We noticed while gathering this series of 30 donor stories that many Street Health supporters were inspired to start contributing from an early age.
Dianne is one such donor who looks back on her experience in high school as a time that continues to guide her actions. “Each week, a group of students from my school had the opportunity to help at a local community shelter, serving a warm meal to those in need,” Dianne remembers. “Later in the year, the teacher who coordinated the program, was always able to encourage more students to volunteer by showing them photos from our days of service, set to the song He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother.”
Now a teacher herself, Dianne has been a Street Health donor for more than 10 years. “I’m aware that many people who live on the street or lack secure housing need both physical and mental health support. Street Health serves those who face so many barriers and too often have no other means of support.”
“At my school, we have the opportunity each year to take our students to a local youth center which supports homeless teens. Our students get to connect with young people who have lived on the streets and are now volunteers, staff and supporters of that organization. It is always a thought provoking and significant learning opportunity for our students to realize that change happens because there is someone out there who cares. It helps our students to know that the cycle that created homelessness can be broken.”
Dianne still volunteers one night a month at her local community kitchen, as a way of maintaining her awareness and hands-on support for issues that stem from poverty and inequality. “I want my students and my daughter to know that volunteering and making donations are fulfilling activities everyone can get involved in.”
It is thanks to the commitment and inspiration of donors and advocates like Dianne that Street Health was able to support 13,968 nursing and community mental health client visits last year. Together we are all making Street Health’s work possible!