Youth Day of Caring 2016

Winnipeg youth show they care at 15 agencies.

More than 100 Winnipeg high school students gathered at Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre at Win Gardner Place and boarded busses for the annual United Way Youth Day of Caring.

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The students gave their time and sweat equity to make improvements at 15 different agencies around Winnipeg on Friday.

Before they departed they heard about the work of their host, Ma Mawi, from Lorenda Nepinak, a Home Visitor with the Families First Program. She had some parting words of wisdom for the young volunteers.

“Don’t change so people will like you. Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.”

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At the North End Women’s Centre several students wielded bags and pickers to clean garbage from the centres yards.

The United Way agency partner provides a multitude of services including counselling, drop-in, addictions recovery and transitional housing.

North End Women's Centre's Marissa Rykiss talks to youth before they start work.

North End Women’s Centre’s Marissa Rykiss talks to youth before they start work.

“Thank you so much, we really appreciate it,” Marissa Rykiss, a parent-child coordinator at the centre told the youth before they started cleaning up the garden and yards around their buildings.

Cleaning up around the North End Women's Centre

Cleaning up around the North End Women’s Centre

“It’s really inspiring to see the youth doing it, we all want a more beautiful Winnipeg,” she said.

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At Dufferin School Community Garden students placed and filled new raised garden beds and prepared existing ones for planting. The garden is used by newcomers that have been helped through Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba (IRCOM).

Jim Beckta, Greening Coordinator with IRCOM, said the students are helping meet the demand for more gardening space for newcomers.

“It’s wonderful. It’s very helpful,” said Jim.

Student EJ had some trouble hoisting a full wheelbarrow into a new garden bed, but thankfully was not hurt.

Youth helped prepare garden beds for newcomers at the Dufferin School Community Garden

Youth helped prepare garden beds for newcomers at the Dufferin School Community Garden

“I feel glad. I feel happy. It’s for them,” EJ said of his day volunteering.

At Graffiti Art Programming students from Elmwood High School painted the outside walls black to get them ready for more artwork by youth involved in the agency’s art programs.

“I feel honoured that I get to do this, I appreciate that my teacher asked me to.” said Denise Cal Ortiz.

Resetting a canvas on Graffiti Art Programming's building.

Resetting a canvas on Graffiti Art Programming’s building.

Jessie Canard, a summer administrative assistant at Graffiti Art, said she hopes more youth learn about their free art programming.

“It’s really awesome to have these youth come down here as a lot of them haven’t been here before. And it’s awesome to have the help.”

Corey Mohr, Community Development Coordinator at NorWest Co-op Community Health’s Gilbert Park Resource Centre, said the students from Gray Academy of Jewish Education who spent two hours sweating in one of their community gardens were thanked by some area residents.

Teacher Marcelo Mohadeb (left) and his students from Gray Academy of Jewish Education with NorWest Community Development Coordinator Corey Mohr.

Teacher Marcelo Mohadeb (left) and his students from Gray Academy of Jewish Education with NorWest Community Development Coordinator Corey Mohr.

“That’s powerful. That’s what I like to see, that people are appreciative.”

Student Ilan Jacobowitz said people like himself are often unfamiliar with communities like Gilbert Park – Manitoba’s largest social housing complex with 1,100 residents.

“It’s nice to see organizations like United Way and resource centres like (NorWest) helping out in communities,” said Ilan, who believes involving youth in the community plants a seed which will grow into more participation and volunteering in the future.

Fellow student Philip Roshkevsky seemed to confirm Ilan’s hypothesis, saying he was proud to be helping and that it makes him “want to do more.”

After a morning helping at agencies the students talked about what community means to them.

They re-fueled with lunch generously donated by Santa Lucia Pizza before heading out again for walking tours of Winnipeg’s North End community led by members of Aboriginal Youth Opportunities (AYO).

Youth United Day of Caring volunteers and AYO members outside Ma Mawi at Win Gardner Place.

