When there is a will, there is a way.” That is the motivation and drive that SOS Youth staff strive for to engage with youth in our community. Heartfelt packages of snacks and creative activities are put together to engage youth interest. These packages have included assortments of self-care items, popcorn-party/game night medleys, vision collages, yummy 7-layer dips and yogurt parfaits. Staff drive and deliver the packages to each youth’s home. These visits consist of conversations, jokes, laughter, sharing their creations or introducing staff to their pets.  This creates connection and a lasting bond between youth and our staff. Each youth visit lets them know they are special, they matter, and that we care about each one of them.

The SOS Youth Team loves to work with youth:

Bob – Loves the creativity and artistry that youth display, it inspires him to join in and get creative too – like watercolour painting for instance! He has also loved getting to re-experience the fun of playing active games, it brings back great childhood memories.

Taylor – Loves the youth energy and enthusiasm every time she visits them, and feels their longing to return to the centre. The most common question she has heard is “When are we back in-centre?” She is also thrilled when she receives the texts like “we count down the days to see you!”

Kade – Loves to engage with youth and introduce them to new activities, some that they might not normally do with their parents. He enjoys experiencing  those moments together with youth when new activities, with all the range of emotions that come with them, help build their confidence and character.

Alice – Loves the expression of feelings youth display, knowing they feel safe to share with us. Some express sadness, worry or fear, and by the time they leave our programs or chat with our staff, they are smiling and have a little bounce in their step.

A message from Alice, SOS Child, Youth & Family Programs Manager

Despite pandemic restrictions we want to continue to stay connected. We look forward to meeting our youth in-centre, or outdoors in pre-determined locations to meet as a group once restrictions are lifted. Our passion to stay connected will find us a way!

I applaud the youth for their resilience throughout this pandemic by using diverse forms of art, music, sport, and other mediums to escape into a safe world of creativity.  This is showcased beautifully in the talent entries that we have received, which can be viewed on our Instagram page @sosyouthgroup and link in BIO for the YouTube Playlist of video entries on Society of Organized Services YouTube. The talents shown have motivated my staff and I to continue more talent challenges in the future as we showcase hidden talented gems right here in Oceanside. We want our community to marvel and acknowledge our youth contributions that add character and vibrancy to our area.

I am grateful to youth community partners and parents/guardians for continuing to support our youth. Our collaborative efforts in celebrating and empowering our youth through their talents and passion, will continue to make our community a safe, vibrant and nurturing place to live.

Our @sosyouthgroup Instagram page was set up for our local youth to communicate freely with youth coordinators, whether it be a quick check-in or to provide referrals to other supports they may need. Please help us spread the word about this Instagram page and the support our staff can provide.

We currently deliver to local youth’s homes in District 69, while in-house programs remain on hold. The Youth programs we offer are:

  • Kids Movement: Play, Express, Grow – Grade 4,5,6.
  • School Night Out – Grade 7,8,9
  • Youth Open Space – Grade 10,11,12

A snack bag as well as an activity pack is part of the delivery. Our SOS staff are always thrilled to see big smiles and a wide range of emotions that youth display on their special one-on-one visit. Staff have built great bonds with youth as well as their parents through these visits.

After School Education Assistance (Tutoring program).  SOS provides free tutoring for students in Grade 6-12 that may need support with Math and English. This is one-on-one tutoring for one hour.

“We take kids on a ‘where you’re at’ basis, whether that means memorizing times tables or simply having a supervised homework time.” -Glynn, SOS Tutor

Sometimes the lack of understanding reflects a lack of skills, knowledge, and abilities from an earlier grade, which leaves the participants unprepared for the next grade. As tutors, we have been able to fill the gaps, as we are not grade-oriented.” – Erin, SOS Tutor

Gradwear Program – SOS provides graduation wear for $5, for students graduating in School district 69. This includes an outfit, shoes, jewellery, and accessories. Our next event is May 17-22 to book your one-hour appointment from 9 am – 6pm (closed of 12 pm – 1pm daily).  We want to make sure grads are feeling and looking their best on their special day.

Many of the youth that came on our first one-week event in March said that they would not have been able to go to their prom if it were not for the Gradwear program. One of our volunteers, Celia, has gone the extra mile to make alterations to outfits to ensure it is a custom fit, helping youth feel empowered in their outfits.

Recreation Assistance for Children & Youth – Need help keeping your youth active? SOS provides financial assistance for recreational activities available in our area for children and youth aged 6-18 years old. Email: assistance@sosd69.com or call: 250-248-2093 ext.241 for more information.

For more information on our Youth Programs and services please visit our website at www.sosd69.com or give us a call/or text Qualicum Youth Coordinator at 250-248-0997 or Parksville Youth Coordinator at 250-228-4066.