Just as their name suggests, the youth of YELL (Youth Encouraging Lasting Leadership) are making quite the noise when it comes to their fundraising and volunteerism in Chestermere & Langdon. These amazing youth, ranging in ages 13-19, can often be found organizing fundraising events or volunteering in the community.
There latest fundraising effort was a goal they set for themselves to raise $500 for the Kids Help Phone. Raising $500 would allow the Kids Help Phone program to acquire educational materials to be sent to 100 schools across Canada. The youth of YELL organized a bake sale that would be at their annual Peace Walk which took place in Chestermere on May 24th…where they raised $215.
In order to reach their original fundraising goal, YELL decided that another event was needed. So they rolled up their sleeves, filled up some buckets….and on August 9th, a car wash was held where they raised $600.
Amongst these great efforts by the YELL group, they inspired another local organization to assist them in their fundraising goal. Alex Halat of the Chestermere/Langdon Oilmen’s Association organized an anti-bullying ride that took place in Chestermere on June 21st. Bicycles & motorcycles rode together in support of this initiative with all proceeds going to the YELL group. With that event raising $480, that pushed the YELL group way over their fundraising goal!
When asked why the Chestermere/Langdon Oilmen got involved, ride organizer, Alex Halat, had this to say…. “The purpose of the oilmen is to make certain we give back to our community. As well, establish relationships with organizations such as YELL and do our part in ensuring our kids benefit from their programs. Our ride with motorcycles and bikes was unique, as we wanted all kids to know you’re not alone. The help line now gives that bullied child an opportunity to talk with someone rather than keep it bottled up.”
On September 15th, the YELL group excitedly presented a cheque in the amount of $1338.15 to Kids Help Phone representative, Jennalee Schepers.
“Donations like the one from the youth at Synergy are put directly back into our service and can assist us in providing approximately 10 hours of counselling service to the 60 young Albertans that reach out to us daily by phone, or aid in the cost of mailing educational materials out to approximately 200 schools in Alberta.” explained Ms. Schepers – the Manager of Community Fundraising and Special Events with the Kids Help Phone.
She went on to explain that the “Kids Help Phone is an anonymous & confidential counselling service for young people between 5-20 years old from across Canada whose mission is to improve the mental health and well-being of children and youth in our country. There are five different ways that young people can receive support. Beyond our 24 hour, 7 days a week, 365 days a year toll free phone counselling service, young people can also connect with a counselor via our online “Live Chat” program on our website from Thursday to Sunday (evening). Our award winning websites offer an “Ask Us Online” forum, as well as therapeutic games & tools. We offer an online Community Resource Database where youth can access a variety of support services within their community; and our most recent tool – our free to download mobile app called Always There. More information about all of these services can be found at our website www.kidshelpphone.ca”
“We’d like to give a special thanks to the Town of Chestermere and Town Hall for allowing us to use their facility to host the car wash and for providing the water. Also, a special thanks to the Chestermere/Langdon Oilmen for supporting us and supporting anti-bullying initiatives” said YELL member Jay Bailey at the cheque presentation.
Christy Redl, the Youth Development Coordinator with YELL, says “I am truly inspired by these young people. They have a genuine and heartfelt desire to make the world a better place and they are willing to take positive action to facilitate positive change.
For the Kids Help Phone campaign, the YELL members were responsible for decision making, planning, organizing, and running the events. They researched and chose their charity as well as decided upon what fundraising events to hold. Through this process I’ve seen exceptional growth in leadership and personal skills. The youth involved have forged very special friendships and bonds in their shared passion to do good and give back to the community.”
YELL is truly proving that the youth of today will make the amazing leaders of tomorrow.