We hope you are safe and doing well during these unprecedented times. We wanted to share an update on what’s been happening at the Pinball Clemons Foundation and how our team, our partners and youth have adapted to their New Normal.
We work with some of the most under-resourced and under-served, marginalized youth in our community - youth that ‘normally’ would slip through the cracks.
As Ontario announced the State of Emergency for COVID-19, we immediately reached out to the youth to ask – "Are you okay? How are you doing financially, mentally, academically and do you have food?"
Our team quickly activated a Support Squad led by the team at the Foundation, Jonathan Hood (Director of Mentorship, Ahead of the Game), Paul Bailey (Financial Mentor, Hope 4 All), Kevin Lawler (Career Mentor, Third Point Global) and our Site Mentors at each partner organization.
We quickly implemented bi-weekly Mentorship Sessions to ensure the youth and our partners had a mighty team to support them. These sessions give us a chance to connect, inspire, empower and motivate the youth to keep going despite all of the odds against them. Mentors follow up daily with the youth to help navigate through their specific needs – whether it be academic questions, financial planning, resume writing or interview tips.
We created a Youth Resource Hub on our website as a one-stop shop for COVID-19 resources, financial, social and mental health resources, along with a list of jobs opportunities available to them. We invited a CRA employee to join the youth for a Q&A to help navigate the landscape in a stress-free environment. Our goal is to make sure youth are employed, receiving government benefits, or were provided with a grocery gift card to ensure no youth went hungry.
We continue to work with our charity partners to ensure they are surviving the challenges and working together to ensure our youth are able to benefit from the help of mentorship sessions virtually – which have proved to be very successful and engaging.
We are working to ensure our youth living in homeless shelters have food, games, resources, learning tools and daily, weekly and monthly mentorship sessions. Our community partners will continue to support 500+ youth who count on them daily for virtual classes and physical and mental health to help keep them engaged and focused. Our partners are persevering, utilizing government resources - but they have a long way to go to get back to their New Normal.
We realized that we are stronger together. We cannot do it alone. If you are able to give during this time – 100% of our funds will reach our youth.
Some of our youth have just graduated and are looking to enter the work force as young adults. Some are still in school throughout the summer and some will be back at their studies in September. All of the youth need us to wrap our arms around them to get through this together.
To support the work we are doing by taking youth from the Margins to the Mainstream, please consider making a donation today.
TO DONATE: pinballfoundation.ca/givingtuesday