campfire confidence

Natalie

“Moorelands changed Natalie. Be Natalie’s hero. Make a donation before the end of the year to help Natalie spread some Moorelands “campfire confidence” to other Toronto kids.”

Natalie's Story

I’d like you to meet Natalie. She’s just one of the 133,000 children who are living in poverty in our city, right now.

Natalie was going through a tough time when I first met her.

Our BLAST leaders told me that she had been a victim of bullying at school and her self-esteem was at rock bottom. I watched her interacting with the other children at BLAST and I could see that, although she was struggling, the positive environment based on respect and caring was helping her, slowly but surely, come out of her shell.  It became clear to me that this was a child in need of the year-round support that Moorelands can offer. I determined, right then and there, to get Natalie to camp.

Fast-forward to this summer at Moorelands Camp where I had the pleasure of meeting Natalie again. This time around, it was like meeting a different person.  I saw her beaming with confidence as she sang camp songs with a group of friends around the campfire. As the campfire came to a close, her cabin group passed by. There she was, right in the middle, laughing and filled with joy as she recounted her time at camp and all she’d achieved. When I asked her what she had learned over her time at Moorelands she said;

“Moorelands has taught me how to be strong and think positively. From what I’ve learned here, I can teach others to be more confident like me.”  – Natalie, Age 10.

At Moorelands Camp, kids like Natalie get the opportunity to develop self-esteem and resiliency and to form positive, enduring friendships – the tools they need to overcome bullying and many other life challenges.

Moorelands changed Natalie. Be Natalie’s hero. Donate before December 31st 2017 to help Natalie spread some Moorelands “campfire confidence” to other Toronto kids.

Thank you!

Lynda

After-school program back in "fall" swing

After-School Programs in “Fall” Swing!

Teamwork, Trustworthiness and Problem-solving

Over the past few weeks, our Youth LED kids have been learning about important leadership habits and qualities that they can use to achieve success. The nine-week program covers many important aspects through a fun variety of activities. This past week the students at Valley Park Middle School were developing teamwork and problem-solving skills and learning about the importance of trustworthiness. Check out the pics!

Getting Active After-School

Recent studies highlight the importance of getting kids active and into the outdoors to reap many physical and mental health benefits and improve attainment at school.  BLAST Gateway has been making the most of the beautiful fall weather by playing soccer and developing their physical literacy skills outdoors. Check out the pics of the fun!

 

Cooking Activities help kids develop important life-skills

All those active games help our kids work up quite the appetite! Last week, kids at BLAST had quite the treat when they learned how to bake delicious cupcakes! Take a look at the pics of kids practising teamwork and sharing as they worked together to bake a delicious batch of tasty goodness!

Celebrating Canada150 with some Bannock

Over at BLAST Gateway, kids also took part in a cooking activity but this time they were learning about the traditional Canadian bread – Bannock! At Moorelands Camp, kids learn to make bannock on cookouts and campouts so we brought a little camp to Moorelands BLAST and the kids got to recreate a Canadian campout after-school!
Moorelands Logo - help us help kids

St. Timothy's Work Weekend

St. Timothy’s Work Weekend 2017

“When I see pictures of kids at camp – on benches we have made, enjoying the archery area, the PFD’s hanging to dry, the faces of the campers, and the stories of a campers growth… I’m proud to know we have had a small role to play in this place.”

St. Timothy’s Anglican Church Volunteers

THANK YOU!

At Moorelands, we teach our kids about the importance of service leadership – the idea that a leader exists to serve and help others be the best they can be.  One great example of this is the St. Timothy’s work weekend.

Members of St. Timothy’s congregation have been coming up to Moorelands Camp to volunteer for over 20 years.  Over this year’s weekend, these fantastic volunteers donated more than 200 hours of labour. Not only did they build, repair, paint and clean up but they got to spend some good church-family bonding time.

We’re so in awe of the age range of volunteers – from toddlers to seniors – everyone pitched in to help!

Jane Hutchinson, who organizes the weekend along with Christie Stevenson, has been coming up to help since 1997. She explains that the idea to volunteer at Moorelands first came about as part of the church’s outreach and fellowship and it continues to be a multi-generational project with around 40 volunteers each summer.

She fondly remembers coming up to camp with her daughter, Rachel, 20 years ago and sleeping in a wilderness cabin with no electricity… a cabin which they ended up sharing with a family of chipmunks!

