When ADAM came to us 3 months before his 14th birthday, he was finally safe from the violence and abuse that had plagued his young life.
Staying in a shelter isn’t easy and kids like ADAM make up the majority of people who are living in shelters; we have 21 children and youth with us now. Ernestine’s provides counselling, advocacy and support to the children and youth residing with us and we will do everything that we can to ensure that their time here is full of happy memories.
But just being safe isn’t very exciting for a teenage boy. ADAM had to start at a new school. He had to make new friends, get used to new teachers. He had to share a room and he had to turn 14 in a place that wasn’t his home.
When ADAM came to stay at Ernestine’s, we got to know him, as we do all our clients. It didn’t take long for us to learn that ADAM’s passion was NBA basketball. But he had never seen a game live and a pair of Raptors tickets was beyond the reach of his mother, who had traded almost everything she had in exchange for her children’s safety.
He was an avid Toronto Raptors fan and, whenever he could, he watched their games on television, memorized their stats and talked about them nonstop.
So we reached out to our supporters and one of you stepped up. For ADAM’s 14th birthday Cakes by Helen baked him a special Raptors cake in the shape of a basketball. And another generous supporter was able to provide 2 tickets to an upcoming game. ADAM got courtside seats to see the Raptors play. If you ask him, he can’t help getting excited about the moment when the team stepped onto the court: “I heard the music and I knew they were coming out, but when I turned my head, they were RIGHT THERE!” And towards the end of the game, ADAM was able to go into the dressing room. He touched “the rock” and got to sit in Kyle Lowry’s, his favorite player’s, chair.
ADAM knew that he had come to the shelter in order to start a better life, but thanks to Ernestine’s supporters, he got a sense of what “a better life” could be. And he will remember this for the rest of his life.
When you support Ernestine’s, you help to provide safety, shelter, clothing, food, and counselling to women and children who are starting a new life away from violence and abuse. And you also help to show them that this life really is better. Whether it’s a new backpack for school, a chance to try snowshoeing for the first time or even a pair of courtside tickets to a Raptors game, the money you donate doesn’t just make a difference in a general way.
Your gifts change the lives of people like ADAM.