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Leveraging Your Skills and Community

Our hearts are sometimes bigger than the means we have to support our vulnerable neighbours. We know we want to support Edmontonians that are struggling with poverty and homelessness, but often feel at a loss of what we can do with limited time and resources. The short answer is – you're better equipped to support Boyle Street’s mission of ending chronic homelessness than you realize.

Year in and year out, we have every day Edmontonians organizing fundraisers to help raise money or in-kind (material) donations for our clients at Boyle Street Community Services. It can be simple, like a hobby you’re already doing, or a little grander, like an organized effort to gather essential items from friends and family. This month we’re highlighting three fundraising efforts that have gone a long way toward helping out our clients and community members. Maybe you’ll find inspiration do to something of your own?

Edmonton Islamic Academy

Our first highlight comes from our long-time partnership with the Edmonton Islamic Academy. For seven years, students have donated artwork, served lunch, and collected winter clothing like gloves, hats, and socks. This year, grade four students and teachers choose the theme “Giving Gratitude,” with the focus of appreciating what they already have and being grateful for everything. “At Edmonton Islamic Academy, our mission is to offer a high-quality education embedded in Islamic values so students can become respectful, responsible, and successful leaders and contributors to society,” said teacher Benjamin Gee.

“Teaching students to be kind and compassionate is fundamental in becoming responsible citizens. We want our students to practice and demonstrate what kindness means.”

Collecting boxes of food as well as several large bags with hundreds of winter socks, mittens, and hats. They created hampers to hand out as well as created artwork using the theme “Messages of Hope” that were sent to agencies that provide front-line services. “The support and learning from the students and parents have been tremendous,”

Benjamin said. “We are stronger when we are together. Throughout the project, students practiced compassion, communication, and cooperation.”

“Giving Gratitude has been an invaluable project in promoting global citizenship. The project has brought us closer together as an organization. Helping others is fundamental in Islam. We want our students to let their faith guide their actions.”

Lot 34

Lot 34 has proven instrumental in many ways during our relationship with them. You might remember when they renovated and redesigned our emergency donation room, giving our space a more functional upgrade. “Tyler Day (Co-owner and project lead and co-designer on design and build projects) was first introduced to Boyle Street Community Services by way of Darren at Arcadia,” said Lindsay Jones, co-owner and vintage and home goods curator and co-designer on design and build projects.