Jane and Rachel have witnessed many changes at camp over the years but also appreciate how the camp changed them too:

 

“Our first project was to build a cabin with wood siding – we had no idea that we could do it! But we all encouraged each other and learned. It was amazing. Skilled volunteers showed us how to use the tools and we developed confidence in ourselves. It’s one of the things that’s brought us back to volunteer year after year.”
Today, she and Rachel continue their support and are now joined by Rachel’s nieces and son!

Jane is grateful for the opportunity to “help a worthy cause and spend time enjoying the scenic setting and fresh air. I appreciate the community spirit and the knowledge that we are doing something that is of benefit to Moorelands…

“I know that everyone is so thankful that we can help provide a camp experience to children who can’t afford it. I personally feel blessed that my own children didn’t have to strive for that. I’m happy that I can help other children have opportunities that my children were able to have.”

Christie adds, The goals and values of Moorelands just seem to make such good sense: Providing opportunities for kids to grow and develop as responsible citizens. Through volunteer opportunites, I’ve met kids who were campers/leaders, and are now educated and working and giving back. Proof that Moorelands works! I feel this is an organization I want to support – and it is brilliant to be able to contribute in tangible ways.”

Over the years, the congregation of St. Timothy’s have supported Moorelands’ children in many other ways – from financial donations to participating in Christmas Sharing. We’re so thankful to our friends at St. Timothy’s for all that they do. And a big special thank you to Christie and Jane for providing leadership and planning a great event for all.

Moorelands Logo - help us help kids

#GivingTuesday is November 28th!

This #GivingTuesday, your support can give even more kids the opportunity to build some “campfire confidence” at Moorelands.

Giving Tuesday 2017

One of our amazing donors has offered a MATCHING GIFT! If we raise $3,600 on November 28th, this generous anonymous donor will match your gifts and double your impact!

Visit: http://givingtuesday.ca/partners/moorelands-community-services to learn more about how you can give back and spread the word about Moorelands on November 28th!

THANK YOU!

Countdown to #GivingTuesday…

GivingTuesday Countdown
Peter and Marg Anne Jones - Century Club Members

Peter and Marg Anne Jones’ Story

“The work that Moorelands does is seminal…you have to support families and you have to start right at the beginning and keep the support going…”

Century Club Members, Peter and Marg Anne Jones, Share their Story

DCA Urban Work - Three Children with Worker, 1970
DCA Urban Work - Three Children with Worker, 1970s

Former Board member, Peter Jones, and his wife, Marg Anne, have been supporting Moorelands since Peter’s time on the board from the mid-1970s to mid-1980s.

They were introduced to Moorelands (then the DCA) as part of the congregation of St. James Cathedral. Peter reminisces, “Michael Bedford-Jones was one of the curates at St. James and he was also on the board of the DCA. He was a good friend of ours and he recruited us to generally help out.

40 Years of Support

Peter, who eventually became chairman, fondly remembers the DCA community made up of “talented people who committed a lot of time and raised a lot of money.

When I ask them what has inspired their continued support over 40 years, Marg Anne explains: “Moorelands is so effective because if you lay on the support, when it needs to be laid on at the very beginning, then families have hope and they are able to respond…

Moorelands’ mission, to support families and children in poverty sums it up, doesn’t it? That’s what you do. And you do it very well, I think.

Kawagama Kids on the Trail circa 1975
Kawagama Kids on the Trail circa 1975
DCA Associates Tea, St Pauls, 1970s
DCA Associates Tea, St Pauls, 1970s
Aerial View of Moorelands Camp, 1972
Aerial View of Moorelands Camp, 1972
DCA Urban Daycare, 1977
DCA Urban Daycare, 1977

Benefits of Both Camp and City Programs

Peter and Marg Anne’s own children went to camp. Marg Anne tells us, “They benefited immensely. They always seemed to be more grown up when they got home; they learned cooperation.

Peter adds: “another factor we found out in retrospect was that the kids who went to Moorelands Camp were frequently motivated to do well in school. They now had a vision of their future and what they could achieve.

The couple has always been very interested in Moorelands’ work in the city. Marg Anne explains, “I love the after-school program. So many parents are working parents. Moorelands provides a wonderful opportunity for the children to interact with people who are caring and good role models. They help them with schoolwork and the kind of assistance that maybe they wouldn’t get at home.”

Investing in their Community

Today, Peter and Marg Anne are both retired and continue their work in the community. Along with their support for Moorelands, Marg Anne sits on the Board of Parent Child Mother Goose, an organization that offers free parent support programs focusing on early intervention. Peter told us more about their work as volunteers at Out of the Cold.

Community investment is clearly important to them both as Peter explains, “We’re very fortunate to be where we are. And I believe that should carry with it a sense of compassion towards others who are less fortunate.