Youth United Day of Caring volunteers and AYO members outside Ma Mawi at Win Gardner Place.

Look for photos of the day on social media under hashtags #ydoc2016 and #YouthUnitedWpg and learn more about Youth United online.

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Youth United throw a sunny, positive Youth Day of Caring at U of M.

A sunny Friday in May set the stage for a glorious outdoor volunteer meetup at U of M.

More than 100 young people from across the city joined Youth United for the annual Youth Day of Caring, where they met new people and made a difference volunteering.

Youth arrived for an Amazing Race that took them all over campus and showed them the work United Way does in our city. Team Dragon won, and their prize was being first in line for the best-smelling lunch in town.

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Amazing Race teams.

Team Dragon, Amazing Race victors, in line for pizza.

Team Dragon, Amazing Race victors, in line for pizza.

The teams took a break for a delicious Red Table lunch donated by St. Lucia, where they discussed their ideas for a better Winnipeg.

Breaking for a Red Table lunch, with pizza donated by Santa Lucia.

Breaking for a Red Table lunch, with pizza donated by Santa Lucia.

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The afternoon saw a huge outdoor beautification and gardening project.

Youth United and dozens of volunteers outside at the 2015 Youth Day of Caring.

Youth United and dozens of volunteers outside at the 2015 Youth Day of Caring.

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The Youth United volunteers gave 110%, stepping up to take on the responsibilities of dreaming, planning and executing the day with enthusiasm.

Shovels borrowed for the Youth Day of Caring. That's a lot of shovels, right?!

Shovels borrowed for the Youth Day of Caring. That’s a lot of shovels, right?!

We’re so proud of the leadership they show and so confident they’ll continue to make a big difference in Winnipeg!

Winnipeg youth volunteers gather for a huge Day of Caring.

Over 100 youth volunteers joined our Youth United Council for a huge Day of Caring that spanned 10 different core area nonprofits.

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Students gardened, painted, cleaned, ran an urban art gallery, served food, and toured the downtown area—a neighbourhood new to many of them.

We reach out to young people with volunteer opportunities like this to help them see their city from another perspective, and give them a chance to make a big difference volunteering in Winnipeg.

Their passion and hard work inspire us! We hope the experience gets them thinking about the community they live in and how to be a bigger part of it.

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Youth Day of Caring.

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2011 Youth Day of Caring sees over 120 volunteers working towards a better Winnipeg.

More than 120 students from 13 local high schools showed their commitment and community pride by participating in United Way of Winnipeg’s 6th annual Youth Day of Caring on Friday, May 20, 2011.

Working alongside staff and volunteers from 6 neighbourhood agencies, students spent the day picking up litter, painting, gardening, cleaning and organizing – whatever they could to support non-profit organizations that support Winnipeggers.

Youth Day of Caring volunteers making the community a better place for everyone.

The day began at 8:30 am with a Welcome Breakfast at Broadway Neighbourhood Centre, followed by a group warm-up led by Yoga North‘s Drew Perry. Students then went to work at non-profit agencies in the neighbourhood including: Broadway Neighbourhood Centre, West Broadway Youth Outreach, West Broadway Development Corp., West Broadway Biz, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and the John Howard Society.

Volunteers were entertained by the amazing talent of Broadway Neighbourhood Centre’s Hip Hop Academy while they enjoyed a delicious pizza lunch courtesy of Santa Lucia. At the end of the day, after completing a few more projects, everyone returned to Broadway Neighbourhood Centre for an apple toss prize give-away hosted by HOT 103 morning personality LTI.

Every year, hundreds of youth throughout Winnipeg make significant contributions to our community through United Way. As volunteers, participants and leaders, their energy and enthusiasm is shaping a brighter future for everyone as they set an example for all to follow. Thank you!

A special thank you to sponsors: Santa Lucia Pizza, High Road Commercial Cleaning Inc, and Yoga North for your support in making the Youth Day of Caring a huge success!