Why I Give to the Crisis Centre…
By Abby Dacho
Since I left university, I felt like something was missing in my life as a community member. I was lucky enough to be brought up in a caring family, with many great opportunities presented to me. I volunteered a lot in high school and university as a fun way to get involved in the school’s activities, but I still seemed to be missing that feeling of giving back in an impactful way. That’s when I started searching for charities, with an interest in mental health and that one-on-one interaction with people. The Crisis Centre seemed like a good fit because they offered an extensive training program where even someone like me, with my background in engineering, could volunteer.
While in the process of submitting my application to the Crisis Centre, I was presented with a tough situation at my local pool. As I got ready to go swimming, a girl in the change room opened up to me about her depression and expressed to me that she was having thoughts of suicide. I didn’t know how to react at the time and ended up calling the Crisis Centre for help. Those crisis management skills seemed to be so important after that encounter, that it solidified my desire to volunteer at the Crisis Centre.
There are two types of calls and chats that stick in my mind. The first is when a client reaches out about a specific problem that they don’t know how to resolve. It’s amazing to see a person who starts off thinking they have no options actually come up with the solution on their own – you come away thinking, “wow, I’ve really made a difference.” By the end, you can often hear a glimmer of hope in their voice that wasn’t there at the start.
The second type is when the client feels like there are no options and feel trapped in their situation, and at the end of the call I still feel like it’s unresolved. Although this can be hard to let go of, at the end of the day I know they have at least one resource they can turn to – the Crisis Centre is there 24/7. When the doctor’s office is closed, or the psychologist is away for the day, people can call the Crisis Centre and talk to someone that can help them plan for the next few days and get them through the immediate crisis – that’s a huge benefit that the Crisis Centre provides.
I decided to be a donor on top of my volunteer commitment because I see firsthand what the Crisis Centre does for people and the important role it plays in the community. I know how hard both volunteers and staff work, and I know that our impact could be even bigger if there was more funding. Since I am financially able to make a contribution, I do. Not only do I feel like I’m giving back to the community that’s given me so much, I feel like I gain a more realistic perspective of my community through having these conversations that I wouldn’t otherwise be able to have. As a volunteer and a donor, I know that it’s a good investment in both my community, and in myself.
I’m always learning and taking away a lot from my experiences at the Crisis Centre as a donor and volunteer. I encourage you to learn more about the many donation options that are available to you. You can make a huge impact by supporting the Crisis Centre today.
You can also make a donation to the Crisis Centre by calling 604-872-1811 or donating online at: www.crisiscentre.bc.ca/donate
The Memory Remains
By Jeffrey Lapierre
It’s not an easy thing to think about my brother. I’d like to say that when I do its all sunshine and rainbows. Unfortunately life doesn’t always work out like that. When I think about Trevor, it’s hard to get past the feelings and memories of October 23rd. You want to remember all the good times growing up. The family road trips, the nights spent playing videos games until late into the night. It always seems to make its way back to that moment driving up to my parents’ house… The driveway filled with cop cars, and an ambulance. My mom holding my hands, and my dad telling me, “Trevor had taken his own life.”
In the months that passed, my wife and I had an overwhelming feeling. What can we do to help prevent this from happening to other families? After some time, and several rounds of brainstorming, we decided that we would hold a fundraiser – to help raise money and awareness about suicide and how it can affect anyone.
Trevor was a huge Metallica fan. While trying to think of a name for the fundraiser, I was listening to my iPod and the song “Memory Remains” came on. I knew that I had found it. Then the planning really kicked into gear. My wife, Kylee, did the majority of the work, even as far as to track down Bobby Atwal of Fanzoo – with his help, we confirmed Mason Raymond of the Vancouver Canucks to spend some time taking pictures and signing autographs at the fundraiser. Without my wife’s hard work and help from Bobby, “The Memory Remains” wouldn’t have been nearly as successful as it was. The fundraiser raised more than $7,000.
We wanted the funds raised to go towards a cause that would be aimed at helping teens and young adults gain the skills to deal with depression and recognize distress and crisis in their friends. The Youth Suicide Prevention Program at the Crisis Centre was an obvious choice. We are looking forward to our second annual “The Memory Remains” fundraiser. And we hope to exceed $10,000 this year.
For more info on the “The Memory Remains” fundraiser, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.