Here’s a story of one of the charitable organizations I had the privilege of working with.
In Joliette, Quebec, Canada, the Association pour les Jeunes de la rue de Joliette, or Joliette Street Youth Association, is making a difference in the lives of young people living on the streets through support and education. Personalized silicone bracelets are helping them mark a milestone—and build a sense of community.
“What we do is promote health,” explains Nicole Lapointe with Association pour les Jeunes de la rue de Joliette. “We work hard on establishing a relationship with street youth that respects their choices, their styles and their values. We give them help and information on different topics such as drug addiction, sexuality, prostitution, HIV/Aids, employment and laws.”
Lapointe explains that working with street youth fills a gap left behind by many social services and helps youth overcome low self-esteem. It also generates, over time, hard-to-earn trust of the organization’s staff, which connects the young people with the help they ultimately may get through the system. “The relationships between these young people and the street workers [our staff] help break their isolation and reconstruct their networks.”
Now celebrating 25 years of this essential work in Joliette, Association pour les Jeunes de la rue de Joliette wanted to mark the occasion in a special way. As a recipient of a 4imprint® one by one® promotional products grant, the organization ordered personalized silicone bracelets to celebrate the silver anniversary of the work they do with youth on the streets. The bracelets will be distributed to partners, sponsors, street youth and the general public who attend the silver anniversary celebration. The hope is to create a sense of belonging and community.
“For the occasion, we decided to organize a huge party in one of Joliette’s parks to celebrate street-involved youth. They will have a day of fun, pleasure, music, entertainment and food,” Lapointe says, “And they will be able to forget, for at least that one day, the hazards of their lives.”
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