October 2013

Kindness is ever the begetter of kindness.

Welcome to year 4 of the HOST Program and our first as a registered Canadian charity.

One of the requirements of gaining registration by Canada Revenue Agency is the creation of a not-of-profit organization overseen by a volunteer Board of Directors.  I wish thank the following people who have agreed to join me on the inaugural Board until the first Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the members of the organization:

Don Stephenson – Vice-President                        Linda Lussier – Secretary

Leanne Bergeron – Director                                 Suzanne Donnelly – Director

After reviewing our finances and projections for the next few years, the Board authorized awards of $1,000 to 15 students this year, up from 12 last year. As a result, we have added five new schools: Canterbury, Gisèle-Lalonde, Immaculata, Notre Dame and St. Patrick.

The mother of one of our recipients has generously agreed to allow me to share her email to me.  While it is addressed to me, it belongs to all of our donors.  I believe that it describes far more eloquently than I could the impact of your donations and fundraising. I have changed the name of the student and edited the email to remove anything that might identify her.

I cannot begin to tell you how much my daughter and I appreciate your gift. Anna has always been a child who lacked confidence in herself. Since receiving this award, she feels that she can do just about anything now when it comes to school. She always felt like her peers were better than her but she walks with her head held high these days.

Financially, I've been struggling for the past 5 years. I am a single mother to my amazing children. Unfortunately, I am also a victim of domestic abuse. Due to this unfortunate series of events, my children have gone without several times. This affected their schooling.

We have been without food a lot during the past five years. The children wouldn't go to school because I couldn't provide them with a lunch. Then I fled my abusive relationship, causing us to become homeless. At the time, I was on stress leave from work, which is unfortunately my present state. The motel we lived in was far away from their school so the children once again couldn't go to school if there was no gas in my van.

All of these issues, including so many more, have been the root of a huge cycle causing my children to miss out on an education.

We just moved to Ottawa from being homeless. Anna couldn't wait to start school. Anna has fit in beautifully, meeting many wonderful new friends. Her marks are soaring for the very first time. To her, getting this award has given her the light at the end of the tunnel that she needed in a journey of chaos and sadness that we've traveled.

Anna is the eldest of her siblings. She never asks for anything. I'm so proud of her and can't thank you enough for what you have given her. It's hope! You are what my children and I call, an "angel in disguise". In this world there are too many negatives. One positive can make the world of difference to one person. You did that for my daughter - gave her hope and a reason to keep up the high marks. With that, the possibilities for her future are endless.

With that money, she knows she will never miss school due to hunger or lack of transportation funds. She may get herself some winter boots and a new winter jacket for the walks to school in the morning. It's all in aid of her getting an education.

She wants to change the world by giving hope to those less fortunate like us. I can only hope that one day, we can do the same for another as you have done for us.

Thank you!

The organization’s first Annual General Meeting will take place on Wednesday, November 13, 2013, in Room 158 at St. Matthew High School, 6550 Bilberry Drive (off Jeanne D’Arc Blvd.), beginning at 7:30 p.m. An agenda for the meeting is attached. According to the Constitution, any person or organization who has donated to the HOST Program since its inception in 2010 is deemed to be a member and may attend this AGM (one vote per organization.)  After the AGM, any donation of $100 or more entitles the donor to be member for one year.

Our web site – www.host-program.org – has been re-designed. It should be easier to navigate and will be much easier to maintain.

As usual, I have attached a current financial statement and a Donor Form.

My next report will be at the end of December and will include excerpts from the recipients’ December letters.

I look forward to meeting with you at the AGM on November 13th.

hostprogram@rogers.com    © RICHARD LUSSIER 2016