zoom meetingCandlelighters Simcoe is a support organization for parents whose child or teen has been diagnosed with cancer. When a child is diagnosed with cancer, life changes dramatically and immediately.  Treatment for cancer can come at a high price for families. Quite often their quality of life is compromised by the financial and socio-economic impacts that result from a child literally “fighting for their life” while enduring cancer treatment.

Candlelighters Simcoe will use the 100Women donation to help support our financial aid programs. Families are gifted with a Care Package when their child is diagnosed with cancer. This includes gift cards and funds to assist with parking. We also have an emergency fund for families that are in desperate need of funds. As you can imagine the need for assistance has grown exponentially due to COVID19. In addition, we are in the process of launching a tutoring program. We currently have parents of 40 children who have expressed a need for financial assistance to ensure their children are successful at school.

Candlelighters will make every effort to use the funds donated to support families in New Tecumseth, Adjala and Essa. We are anticipating an increased enrollment in those areas as we have a new Interlink nurse (from Sick Kids) that will be referring new families to us. This donation will ensure all families get the supports they need.

CMHA York and South Simcoe has made a commitment to tackle the loss of young lives to mental illness, addiction and suicide through the establishment of MOBYSS (Mobile York and South Simcoe), Ontario’s first and only mobile walk-in health clinic for youth aged 12-25 years.

Serving approximately 5,000 youth per year, MOBYSS provides immediate access to mental and physical health care. In March 2020, in response to the global pandemic, MOBYSS transferred all services from in-person to virtual. 10 months into a pandemic that shows no signs of relenting, COVID-19 stress is hitting youth especially hard.

Our MOBYSS team and clinics have gone virtual to ensure marginalized and at-risk students at Banting Memorial (Alliston), Nottawasaga Pines (Angus) and Nantyr Shores (Innisfil) continue to have access to MOBYSS programming and professional mental and physical health care expertise, regardless of whether they are pursuing in-person on on-line academic learning this year. As the pandemic has progressed, demand for CMHA YRSS services has increased overall and youth are more frequently seeking help for suicidal thoughts, increased substance use, depression, and anxiety.

The MOYBSS team continues to “see” young people virtually, by phone and by text. We have opened a dedicated virtual drop-in clinic every Thursday afternoon and are considering adding an evening clinic between the hours of 5pm-11pm. Youth can still access service through the Save-A-Spot feature or by calling/texting the MOBYSS phone number.

We are developing a series of virtual psycho-social workshops around mental health topics such as teens and mental health, FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), practicing mindfulness, and coping with stress and anxiety.

We are working with school social workers, guidance counsellors and Simcoe County School Board Mental Health Lead to identify students at risk and to incorporate the virtual workshops into the curriculum.

The 100 Women donation will help to keep this critical program funded and operational. It will also allow us to develop additional virtual psycho-social workshops to address pertinent and timely youth mental health concerns as they arise in this ever-shifting pandemic (and, we hope post-pandemic) landscape.

$3,450 donated

youthdale

The Youthdale Riding Program is a registered Canadian charity that provides therapeutic riding lessons for youth at-risk in Ontario. Youthdale serves youth who are involved with Children’s Aid Services, youth struggling with mental health and/or addictions, and LGBTQ2+ youth. Riders come from diverse backgrounds and experiences, but they are similarly struggling emotionally and behaviourally and are considered at-risk. Participating youth are provided the opportunity to learn basic horsemanship and riding skills in a uniquely supportive environment. Youthdale’s magical horses have a way of boosting self-esteem, channelling emotions in a positive way, and grounding participants in the present moment. Through interacting with their horse, participants are able to develop life skills, build confidence, and gain insight into their own issues and challenges. The goal is to create an experience where each participant feels successful, empowered and connected to their horse. Youthdale receives no government funding and rely on the generosity of private and corporate donors. Our funds will go directly to enabling the program to target youth from the New Tecumseth area, an area they had not previously served.

$5,250 donated

all wheels

This initiative will build a state-of-art skate park with the likely location at Riverdale Park in Alliston. The park will provide an outdoor space designed for skateboards, BMX bikes, scooters, rollerblades and even wheelchairs Our funds will go directly toward sponsorship of a specific ramp and railing area that will be dedicated to our group including a small plaque, with the cement area painted pink to symbolize anti-bullying. If you’d like to read more about this initiative, here is a recent news article, but also stay tuned for lots more information in the local news plus fundraising happening throughout the next few months. The goal is to have the park built by the end of 2020. After the Alliston park is built, the plan is to build slightly smaller, but similar parks in Beeton and Tottenham.

$5,500 donated

brainiacts

BrainiACTS is an after-school program that will bring together a team of tutors and teachers to help young children with reading/literacy skills and homework completion at a weekly program. The program will start initially with children in Grade 3, with plans to expand to other grades in the future. Our funds will go towards assessment tools, computer software, books for a lending library, communication journals for parents, snacks and other miscellaneous materials this program needs in order to run successfully. The program location is St. Andrew Anglican Church in Alliston, which acts as the umbrella charitable organization for this program. The program is open to the general community and participants do not need to be members of the church to access the program.

$5,100 donated

imani

Imani’s Place is a full home that has been donated by a generous donor to form a transitional housing initiative specifically designed for young girls who may be facing homelessness and/or have become victims of sex trafficking. The home will be equipped with all the furnishings, office needs, and supplies required to open the doors in the next few weeks. Youth Haven in Barrie/Alliston has generously offered to be the umbrella charitable organization for this initiative until it’s fully established. Imani’s Place is currently working with other community partners and agencies such as Home Depot and Habitat For Humanity, as well as Nottawasaga OPP, and a number of local mental health, addiction and youth agencies. Our funds will go directly toward the purchase of appliances, a security system, renovations, furnishings, and other start-up supplies.

Here are a few links to recent news articles and videos about Imani’s Place:

$4,400 donated

youth symposium

A local one-day event that assists students with the transition from elementary to high school which often proves difficult for some students. Parents and students of Essa, Adjala-Tosorontio and New Tecumseth are invited to attend the symposium, which features a free BBQ, door prizes and special guest speakers addressing prominent youth issues and developing youth resilience. Students and their families have the opportunity to speak with various representatives from youth and mental health agencies in our community. The event was held on September 26, 2019 at Nottawasaga Pines Secondary School in Angus.

$4,300 donated