Youth Haven launches Boxes Of Hope

Christmas is around the corner and Youth Haven is hoping the community will once again choose to #bethedifference in the lives of youth who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

The Boxes of Hope campaign kicked off on Friday, November 13, 2020.

The purchase of a Box of Hope for $50 will be used to buy gift cards, toiletries, hygiene products, games, bus tokens, food, winter clothing and other items for youth 16-24 in the care of Youth Haven, both through our shelter and outreach services.

“It is truly amazing to see how grateful these young people are on Christmas morning,” says Lucy Gowers, Youth Haven executive director.

“They know the gift package they receive only happened because of the generosity and compassion of the communities we work in, which is Barrie, Orillia and all of Simcoe County.”

Gowers explains it goes beyond just the presents.

“For our youth, many are alone, without immediate family. To receive a present means for them a sense of belonging and that they are not forgotten.”

(Kim Phillips/CTV Barrie)

More than 400-area youth used the services of Youth Haven last year. It’s estimated one in three people using emergency shelter services in Simcoe County are youth.

“I recall one of our volunteers sharing a story with me about a young male, I believe 16-years-old, who received his Christmas gift package of items purchased through Boxes of Hope, during the first year of this campaign,” says Gowers.

“The volunteer told me this young person was so excited to receive presents of toiletries, gloves, socks and a toque. He also got a sweatshirt, which he immediately put on. He told our volunteer that this was the first time in several years that someone had given him a Christmas present. Somebody chose to be the difference in this person’s life by purchasing a Box of Hope.”

As the season of giving fast approaches, Youth Haven in Barrie hopes the community will help provide hope for some young adults fallen on hard times.

Last year, the Boxes of Hope campaign raised more than $17,000.

To purchase your Box today, visit

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