Sunnydale, Waterloo

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Boys Becoming Men: the magic of partnership

Life Change is a long term admirer of Dave MacNeil and Wildhawk Basketball.

A few years ago our partnership took on deeper levels as we started signing up some of our boys for MacNeil’s basketball programs. It became quickly apparent that a few of our fellows had talent and they qualified for travel teams.  Almost any day this summer if you were to venture into the neighborhood you will see a number of the lads dribbling and a shooting on a nearby court. We have helped create a bunch of basketball fanatics!

It is always fun when one of our fellows gets a write up in a local newspaper.

Check out the article!

We were introduced by a school principal to Gang Martin Gang 18 months ago; a rather imposing 6’3”, grade 7 students. Since this time he has been involved in our Sunnydale Connect programming. Last year he was invited to join a travel basketball team opening up many opportunities for growth and development.  Competitive basketball at Gang’s age can be extremely challenging and he has risen to the challenge.  Winning the Ontario basketball gold medal and graduating from grade 8 have been significant recent milestones. Wildhawk Basketball has again, as it has done so many times before, played a critical role in guiding a boy towards becoming a man.

Last week we have 5 fellows in the high school camp, this week we have 9 boys in the younger one: A truly Life changing partnership!

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An Invitation: Help Make Some History

Man, I really enjoy Wednesdays!

Late in the afternoon, I go over to a local school and fill my car with kids. Chattering, stories, smiles, (tears sometimes), hugs are all part of the weekly drama.

Yesterday, we are just driving along. Me, rushing as we were late. The radio gets tuned to 91.5 “The Beat”. Music is blaring. A particularly song starts up. Immediately the entire car erupts. Everyone is singing and tapping the beat. And there leading the bunch, with a huge smile across his thin face, is Jon. This grade 6 kid is full of life, but never is he more alive than when he is with music.

I need your help. Next week we are starting Jon into guitar lessons. He is more than excited. Does anyone have a guitar that they would-be willing to donate?

Just think, one day, when Jon becomes famous, (and he will!), you can say with pride; “I gave that man his start. That was my guitar he learned on!”

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Its a Beautiful Thing

“Jeremy I made it, I made it! His face was a picture; eyes sparkled, smile immense, proud, so very proud. My 9 year old friend, introduced to basketball a year ago, today was one of 12 selected to the travel team. Major accomplishment!

Few things give me greater satisfaction than feeling the success of others, than in watching someone succeed or realise a new achievement. Simply stated; I love helping set the stage for someone to breakthrough and succeed, and with each breakthrough a new door, a new possibility.

Accomplishment builds momentum. I have concluded that it often doesn’t take all that much to help another; opportunity, hope, time together and encouragement, go an awful long way. And a beaming smile makes the effort so very worthwhile. Mother T. said that even a smile could make a difference… I think she might be right.

“Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.”

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5 Fun Days – Waterloo

Afghanistan, Somalia, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Uganda, Pakistan, Canada, India, Guyana, Trinidad, Jamaica, Burundi, Congo, Syria, Iraq, El Salvador, Iran… NO, this is not the opening ceremonies for the Olympics. This is 5 Fun Days with an Olympic flavour! These are a few of the nationalities represented in our camp that stretches across this week. FIVE FUN DAYS is officially off and running! Our kids from various corners of our world, some after perilous journeys, now live in the local communities of Sunnydale and Albert Street.

We have the incredible privilege to work with them and their families. For these 5 days we will give them an experience that they will not soon forget. Typical camp-like activities include; games, crafts, snack and singing, along with lots of one-on-one interaction. But what is not so typical is our leadership team. This is composed of a number of extremely gifted adults joined by many teenagers who are involved in our weekly teenage program; Sunnydale Connect. The highlight for me is to watch these kids learn how to serve their own community. “I want to be a teacher’s assistant,” one said to me yesterday. Another: “I want to be a child care worker.” It is truly beautiful too watch! If you are in the Waterloo area drops by for a visit… you are guaranteed to leave impressed.

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