Valentine’s Day at Youville Centre
At Youville Centre, we celebrate Valentine’s Day by celebrating the love between our young mothers and their babies. We decorate the centre, Youville’s babies and toddlers make special artwork for their mothers, and we have a very generous donor who provides a rose for each mom. The roses are given out at the end of the day, and our students’ faces light up with beautiful smiles the moment they realize they can choose a rose, and that this rose has been specifically donated just for them. Many thanks to Debbie C. and her family for continuing to give to our young moms in memory of their late mother, Rita, who was a longtime donor and supporter of Youville Centre.
In addition to the roses, this year we decided to add a few more special treats to our Valentine’s Day celebration. The first was a completely student-led initiative. Our young mothers decided it would be fun to make candy-grams for students and staff to give to each other. Each candy gram would have freshly baked cookies inside as well as other types of candy, and a note would be attached with ribbon for a special Valentine’s Day message. Staff purchased candy grams and exchanged them amongst themselves, and the students prepared one for each staff member with a special note of thanks or an inspirational quote. Youville’s moms put together 400 candy grams in total, and earned volunteer hours in the process. Under the umbrella of M.F. McHugh Education Centre, proceeds raised from the sale of the candy grams will go to support Pader Academy, a school for young mothers in Uganda. The students learned the joy of giving and the practice of gratitude through this fun exercise, and they are now paying it forward with their support of Pader Academy’s young moms.
The second treat we added this year was a special movie event for our young moms. It was a chance to be a teen again, to relax with bean bag chairs and blankets, and settle in to watch a movie together! We chose the movie, “Valentine’s Day”, a romantic comedy that portrays many different types of relationships, and in addition to being a fun “chick flick”, also teaches lessons about love and healthy relationships. To make this movie event even more fun, snack donations from Papa Jack Popcorn and Pepsi Canada were generously received and enjoyed!
Our focus here at the centre truly is holistic, and a part of that includes taking time for fun and special treats that not only make our young moms smile, but also allow them to enjoy their brief time as a teenager.
We hope everyone had a lovely Valentine’s Day!