The Help project reports on a successful year

Agassiz-Harrison group setting up for another full year in 2015

The Help Project is starting another year strong with a team of volunteers committed to helping local youth.

Their vision is to ensure every local youth and family member can easily find the resources they need on a wide range of topics. Their hope is that youth who have easy access to resources will help to “drastically reduce and ultimately prevent youth drug abuse, depression, violence and suicide.”

At a presentation to Harrison Council Monday evening, treasurer Susan Eick said, coincidentally, since starting the Help Project, there hasn’t been one suicide in the area.

“We don’t take credit for that,” says Eick, but says it shows discussion is happening and it is an interesting fact to note.

Eick shared that when they first came together as a group several years ago, they recognized there were many different resources available in the community to get help. But what was needed was an easy way to access information about all those resources.

The committee, which has been working together for three years now, launched a website to provide quick access to resources on topics such as suicide, bullying, addiction and more.

We want to give them the resources, “to help them get through the really tough stuff,” shared committee member Terrill Scott when The Help Project team made a presentation to the District of Kent Council at their Jan. 26 meeting.

“It’s hard to be young, and sometimes it’s hard to be young in an isolated community,” said Scott.

Volunteers spend time with youth in the Fraser-Cascade School District, to spread the word and create awareness. They have gone to events such as soccer tournaments, PACER Day and community events like the Health Fair, to share and engage in conversation within a positive atmosphere.

“Any time we get an invite from a school, we are there,” said Eick.

Both Eick and Scott updated the respective mayor and councillors on The Help Project’s mission, vision, strategy and makeup as well as a look back and a look forward for the committee.

This year, The Help Project is looking into recruiting more volunteers, initiating several contests and projects and fostering partnerships as well as doing ongoing website updates and maintenance.

“We are continuing to evolve The Help Project as we move forwards,” said Eick. She told Harrison Council that the group has been operating on a “shoestring budget” from the beginning and are looking to doing some more fundraising events this year including an event in May and one in November.

The Help Project committee asked the District of Kent Council for financial support in the form of a grant-in-aid. Judy Lewis, District director of financial services, says the grant-in-aid report is scheduled to go before Council on the meeting of Feb. 10.

In August, 2014, The Help Project became an official society, which means they are able to provide tax receipts for donations now. To learn more, see www.thehelpproject.ca