our Annual Youth Awards Ceremony in person this year, after having this event online the past two years!

Coming together to commemorate the achievements of four incredible people provided us with an afternoon filled with celebration, laughter, and joy.  At Aunt Leah’s we believe that celebration is essential to a successful life, and we are so incredibly proud of our youth award winners for continuing to grow and shine, despite the challenges they face.  

Thank you to the many supporters and community members who were in attendance, your energy and support made this a successful celebration. For our supporters who were unable to attend, we hope you will join us next year when we celebrate our next group of award winners!


How else can I help?

There are many ways that you can help make a difference in the lives of the youth and moms we work with.

Get Involved Today

Newsletter 2020

June 10, 2022

Inside this issue: In this newsletter, we have five different stories to share including a Partnership Highlight with Aunt Leah’s Foundation, a story from Aunt Leah’s participant Rain, on overcoming obstacles with strength and kindness, a Volunteer Spotlight with Jonathan Lopez, a story about Lale House & Supportive Suites, and a story from a former Aunt Leah’s House participant Diana.

You can read these stories from our 2020 issue below

Newsletter 2019

June 10, 2022

Inside this issue: In this newsletter, we hear from Brendan who is giving youth a voice and more possibilities for the future. “Plates of Possibility is a program run for youth, by youth.” Brendan wants to see more youth contribute their ideas and set them on the path to success. Along with Brendan’s story, our 2019 Newsletter highlights:

  • A Conversation with Barbara Coates (Executive Director) and Tom Littlewood (Program Director) at Dan’s Legacy
  • Donor Spotlight: MNP

Read Issue