Youth – The Forgotten Group

Posted: December 2, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I posted a picture on Facebook the other day, here it is:


I was surprised, shocked and disappointed that not one person made a single comment! Not a one! I had posted a picture of my new car last month and got a ton of likes and comments. Pictures of my vacation; tons of likes and comments! (Of course I didn’t want anyone to “like” the picture above) but I was expecting some acknowledgement of the situation though; empathy maybe, something, anything, but no, nothing! I am hoping that maybe the message was taken to heart by some and they just didn’t comment.

I am even more surprised that there are homeless youth in a place like Edmonton, AB, Canada! According to The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Canada is the 9th richest country in the world and many sources show that the richest province in Canada is Alberta! So why are our children living on the streets? I don’t have an exact number; not even one homeless youth is acceptable!  I know that number is much higher or we would not have a place like Y.E.S.S. Thank God for this organization!  I went to this website after seeing this picture and found a great need: I decided to post the “In-Kind Donation”, wish-list on my Facebook with the following comment:

“While you’re all out Xmas shopping, how easy would it be to pick up 1 or 2 of these items?”

This Week’s Wish List

  •  Healthy snacks (nuts, yogurt, fresh fruit, etc.)
  • Granola bars
  • Juice boxes (100% juice)
  • Sports rehydration drinks (Gatorade, Fuze etc. – not energy drinks)
  • Fruit cups (unsweetened)
  • Tuna/canned meats
  • Pasta sauces
  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • Shoes (new or gently used)
  • Deodorant
  • Sweatshirts/hoodies
  • Razors/shaving cream
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Hairbrushes
  • Chapstick/lip balm
  • Feminine care products

One person responded, and that person was in “the system” as a youth and knows very well the hardship these young people encounter. I hope to post his story in the near future! I was wishing that everyone would have commented or at least liked the post, but again bitter disappointment. This didn’t deter me; I got some of the items on the list and brought them to the shelter. I vowed to myself to “make a difference”.  And that is what I intend to do! And I am asking anyone reading this to please, go one step further, however that looks for you; a donation of a needed item, a one-time cash donation, a monthly donation, volunteering, just please do something more than nothing!

I have travelled and seen many homeless youth in 3rd world countries, but Canada! But I am even more dismayed that more isn’t being done and that it isn’t being acknowledged as much as it should be.  If this was a young child on that sidewalk, there would be outrage! But suddenly between the ages of about ten and 13 those children are transformed, but in reality are still very much childlike inside but are suddenly viewed as adults by the vast majority of the population, including some of their parents and even discriminated against. It is a fact that the adolescent brain continues to develop until about the age of 25. Physically teenagers appear to be adults but cognitively our youth are still very immature, the parts of the brain that are responsible for expressing emotions and for seeking gratification tend to mature sooner than the regions of the brain that control impulses and that oversee careful decision making. As one expert puts it the teenage brain “has a well-developed accelerator but only a partly developed brake.” This is one reason why teenagers sometimes make poor decisions and sometimes turn to drugs. If they come from an unhealthy dysfunctional environment, it is just one more hill to climb. As the old saying goes; “It takes a community to raise a child”. Well, come on community! Get on the band wagon!

More to come……

© Betty J Budd

  1. […] ← Youth – The Forgotten Group […]


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