Wonder Pens' School Supplies Drive for Covenant House Toronto
We are so excited to announce our first annual School Supplies Drive for Covenant House Toronto. This is something we've been working on behind the scenes for a few months now. Some of you may know that I used to be a teacher, and some of you may further have heard me joke that I went into teaching because I couldn't part with school supplies. But the truth of the matter is that the luxury of having school supplies like pencils and paper and notebooks and art materials isn't something all youth in Toronto have. We are partnering with Covenant House Toronto to run a school supplies drive for the upcoming school year - we will be collecting any new or gently used school supply items you have, and bringing them all to Covenant House at the end of September. Covenant House Toronto is Canada's largest homeless youth agency, based in Toronto at Gerrard + Yonge. They support youth with a huge range of experiences and traumas, including homelessness, trafficking, drug addiction, mental health problems, abuse or neglect and much more. They have a crisis shelter, on-site counsellors, therapists and medical staff, run programs like the Arts + Minds Therapy Program, job training, work to help youth transition back into their homes or into independent housing, a food + clothing bank, and provide on-going follow-up support after youth have left their facilities. Covenant House Toronto also has their own on-site high school.
The inside of one of the classrooms. Their high school, Sheppard Centre High School – McGill Campus, is a partnership with the Toronto Catholic District School Board that provides credits in compulsory subjects (English, math, etc.) so youth who have stepped away from their home schools can continue with their education. We are collecting supplies for both their Sheppard Centre High School as well as art supplies for their Arts + Minds program. In particular, they are asking for the following: School •agenda books for 2016-2017 school year •spiral bound notebooks (lined paper) •small notebooks (for journals) •art journal books (blank paper inside) •white erase tape (the best kind would be the white roll out stick type) Art Program •acrylic paints •brushes •canvases •sketchbooks •wool •molding clay •markers •matte board
With the particular need for agendas, we of course immediately thought of our friends at Quo Vadis (who also make the Habana notebooks). We've been so appreciative of their support of Wonder Pens over the years, and I'm extremely pleased to share that Quo Vadis has also come on board with us to very generously donate 50 agendas for the 2016-2017 academic year. Our shop will also be donating a selection of notebooks. For those of you who don't have any of these supplies available, we are also accepting $2 donations on behalf of Covenant House. 100% of all donations will go directly to Covenant House Toronto. We are accepting $2 donations in the shop, either in cash or as an add-on to your purchases, or online as an add-on to your order. If you're ordering online, you can add the donation to your cart, and you'll check out like usual. As a thank-you, we have a Wonder Pens + Covenant House 2016 button for either your $2 donation or your donation of spare school or art supplies. If you place your order online, we will include it with your order. Covenant House does all sorts of outreach and work: my first time meeting someone from CH was at the school where I was teaching, now what seems like a freaky many years ago. CH came in to give our middle schoolers a presentation on youth homelessness and how dangerous and traumatic it can be to live on the streets, and the risks of things like drugs or trafficking. Sometimes we think of 'need' as being in far away countries, but we can see pretty amazing work being done to try to meet the needs of our youth right here in our own city.