Jesse was 11 years old when she was referred to KidStart. Jesse’s father had left their home and her older siblings were skipping school and getting into trouble with the police. This took all of Jesse’s mother’s time and energy. Jesse was often by herself and her mother began to worry that Jessie had no one to talk to. Jesse’s school counsellor told her mother about the KidStart Program.
Maria was recruited by KidStart to start meeting with Jesse for a few hours each week. They went to the movies and cooked dinner together. Sometimes Maria helped Jesse with her homework and they often listened to music. Jesse spent a lot of time talking to Maria about her father and how much she missed him and how worried she was about her sisters.
Then, thanks to generous donations from the public, Jesse got an amazing opportunity to lift her spirits! Here is Maria’s story about their special outing:
“Today is the big day! I picked Jesse up from her house, video camera in hand, and we headed over to her very first concert! I think I may have been more excited than she was because I knew how great of a time she would have. It’s a lovely feeling knowing you get to be a part of giving someone an experience they will never forget. When we finally arrived, Jesse couldn’t believe how many people were there. We weaved our way through the crowd and finally found the 3rd floor (with some help, of course). We got to our box suite, and Jesse looked at me in shock -she wasn’t expecting us to get an actual suite. I urged her to open the door and, when she did, her face was priceless. It was the typical ‘kid in a candy store’ expression, and I will never forget it. Her eyes lit up as she surveyed the room that was filled with pizza, pop, and popcorn. She was not expecting this at all! We grabbed some food (several times!) and made our way to our seats. The opening act, came on and definitely started the party. Jesse was amazed at how good they were and how good of a time she was having from the moment the band hit the stage. It was so great seeing her scream, put her hands up, and let loose. She also made friends with the adorable little girl sitting next to her who sweetly offered for Jesse a look through her binoculars. I may have had more than one ‘heart-melting’ experience throughout the evening! When the concert ended, I thought Jesse would be falling asleep and all ready for bed – not a chance! She was wide awake. We talked about our favourite parts of the concert on the way home and which songs we liked best. When I went to drop her off at home, she thanked me deeply, and it was great knowing how much she appreciated it. Of course, none of this would have been possible without the generosity of KidStart and their donors, so thank you for putting a smile on kids’ (both big and small) faces. These memories will last a lifetime!”
Memories like these are a very special part of a KidStart relationships and help build the foundation of trust that each of our mentors, like Maria, create with a young person that needs help. They wouldn’t be possible with the generous gifts we receive from our donors. Many of our KidStart relationships extend for years, giving kids like Jesse a chance to grow and thrive in the communities they call home. Help them continue by giving a donation today at https://www.gifttool.com/donations/Donate?ID=2163&AID=2989
*To protect the privacy and confidentiality of individuals accessing our services, their names and certain details have been altered. Please note the images used by PLEA are stock images used solely for illustrative purposes. Any person depicted in the images is a model.