Marg Anne adds that she has always been appreciative of the thank you cards they receive from camp: “I think that is such a wonderful thing, that you really directly know that you have reached a child and benefited them.

who we are Jenga at BLAST
Two girls at the lake.

Thank you, Peter and Marg Anne, for your amazing support and for investing so much in your community!

Why not share your own Moorelands story or make a donation to empower Toronto kids in need?

Sabina - youth led advocate

Sabina

Sabina is 13 years old and, as we all know, being 13 can be tough. Before she came to Moorelands Youth LED (Lead Excel Demonstrate) program, she was “a shy type of person”. Sabina never put herself forward and didn’t have the confidence to speak up in class. She also struggled to make friends and as a result hated going to school. Things got so bad in fact that she began making up excuses to stay at home telling her mother she was sick.

When her grades suffered, her guidance counsellor referred her to Moorelands Youth LED program. It was the beginning of a new chapter in Sabina’s life.

At Youth LED, she learned the leadership skills that would help her overcome her shyness. Interacting with her fellow participants, she built skills like communication that she’d lacked before. As her strength in teamwork grew, so she grew in confidence. Sabina began to realise that, in fact, she was a pretty awesome group leader and that her input was valuable.

With the encouragement of her Youth LED leaders, Sabina applied the skills she had learned in Youth LED to her school life.  She started raising her hand and participating in class. Her grades improved and she felt more at ease with her classmates. Now Sabina is a Youth LED advocate and tells all her new friends to join the program too.

It costs $740 to send Sabina to Youth LED for a semester including an end of program leadership retreat. This year will be Sabina’s second year, make a donation now to help her continue her growth.

Donate

help kids by supporting Moorelands after school programs

How You Can Help Kids By Supporting Moorelands After-school Programs

After-school Program = Setting Kids Up For Success

Read on to learn what can be achieved this fall at Moorelands After-school programs with your help!

after-school programs - blast boy reading

Improved Academic Results

Kids from low-income neighbourhoods are falling behind their middle-class peers – reports confirm economic disparities result in academic disparities. At BLAST after-school program, super fun activities teach kids, grades 1-6, vital skills needed to succeed in school… PLUS we offer homework help every day. Amira, a BLAST parent told us: “The wide-ranging activities kids do help them learn and understand different things. That includes science, arts and crafts and reading.”

after-school program - youth LED kids

Benefits to Mental Health

Kids affected by poverty are 3X more likely to experience isolation and depression. 78% of Youth LED after-school program kids, grades 7 and 8, told us that Youth LED helped them feel safer, more confident and make new friends.  Maia, told us: “Moorelands has taught me about being safe and being confident and trying my best.”

 

VITAL at BLAST-A-THON

Reduced Behaviour Issues

Kids growing up in poverty are more likely to engage in/are at-risk of delinquent behaviours. You can affect these behaviours by supporting any Moorelands after-school program. All Moorelands kids and youth develop leadership skills Daveed, age 15 and enrolled in VITAL, told us: “Something I learned that will help me outside of Moorelands is being respectful. Even if someone is mean to someone else, I now have ways to diffuse the situation and get them to stop.”

after-school program and heatlthy kids

Healthier, More Active Kids

There’s a direct correlation between neighbourhood income and kids being at risk of obesity and Type 2 Diabetes. 94% of parents reported that they felt the BLAST program encouraged their child to be more active. Rupal, a BLAST parent told us: “Now my kids are more self-confident and more active… It’s safe, affordable and fun!”

 

after-school program - smiling girl at BLAST

A Safe Space to Learn & Grow

Toronto is ‘Canada’s child poverty capital.’ Many working parents cannot afford childcare after school. All spots at Moorelands After-school programs are subsidized and geared to income. Leisha, a BLAST parent, told us: “The program helps me to make my crazy schedule easier. Being a full-time working mom I do appreciate all your help. Knowing Moorelands is there for my kids to ensure their safety and encourage them to be better kids – it means we will all have a stronger future, together.”

You can help kids achieve these positive outcomes by supporting our after-school programs today.

Donate online here: Donate

Look how much good your gifts to Moorelands can do

Look How Much Good Your Gifts To Moorelands Can Do

THANK YOU for your gifts to Moorelands this year!

So far this year, your gifts to Moorelands have already made an amazing impact in the lives of Toronto kids in need.  Check out some of the ways your support in the Send a Kid to Camp campaign made a BIG difference this summer.

