December 7, 2013 by mtymoschuk
“HELLO” stands for Helping Everyone Locate Loved Ones. This project was started by Kristi Blakeway, the Vice Principal at Thomas Haney. She takes students to the downtown east side around Mother’s Day and Christmas to bring homemade cards that the homeless can send to loved ones. A lot of people have lost touch with their family and at first turn down our offer to send a card. But, when we explain that we will try to help them reconnect, their faces completely light up.
Our leadership class and some elementary students made a bunch of Christmas cards for people to choose from. Yesterday, the people we spoke to in Vancouver wrote cards to their parents, siblings, children, and friends. We will use whatever information they know to help us find the person that the note is meant for.
Mrs. Blakeway has some pretty amazing stories about her experiences with Project HELLO as well as Beyond Hello. Our Leadership and Social Justice classes got to experience some of that on Thursday. The stories of those living on the DTES are ones of difficult pasts. These people have been faced with so much and continue to be faced with many challenges but they speak with courage, hope, and strength. One lady told us that they just need people to believe in them.