Every day we get new heartwarming surprises.
In November, Eva’s generous supporters blew Giving Tuesday out of the water. We exceeded our fundraising goal for youth experiencing homelessness, and the winner of the private chef experience giveaway donated the prize back so we could keep raising critical funds to keep young people safe and warm. People are buying Eva’s Gift Catalogue presents to help young people and we’re doing even better than last year! And recently, hair stylist Em Traver from Studio Fontana on King West let people donate their appointments.
In November, Eva’s was fortunate to be the beneficiary of a special event that happens in our neighbourhood once a month, bringing together punk music lovers for a cause. Punk Sucks is a non-profit group run by four lovers of punk music. Once a month on a Friday, they host an event that brings in musicians and DJs in from the punk music scene at The Handlebar in Kensington Market.
Lillian, one of the organizers of the event, and Chris, a regular attendee, stopped by to drop off event proceeds in a little brown gift bag.
“We just thought, we’re all hanging out, having a drink at the bar anyways. So instead of pocketing doors money, it all goes to raising awareness for another small, local non-profit,” Lillian explains. It’s a donate-what-you-can model to get into the show. Folks will usually drop in their pocket change to get in and then 10% of all drink proceeds from the evening also get donated. People browsing the market will also sometimes stop and make a donation at the door even if they aren’t interested in going in.
Each month they raise about $400 – $600 dollars and they have donated to organizations like Stella’s Place, Egale Canada, and Covenant House.
Lillian, who is a Youth Service Worker at a partner organization named Kennedy House, found out about Eva’s through her work. When she is helping young people look for affordable housing, one of the first places she thinks of is Eva’s Phoenix, our transitional housing facility not far from Kensington Market.
“A lot of the youth, they want their own space. There isn’t anything really out there for them. The Harm Reduction work you do is also great,” Lillian explains as we talk about why she chose Eva’s as the beneficiary this month.
It’s clear that Chris and Lillian really understand the challenges young people experiencing homelessness face.
“If you can get to the end of the day, then that is an accomplishment in and of itself.” – Chris
“For me personally, I know the holiday season can be a little overwhelming and stressful,” Chris shares, “The days are getting shorter. I know seasonal depression is a lot worse around this time. All that can kind of accumulate, especially with the various situations that people are in. If you can get to the end of the day, then that is an accomplishment in and of itself. No matter what hardships you have, whether it was something little or miniscule to something life-altering, you go through to the end of the day and there will be many more days you’re going to get to the end no matter how bad or how shitty some days get. There will be better days, there will be better outcomes, but the most important thing is that will only come if you can still stick around.”
While things “suck sometimes”, Chris wants the young people we work with to remember that they will not be in this situation forever and encourages them to hang on.
“With the amount of suicide rates going up, with people in these housing crises and homeless situations, with the Fentanyl scare going on, it’s a very scary situation and these are all issues that especially Eva’s and other organizations are trying to tackle. So while things like that are being dealt with, the only thing that we can ask for of people in these situations is to kind of hang on. There are brighter days; things are going to get better.”
We’re so grateful to have their compassion and energy! You can follow Punk Sucks on Facebook to help support them and spread the word about their shows.