Your gifts to Moorelands - Camp girls hanging out

A Safe Space

YOU gave 518 campers a safe place to just be kids and explore nature away from the pressures of the city. Grace, age 10, told us she loved her time at camp because “I learned that one of my strengths is trying new things… and now I am (sort of) not afraid of spiders…!”

your gifts to Moorelands - proud boy with staff with character badge

Positive Role Models

YOU provided campers with 50 well-trained staff. 93% of campers reported that they had strong connections to positive staff role models. Ryan, age 8, told us: “I learned a lot from my cabin leaders and I can surely use respect and teamwork in my daily life to keep a good reputation. Thank you!”

your gifts to Moorelands - girl learning to swim

Water Safety

YOU gave 179 non-swimmers the chance to learn how to swim. Sara, age 12, told us: “The only chance I get to swim is at camp, and I love it so much! The water is amazing!”

your gifts to Moorelands - older boy helping younger girl on high ropes

Leadership Skills

YOU provided the opportunity for campers to improve their leadership skills: 91% said they are more responsible because of camp. Brayden, age 13, told us: “Because of camp I feel like now I care for others more. I can use this to be more respectful and responsible at home.”

Your gifts to Moorelands - boy by the frogpond

From Camp to Community

YOUR efforts through the Send a Kid to Camp Campaign paid the fees for 219 Moorelands campers. Mark, age 13, told us his time at camp will help him at home: What I learned at camp can help me outside of Moorelands because I can help spread positivity in my community.”

A special thank you from a camper parent:

“Just wanted to say this year at Moorelands was absolutely fantastic and a huge success. I know you always do your best for the kids but this year was special. The counsellors were absolutely phenomenal. Both my boys were thrilled… Keep up the very good job. Way to go! BRAVO! And a huge thank you to those who helped us get to camp,  from the bottom of my heart! :)”

THANK YOU for your gifts to Moorelands!

Scotiabank Training Weekends 2017

Scotiabank Staff Training Weekends 2017

If you really want to be a successful leader, you must develop other leaders around you. You must develop a team of leaders!”  John C. Maxwell

Staff Training - Developing Moorelands Leaders

Scotiabank staff training 2017

Moorelands staff members are an integral part of our after-school programs. We are so fortunate to receive generous funding for our staff training from Scotiabank to prepare staff for the important job ahead of them. Our staff training is focused on how team members can support Toronto kids in their leadership development. Team building and leadership focused activities are used to help staff build trust, connections and their own personal leadership skills.

Know, Grow, Show

Over several training sessions in September, staff learn about our inclusive culture, values and commitment to Positive Youth Development; Moorelands leadership habits and qualities; creating fun and engaging activities for our participants that help them know, grow and show; and how to ensure a safe and healthy environment for everyone at Moorelands.

At Moorelands We Are Intentional

Our staff training is vigorous because at Moorelands we are intentional: We intend that children will gain skills, experience personal growth, gain confidence and make friends because they have been to Moorelands. Therefore, it’s important that our staff leaders are intentional too. At staff training they learn how to plan activities with a purpose, create teachable moments and maximize the opportunities they have to positively influence the children and youth we serve.

Our after-school program staff are awesome and we can’t wait for them to demonstrate their skills in our BLAST, YOUTH LED and VITAL leadership programs in Thorncliffe Park and Flemington Park. All spots in our programs are subsidized. If you’d like to learn more about our programs or complete an application form for your child online, click here.

We’re so excited for after-school programs to start again next week. Thank you, Scotiabank, for giving our staff the opportunity to develop the tools both they, and our kids, need to succeed.

Moorelands Logo - help us help kids

Moorelands Camp Photos 2017

Moorelands Camp Photos 2017

The 2017 season of Moorelands Camp has sadly ended but take a look at some of the awesome photos from each session and keep the fire burning! (Page may take a few moments to load!)

Mayree Poverty Report

Maytree Report: What does the data tell us about rising poverty in Canada?

Some key findings from the Maytree Report

  • “Over [a] nine-year period, incomes increased across the distribution. But the gap between the highest earners and lowest earners also increased, with incomes at the top rising by 11.6 per cent, compared to a rise of 7.5 per cent at the bottom.”
  • “[In 2015] Poverty rose for most family types, with the exception for children in lone-parent families. Their poverty rate fell to 36.4 per cent from 41.9 per cent, but it remained much higher than the rate for children living with two parents at 10.3 per cent. Unattached working-age adults without children also had a high poverty rate at 35.9 per cent.”
  • “In 2015, 12.1 per cent of Canadians (4.2 million people) were in poverty according to the MBM (Market Based Measure), up from 11.3 per cent (3.9 million people) in 2014.”
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