June 21, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEW WESTMINSTER, BC – Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada, a national organization
dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth in the child welfare system, recently
provided the Dan’s Legacy Foundation with a two-year grant totalling $46,800. The funds will
support Dan’s Legacy’s therapeutic counselling for at-risk youth taking part in life-skills
programming at its partner organization Aunt Leah’s Place in New Westminster.
“We’re thrilled with this outstanding commitment from Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada,”
says Barbara Coates, Dan’s Legacy’s executive director. “Most of the youth accessing our
counselling services at Aunt Leah’s Place are either in, or aging out of, foster care. With this
funding we’ll be able to continue meet the desperate need for trauma-informed mental health
support services for these vulnerable young people in our community.”
To broaden its reach in Metro Vancouver, Dan’s Legacy partners with other community-based
organizations, such as Aunt Leah’s Place, that provide wrap-around support to at-risk youth. As its partners match Dan’s Legacy’s counselling fees, the grant from the Foundation doubles in value to $93,600, and will directly help over 60 youth.
“Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada supports youth in transition from permanent care by
assisting them in advancing their education or employment and this grant will help young people address their mental health issues, which can be a major barrier to achieving these life goals,”says Valerie McMurtry, President and CEO, Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada. “We are pleased to continue our partnership with Dan’s Legacy, which began in 2018 when program director Tom Littlewood was named a Lynn Factor Stand Up for Kids National Award finalist and directed the award grant to Dan’s Legacy.”
Youth in, or aging out of, foster care have significant barriers in terms of accessing Health
Authority mental health programs, and Dan’s Legacy’s therapists close that gap by going
directly to where the youth are. Their services are free (for those who cannot afford to pay) and
they aim to maintain a no wait list policy. The therapists provide trauma and culturally-informed
counselling based on psychological principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Dialectical
Behavioural Therapy and mindfulness and also offer an exercise program supervised by one of
their therapists who is a certified fitness instructor. Together with their partners at Aunt Leah’s
Place, Dan’s Legacy also prepares a weekly “Sunday Haven” community dinner and food
bank for the youth, all with recovered food from one grocery store in the community. Dan’s
Legacy collects approximately $100,000 of surplus food each month, and feeds over 300 people experiencing food insecurity in the community.
If you or someone you know is asking for help, please contact Tom Littlewood (Program
Director) [email protected] or 604-999-9136 or Barbara Coates (Executive Director) at 604-329-9186, or [email protected].
About Dan’s Legacy
Dan’s Legacy provides therapeutic counselling and life-skills intervention programs to youth
affected by trauma-based mental health and addictions issues. In the past four years Dan’s
Legacy has helped over 300 youth meet their educational, housing and life-goals.
Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada is our country’s leading charity dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth growing up in the child welfare system. We raise and grant funds, and deliver a wide range of high-impact programs and services in partnership with 74 child- and youth-serving agency partners that support more than 22,200 vulnerable young people and 3,500 families annually. Stand Up for Kids is our national campaign for child welfare, which aims to change the futures of Canada’s most at-risk kids – those who have experienced abuse and neglect. We know that by helping these young people to overcome their trauma and break the cycle for future generations, they gain the strength and resilience to create a lifetime of their own unstoppable successes.