As we edge closer to closing the door on 2020, in preparation to enter a New Year, we reflect on the incredible journey this year has been. Although gratitude and finding the light is so very necessary, we cannot deny the layers of difficulty, complexity, and collective grief and sacrifice experienced by all. Having the honour and privilege to work with youth and families, we witnessed the resilience and also the tremendous loss and hardship experienced by so many, whether it be loss of a loved one, loss of the experience of high school graduation in the way it had been promised for so many years, loss of what was anticipated for a first semester at university, loss of jobs, uncertainty for housing and other necessities, and countless losses. Although we value finding the silver lining, it is so important to acknowledge and give space for the struggle and grief, and honour what everyone has gone through this year – no one was left untouched by this global pandemic.
re·sil·ient/ adjective (of a person or animal) able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions.
I Am Resilient, The official moto of 2020!!
Madi Innes, showing off some of the “I am Resilient” books generously donated from Nikita Paddock.
There were also many gains, amidst the losses. Through it all, what has kept CVYS strong and afloat is the strength and love of our team and board, the inspiration and dedication of the incredible youth and families, and the generosity and support from community donors. We are also so grateful to school staff, physicians, and other community care providers who rallied together to continue offering support this year. Considering this was such a tremendous year of struggle, it was also an exceptional year of generosity, creativity, resilience, and coming together! Whether it was the amazing moment our entire community banded together to support Nourish Cowichan and their efforts to provide food hampers to families during the quarantine.
“Creativity is contagious, pass it on.” Albert Einstein
..Or…One of our favorite moments of the year, the CVYS Youth Art Show!! This was a youth driven project, to create an outlet for their creativity and an opportunity to be able to connect with other youth. It was amazing to see the talent of these local youth, and heartwarming to watch them support each other by purchasing art work and leaving inspiring comments for the artists!
“LOVE AND KINDNESS ARE NEVER WASTED. THEY ALWAYS MAKE A DIFFERENCE.” Helen James
We also saw youth using their amazing abilities to help design and produce ear savers, and face shields, working with Project Draw Breath, in the Cowichan Valley. Youth were inspired by the social and political unrest in 2020 and took action, one local youth organized a community gathering in support of the Black Lives Movement, which was very well received by the community. Another youth from Comox organized a 5km run to raise money for organizations working to end racism!! There were so many more stories of amazing acts of kindness in 2020!!
…. Like when Island Ford gave us a call out of the blue and said they had a cheque for us!
The amazing team from Island Ford, surprised us with a donation of $15,000!! This was an unexpected and very timely moment of generosity. With our waitlist growing everyday, this money will go towards increasing counselling hours, in hopes of decreasing our waitlist. Thank you Island Ford!!
This has been one of the most generous years for our Holiday Hamper Program, and what this has told us was that during times of adversity we have this incredible community to lean on, and no matter what, because we have each other, we will make it through, stronger than ever. We have been humbled, brought to tears of gratitude, and so very grateful for the infinite ways this community, CVYS, and youth and families have come together in solidarity and support, it is truly what community care is all about.
“A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.” Amelia Earhart
We are leaving this year excited and energized for the New Year and all that we will be able to offer and create with you!
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts, we love you!
With love and appreciation,