Working to Create a Safe, Sober, Space for Teens in Their Community

Teenagers need to belong and feel accepted, and they need to know that someone cares for them, or better yet, that the entire community cares for them.

The City of Surrey hosted the ‘Surrey Steps Up Awards’, on May 2, 2014, at the brand new Surrey City Hall, where Mayor Diane Watts honored Surrey teens who are making a positive difference in their community.

A group of teens at the awards from “The Youth Space Project”, is making a difference in the White Rock/South Surrey area.  The group set up a mini youth space in the lobby of Surrey City Hall, complete with cozy couches, fun games, and snacks, and invited people to come and hang out with them.

Youth collective building a space for youth at Surrey Steps Up 2014

Their dream is to create a badly needed ‘youth space’ in their own community, and they are reaching out to the larger community to make their dream a reality.  Tayla, one of the teens says: “there’s nothing for teens to do in our area”.  She is looking for sponsorship for a youth space, where teens can participate in fun activities together.  Grace is also working on the youth space project, but she looked more solemn, saying:  “a lot of our friends have died from drugs”.  “We need a safe, sober place to hangout, where we feel accepted and can express ourselves in a positive way” she says.

youth space project

Example of what a youth space would look like

The group is currently accepting donations to create an environment where teens can get together after school. Alexandra Neighborhood House, and the local RCMP, agree with the need for a youth space, and are encouraging the teens to ask individuals and businesses in the community to take the opportunity to invest in them, show they care, spread some goodwill in the community, and receive a tax deduction at the same time.

With so many new families moving into the area, the demographic trend is toward a younger population, and they need a safe place to work on their resumes for their job search, meet new friends, or explore volunteer opportunities in their community, that would aid in keeping youth off the streets and away from harm.

Their goal is to secure a space by this fall.  The ideal location for the youth space is the vicinity of 152nd St and 18th Ave.   If you can help them by providing a building (approx. 2500 square feet), that can be converted into a youth space, please contact Jessie Kergan – Youth and Family worker at Alexandra House.  jkergan@alexhouse.net.  Alexandra House will process all donations and issue a tax receipt to businesses or individuals who sponsor the project.

Top Photo: Surrey Youth

Bottom Photo: photo pin/creative commons.

Review of Week 16 – Open Space In My Heart For Blessings

Blessings Cupboard

Making Space in My Blessings Cupboard

For this week’s optimizing yourself exercise, I cleaned out the cupboard in the laundry room where I put everything that I don’t know what to do with. I call it my procrastination cupboard, full of stuff I haven’t decided to throw out yet. It is where I look, if someone asks me where that thing-a-ma-gig is. As the old saying goes “if Mom can’t find it no-one can”.

It is one of the last vestiges of disorder in my house, and clinging to the stuff, feels like I am holding on to the past.

So when Pablo Coelho said that by purging what isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful, we will open space in our hearts for blessings, this was the perfect place for me to start.

I found a marionette puppet of Woody from Toy Story, which would be joyful to a small child, but not my adult children. I found a black plastic holder for je ne sais quoi, that is also getting the deep six. That blue plastic basket that was never beautiful, useful, or joyful, has also gotta go. There were two empty boxes, and a box of pencil crayons, and as soon as I throw them out, someone will ask me for them, but even if I have to buy new pencil crayons, I can’t hang on to stuff in case someone someday might need it.

I felt so good cleaning out the cupboard that I am going to rename it a more positive name – the blessings cupboard, as Pablo said blessings will come if I make space for them. <3 photo credit: -PinkFarasha.* via photopin cc

Week 16 – Optimizing Yourself – Discard An Item A Day To Create BIG Space

open space in your heart

Open Space In Your heart for Blessings

This week, I am going to get rid of at least one item a day that is not useful, beautiful, or joyful, as Paulo Coelho says, in order to “open space in my heart for all the blessings” that this week will bring.

What a positive feeling to open space in my heart for blessings by freeing up my environment of what doesn’t serve me. This fills me with joyful energy, as I am creating usefulness, beauty and joy in my environment and my life.

I will let you know how discarding an item a day to create BIG space in my heart for blessings, goes next week

photo credit: Frances Lane via photopin cc

52 Weeks to Optimizing Yourself 2014 – Week 3 – Go BIG With Gaining Patience

 

Gaining Patience

Gaining Patience

This week I am going to turn off my cell phone and computer for 10 minutes each day, and carve out an area for myself where I can sit and peacefully meditate on gaining patience in my life. 

Each day this week, as I breathe in and out, under the window where the sun shines down, I will connect to the big picture, and imagine a life that is not a rush, and where I have plenty of time to do everything I want to do.

As I go BIG on gaining patience, I am going to sit on soft pillows on the floor and get calm. My goal is to create a big space in my life for patience with myself and others.  I will let you know how it goes next week.

photo credit: photo pin/meditating