Updated: May 3
Two amazing students from Vancouver College, Miles Cheung and Thomas Chow, both in Grade 9, had the English assignment of writing a news article on a topic of their choice. Both students chose to write all about Helping Hearts' progress and we would like to feature these articles here! You might even learn something new...
Thomas Chow (VC HHYF Club Co-President)
On April 6, 2022, two Vancouver College students with a vision, Kaleb Adatia and Christopher Lee, launched the Helping Hearts Youth Foundation (HHYF), an organization based in British Columbia that aims to involve more youth in volunteering and give to the marginalized. They believe that youth are the future and foundation of the next generation and strive to help them with their school clubs and charity work. The HHYF is a youth-led organization that has bettered the lives of many individuals in the Downtown Eastside and local communities. They hope to better the lives of people Downtown by providing them with food, water, and other necessities.
“I started Helping Hearts because I saw that there were issues within the community around me, such as the treatment of those in the Downtown Eastside, and I knew I had the ability to change that,” said Co-CEO and Co-Founder of the HHYF, Christopher Lee.
Led by Co-CEOs, Christopher and Kaleb, as well as the hundreds of volunteers in the organization, the HHYF has made over 2000 meals and care packages, providing support to those in need. They aim to organize several more events before the end of the school year. These include making hundreds more sandwiches and having a donut fundraiser with the help of their many club branches spanning Vancouver College, West Point Grey Academy, and Eric Hamber. Their goal is to have more club branches nationwide and even worldwide.
“We started the HHYF so that we could engage the students in the school and from other schools in a youth-led movement that would motivate others to help change our communities as a whole,” said Co-CEO and Co-Founder of the HHYF, Kaleb Adatia.
Since the 2022-2023 school year, the HHYF has organized monthly fundraisers and events. Their events involve making food for the homeless, making care packages, and selling donuts to fund their other projects. Each event involves an average of 50 people who complete different tasks, such as packaging sandwiches and delivering the food downtown. In the future, the HHYF is going to have more of these events, but they require extensive planning to make these projects time-efficient.
“To make a project run smoothly, we plan everything. Even with the help of our team, it can take weeks to months to plan certain projects. We take a lot into consideration, from venues to safety, to make the best project we can offer to our volunteers,” said Co-CEO and Co-Founder of the HHYF Christopher Lee.
So far, the HHYF has focused most of their charitable efforts on food preparation for people in the Downtown Eastside. The volunteers at the event unpackage, prepare, make the food, and distribute it Downtown. Along with the food projects, the HHYF has made care packages providing a women’s shelter with women’s hygiene.
“I have helped out at several HHYF events and I think what they’re doing is great. I enjoy the personal aspect of connecting with fellow volunteers and those in need. I’m glad I can help out with this organization,” said Kai Cunningham a Grade 9 volunteer who goes to Vancouver College.
Despite its success, the HHYF, being an up-and-coming organization, they have struggles. Their primary problem is how seriously people take the organization, being mainly run by Grade 9 students. They have had to overcome this by showing people what they are capable of throughout their projects.
The HHYF boasts a total of 1250 meals served, $7,800 raised, and 1530+ people impacted, according to their website. On their current trajectory, the HHYF expects to triple these numbers within the calendar year.
By empowering kids to make a difference, the HHYF proves a positive change. As the HHYF continues to grow, it’s clear that with dedication, the HHYF will have many accomplishments in the future.
Miles Cheung (Helping Hearts Member)
On April 6th, 2023, The Helping Hearts Youth Foundation
concluded its first year in progress. Christopher Lee and Kaleb Adatia, both co-founders and CEOs of HHYF, spend many hours organizing their plans and putting them into motion in the city of Vancouver to help as many people as they can.
Christopher Lee and Kaleb Adatia express a lot of gratitude, determination, and hard work. They have been able to start the HHYF in Vancouver College, led by Thomas Chow and Rylan Do, and spread to other schools such as West Point Grey Academy, led by Maya Lin and Karlos Tse, and Eric Hamber, led by Jonathan Padamsey and Tiffany Adams. As of right now all of them are students in grades 8-9. All these people have worked to create activities to help create a safer, happier, and more peaceful community in our city. These events and activities also help students become more active, and socialize with new people.
The Helping Hearts Youth Foundation has been hosting events, such as Donut sales, care packages, and sandwich making. They have raised over $7800 dollars and provided 1280 meals for the people most in need. Like homeless people, and people struggling. Helping Hearts Youth Foundation has started in Vancouver British Columbia, and has been going to different locations around the city to fundraise, such as train stations, homes, and digitally.
Helping Hearts have also gained 4 sponsors. Those sponsors who have helped our Vancity Bank, who donated $500, Earnest Ice Cream who have donated 20 scoop certificates worth $100 dollars, Google who donated G SUITE, and Canva who donated Canva premium. Many parents have also volunteered their homes and their time so the HHYF could use the space to set up sandwich-making stations. They also drive students in need of rides to and from the required space.
Helping Hearts Youth Foundations hope to see their team spread throughout the whole of Canada, and possibly become international by the time they are Grade 12. They also plan to have more clubs, and club presidents at more schools, and to have annual meetings with them to discuss future plans that the HHYF will put into action.
Christopher Lee, Kaleb Adatia, and all the members/volunteers at the Helping Hearts Youth Foundation have continued to work hard and hope to help as many people as they can in the future. They all have worked to see the change we see in our community.
Thank you to both students who did an outstanding job and involved Helping Hearts in their assignments!