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West Prince Stepping Stones to Success starts program to support young people struggling

Stepping Stones to Success program participants, from left, Brittany Hart, Jaime Lee Butler, Marley Quinn, Becca Richard and McKayla Gallant display some of the initial donations for their Youth Helping Youth initiative.  Photo by Eric McCarthy/Journal Pioneer
Stepping Stones to Success program participants, from left, Brittany Hart, Jaime Lee Butler, Marley Quinn, Becca Richard and McKayla Gallant display some of the initial donations for their Youth Helping Youth initiative. Photo by Eric McCarthy/Journal Pioneer

ALBERTON, P.E.I. –All participants in West Prince’s Stepping Stones to Success program say they know, or know of, youths in the region who are homeless.
They know young people who have slept in cars, or on secluded outdoor benches, and they know some who are couch-surfing.

And they want to draw attention to the situation so those youth can get supplies and support they need to survive.

They’ve started Youth Helping Youth, in support of youth who are struggling and in need, and they’re promising to provide the support with no questions asked and without judgments.

“I really believe it’s a great cause; I believe it can help so many people who are struggling,” said Becca Richard, displaying enthusiasm for Youth Helping Youth.

It might be the hand up someone needs, she suggested.

“You just never know. They could be struggling right now and we actually help them get what they needed to get started.”

Stepping Stones to Success coordinator, Maureen Chaisson, said it might be as simple as supplying a youth with a clean outfit for a job interview.

She said such a program had been on her mind for about a year prior to her raising it with her current group of participants.

“I just gave it to these folks and they started running with it,” she said, expressing confidence future intakes will keep the program going.

Program participants will take turns taking donated clothing items home to be washed and dried before being put on display.

Items needed include clothing, footwear, blankets and personal hygiene products. Chaisson said racks for displaying clothing would also be welcomed.

Participant Jaime Lee Butler said she is so passionate about the cause that she plans to continue volunteering with the cause once her intake term expires.

“There are a lot of people in West Prince who are not aware of how many people are actually homeless or couch-surfing,” Butler suggested.

“We want to show people we are here to support them and that they have someone,” added McKayla Gallant.

“Give what you can, take what you need,” is their slogan.

Participants will accept donations at their training location, the former Pitstop restaurant, located in the parking lot of the carwash, 538 Main Street, Alberton. Participants will also make arrangements to pick up donations.

Details are available on the youth helping youth facebook page, by email at yhy.payitforward@gmail.com or by calling 902-853-3279.

Youth needing items can call 902-853-3279 to make an appointment, or they can drop in to Stepping Stones to Success any Tuesday or Thursday between 3:30 and 4 p.m. Program participants will also drop off items to youth in need.

Types of donations needed

Youth Helping Youth program needs donations such as:

– Youth-friendly clothing and footwear including winter wear.

– Personal hygiene items such as facecloths and towels, soap, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, razors, brushes and combs, bobby pins, toothpaste and toothbrushes.

– Blankets, sleeping bags

– Nail clippers, band-aids.

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