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Bright Idea!

Graffiti Art Program

Just wanted to show off the great work that our youth, staff and volunteers did at The Dam last month. In collaboration with the Drew Hildebrand Teen Benefit Fund we were able to run a graffiti art program and our youth came up with some amazing pieces of art that will soon be hanging on the walls of our Meadowvale space.


It can be very refreshing to stumble upon a story of someone who is really living out a crazy type of rebellion. This was certainly the case for me when I had the chance to read about Fatemah Golmakani, who immigrated to London, England from Iran 18 years ago. I want to stress that this is a CRAZY STORY! It’s not cute, or sweet and does not belong as some side column buried on the back pages. This is the type of radical love that SHAKES THE FOUNDATIONS and PULLS UP THE ROOTS of the selfishness which typically consumes our every day choices and decisions.

Speaking for Love Equals Suspension for Three Students

I was introduced to these three stories today; three stories that can be very disheartening. Each one speaks to the difficultly of being a True Rebel voice as a young student.

Youth Mentors - True Rebels

Our youth mentors at The Dam are an incredible group of people. I am so blessed to be able to work with them every week, they inspire me with their compassion, empathy and living out Mother Teresa's words, "I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only love." It is a group of true rebels who are motivated by love!

The Gift of Intimacy

Tonight we are having a Christmas party at our Meadowvale drop-in. This will be my ninth Youth Christmas Party in Meadowvale and I love them all. I have many memories of youth erecting amazing gingerbread houses, playing games, singing karaoke, competing in Christmas trivia or Christmas twister. For all the fun and laughter and the great Christmas dinners and dramas, one memory always stands out for me above the rest.

No Regrets for A Good Friend

From Bronnie Ware come these top 5 things that people regret about their lives in their last moments. Working in palliative care for many years these are the things she would hear most often expressed at the end of someone's journey. (You can find the full blog here)

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard

Something Different is Possible

Recently I was speaking at a Gr. 9 retreat, an event geared towards giving them an enthusiastic and positive start to their high school experience. I did the 20 dollar bill exercise with them (which you can find here) and commented, “We, as a society, have done a better job of recognizing the value of money than we have at recognizing the value of the people around us.” Much to my surprise one young man in the group reacted immediately with a loud, “So?!” that could be heard throughout the room.

Now is the Moment

“I'd like to quit thinking of the present, like right now, as some minor, insignificant preamble to something else.” – Cynthia (Dazed and Confused)

The other day my wife and I were having a conversation about whether or not we were ‘done’ having kids. I found this conversation unsettling for some reason. I determined that my discomfort was coming from the fact that this whole thing about being done having kids is rooted in the future.

Billy is Scared of Suzie!

Suzie gets picked up from school, she is 10 years old, she expresses frustration to her mom that Billy has been picking on her and today he pulled her pigtails. Suzie’s mom smiles and explains to Suzie that Billy might have a crush on her. Suzie’s mom isn’t worried. This is normal and the smile on her face is a signifier that we have long accepted this twisted reality. Suzie’s education is beginning, “Boys are stupid!” she might respond. The more accurate response however would be, “Boys are scared!”

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