Message from Jim
At the start of this summer, I was anxious about the typical decrease in giving that we usually see during the warmer months—when a lot of folks are away on holidays or otherwise not caught up in their regular routines. With the Calgary Stampede, summer is a time when vulnerable people who are struggling with addiction are tempted—sometimes beyond what they can endure—to fall back into old habits.
This summer, though, I learned again the ongoing lesson of faith and trust—thanks to generous donors like you.
In the last few months, our Women’s Recovery Program has filled up, and we also ran a Youth Camp where our young guys were able to experience three days of adventure together. It truly has been a summer of growth in many ways.
As we look forward to the upcoming Thanksgiving season, we have many new and continuing costs on the horizon, including our annual Thanksgiving meal. But I am certain that with the ongoing faithfulness shown by our supporters, everyone who comes to us for help will be met with the care, resources and solidarity they need to grow into the people they desire to be.
My name is Luke, and I’m forever grateful for the Calgary Dream Centre.
I grew up in England and my parents separated when I was very young. Whenever I visited my dad, even before I was in school, he would bring me to the pub.
By the age of 11, I was drinking with my dad and became an alcoholic. I was 14 when I first tried pot, and immediately became hooked on that as well. My life spiralled downwards, and, by 17, I’d lost all my joy.
Around that time, my mom and step-dad decided to move to Canada, so I went with them in hopes of getting a fresh start. Instead, the situation became worse. I started stealing from my family and friends as I couch-surfed. I felt like a scumbag—unworthy of happiness—but couldn’t bring myself to care enough to feel remorse. All I cared about was getting drunk and high.
By the time I was 20, nobody trusted me anymore, so I became homeless. For over a year, I tented in city parks, or just slept on benches. Everything I owned fit into one bag, and all I ate was junk food. I gave up on myself, hating myself.
In my worst moments, I would walk out into traffic. One time, a car swerved out of the way and the driver yelled at me, “Do you have a death wish?” I fell onto my hands and knees in the middle of the road and begged him to kill me. But of course he didn’t.
I finally had a wakeup call when I arrived drunk at the shelter where I was staying. After sleeping it off on the mat out front, I was still sick the next morning and felt judged even by the people who had slept inside the shelter the night before. In that terrible moment, I realized I needed help.
Through the shelter I was staying at, I was connected to one of the recovery programs at the Calgary Dream Centre.
During my first meal there, staff came and sat with me, making me feel welcome. I was shocked when they encouraged me to eat as much food as I needed. I soon joined the Youth Recovery Program. That’s where I met Jordan. He was the Youth Program Manager, and he cared enough to call me out and push me to be better. I enjoyed the outings and the healthy leisure activities that we did in the youth program. On my first outing, we climbed a mountain! Gradually, I found that the way I viewed myself and recovery was changing.
After graduating from the youth program in July 2015, I moved into the transitional housing program, followed by the community housing program in October 2015. I am so grateful for the continued support I receive!
I’m now reunited with my family, and my relationships are healthier than ever. I am the best person I have ever been! This past March, I started college to become an Addictions Community Support Worker. All I want to do is pass on the gift of inspiration that the Calgary Dream Centre gave to me.
I cannot thank the Dream Centre enough for bringing hope and purpose back into my life, and if I can make a difference in one person’s life, I’ll feel like I’ve done my job.
One Donor’s Story of Giving
For the past four years, we’ve been hugely blessed by a generous gift from Tim Lefaivre and the Francis and Marjorie Lefaivre Foundation. And a few weeks ago, he took the time to sit down with us and share the story of his parents’ passion to help change lives in Calgary.
Tim’s dad, Francis, grew up during the Great Depression, and experienced an early life of hardship and poverty. As a kid, he was told that he wouldn’t amount to anything, but he was determined to make something of his life, and for others. He worked hard every day of his life, joining the oil and gas industry. He had a lifelong commitment to volunteering and donating to charities in our city. Before he passed away, he and Marjorie placed a substantial amount of their life savings into a trust so that their life’s work could continue to help those who needed it the most. And for the past ten years, Tim has been joyfully carrying out their wish—providing funds to help organizations that serve the most critical social issues in Calgary.
We are so grateful and humbled by Tim’s choice to support the work we’re doing at the Dream Centre.
“The fact that the Dream Centre had full wrap-around services was something that stood out to me,” says Tim. He went on to talk about his respect for our Executive Director, Jim Moore, and his business mind that allows us to stretch the donations we receive and use them to give as much help as possible.
“It would be amazing if—after ten years—my dad’s words could motivate someone to donate,” says Tim. And we agree. As he reminds us all, it’s truly the heart and act of giving that changes lives. Thanks for your generosity and inspiration, Tim!
Transform a life today
$150.00 supports a person
in recovery for 3 days