Meet Mahek – A Donor Appreciation Story
Today’s youth are the future of our country – this is why when one person see’s a need for change, it is so imperative to embrace and encourage that thirst for change.
One individual who has that thirst, is Mahek – an upcoming grade 12 student at Centennial C.V.I here in Guelph. What started as an observation, and recognition for change in our society and the perception of those who are afflicted by poverty, turned into an action plan. I had the chance to chat with Mahek, and by the end of the conversation there was a sense of fulfilment and hope for the future – read on to learn more.
As a young child, Mahek realized that she didn’t like what she saw when she was walking through the streets – whether that was in Guelph or the GTA. She didn’t like seeing how many people were afflicted by poverty. Seeing people struggle, when she knew there were opportunities to help, didn’t sit well with her. She wanted to make a change, and sought out ways to do that.
In grade 9, she was told that as she grew she would have to make a choice – either be a follower, or a leader. Through conversation, it is apparent she chose the latter. Through her experiences, and observations she felt a “pull” to make a difference; ultimately, her goal is to eliminate poverty and help the homeless. Any big change starts with a small step, so she took the first step to being the change.
Prior to COVID-19, Mahek was a volunteer at the Welcome-In Drop In Centre, and through working there she felt immense feelings of joy seeing how her actions were helping people. In addition, she was amazed – actually astonished – by the amount of individuals who accessed the drop-in centre. People from all ways of life, all different personalities – and she was saddened by how many people didn’t have access to what should be a basic human right; access to housing.
She had planned on volunteering here at HOPE House, but with the untimely pandemic that has been put on hold. That however didn’t stop her from finding a way to give back.
Mahek began a GoFundMe page, and through this GoFundMe, Mahek successfully raised $2500 through the donations of other community members. When asked why she wanted to donate these funds to HOPE House, this is what she had to say:
“between the services offered and the programs offered – I feel that HOPE House is amazing to the community, and they offer great initiatives. The HOPE Smile program, which provides dental work to individuals is something that people need to know. Overall, being involved with HOPE is just something I wanted to do.”
Initially, the fundraiser was designed to assist with our FoodMarket program – until Mahek heard about our Backpack Project. The Backpack Project helps to provide various youth in the Guelph region with a new backpack and supplies for the upcoming school year. It is HOPE House’s belief that every child should have access to a new backpack and the necessary school supplied that are needed to thrive – as it can help provide a sense of belonging.
When asked why she chose to re-allocate the funds, Mahek described that she understands how hard and difficult it can be to spend the money on new school supplies. For some parents it is just not financially feasible with everything else, especially during COVID. She described how as a child she looked forward to that new backpack and all the new supplies that came with it – and if she could assist with providing that same sense of happiness to a child this year, she wanted to.
For more information on the BackPack Initiative please click the link below
Currently, HOPE House is running a #SustainHOPE campaign – where we are seeking out monthly donors, to help us with programs and services, like our Food Market and Backpack Project.
But SustainHOPE is more than just a fundraiser, it’s a thought process, and a way of being. When asked what it means to #sustainHOPE to her, this is what she had to say;
“to essentially maintain hope all throughout time. Everyone is doing something to maintain hope continuously – whether that’s by donating money or time, or just offering a smile. We all work together to maintain the hope of ending poverty and homelessness.”