Imagine being in the worst situation possible, and believing there is no hope for change. How would it affect your thinking? How would it affect the way you act, or the way you look at the world? What if you thought that pain and sadness were your destiny, because it was all you had ever known?
Now imagine that someone told you there was hope. That life could be so much better. Imagine being told that you are loved and valued and had a better destiny for your life. You would probably look at that person and say that they were crazy. For youth who have experienced years of hopelessness, words alone mean nothing.
But take those words, connect them with acts of compassion, and now you have something that is real, and inspires change. At Restoring Hope Ministries we want to give people the opportunity to see hope birthed in the lives of young men and women who have heard it all, but have rarely seen love in action.
Interested in finding out more?
Ways to Volunteer
One of our ongoing biggest needs is overnight shelter volunteers. We are not going to lie, it is difficult work. It means committing an entire evening through the following morning. It also means staying awake for a large part of the overnight (not the entire night though, our volunteers will sleep in shifts). However, you will also have the opportunity to work with some incredibly wonderful youth who desperately need the love and joy that you have to give. You have the chance to build friendships with the youth which will plant the seed of hope in their lives. Lastly, you will know that while those youth are with you for the night, that they are safe and that they can truly have a peaceful night sleep. Our overnight youth shelter is our starting point in helping to inspire homeless youth to a changed life. Please pray and ask the Lord if He would want you to help us with this great opportunity.
The drop-in period is a vital part of our ministry. During this time volunteers participate in a variety of tasks such as serving hot meals, providing an active listening ear, sorting and distributing clothing, doing dishes and so much more with the youth in attendance. We offer a relatively low-key environment with engaging activities readily available.
Every evening that we open the shelter we provide a meal for the youth. This meal has become a highlight of the night for the youth. It is not uncommon for the youth to come to us and reveal that they have not eaten in days. We ask for volunteers to prepare a meal for an average of 20~25 youth.
Before each youth leaves in the morning we would like to give them each a bag lunch to take with them. Would you like to be a part of providing a healthy lunch for a youth in Ottawa who need to be reminded that people care? You can even put a note of support and encouragement with the lunch as a surprise for them when they open their lunch. It may sound a little corny, but small acts of kindness add up to change a life forever.
These include board and card games, movie nights, arts and crafts and occasional special theme nights. A strong emphasis is put on building healthy relationships. Help is also provided in the form of low-key mental health support, conflict management and pastoral care with informal referrals being made to deeper community support where indicated. The drop-in is primarily hosted by volunteers under the guidance of a staff supervisor.
Special Activities & Theme Nights
Once per month, a special activity is provided to the youth so that they can have fun and experience different things that stimulate joy and hope. This time of interaction with staff and volunteers offers them an opportunity to express themselves in different ways that are sometimes not possible.
Organizing Material Donations
Donations come in throughout the year in support of this ministry where volunteers are required during various times to assist to keep the shelter organized and perform our annual spring cleaning and Christmas sorting. This is done during the daytime when the shelter is not operating. We also need regular assistance with ongoing tasks of folding clothing donations and restocking hygiene supplies and pantry supplies during the drop-in period.
Fundraising - Special Events
It is no secret that a project like this requires money in order to operate. Throughout the year, we will be organizing many events to raise both funds and awareness for what we are doing at Restoring Hope Ministries. Are you someone who likes to have fun and likes to engage with others to do the same? We need your help. We would like to put together a team of volunteers who feel called to help us to organize these events. The possibilities are endless, and we’ll have a lot of fun. Would you like to use your event planning skills to help us to raise funds and awareness for those we serve?
Every good thing that this ministry has been blessed with has come as a result of answered prayers. We have been so excited to see how God has been opening doors for us and how He continues to bless us beyond what we could have imagined. Through every obstacle God has sustained our faith by revealing His strength and purposes through prayer. We are looking for partners who we will commit to joining us in praying for this ministry and the youth who we will be reaching. We will also be meeting regularly together for times of prayer and celebration. Join us in our efforts to change lives through the power of prayer.