Endaayaan Awejaa hosts winter clothes drive and plans youth council

Endaayann Awejaa, a non-profit organization that helps local youth, is hosting a winter clothing drive to collect donations for clients.

Natasha Lariviere, the CEO and founder of the organization, explained that recently the group received some grant funding that helps them put together winter care packages, including “a winter coat, mitts, winter boots, hats and gift cards” for those in need.

These packages will be offered to their registered clients, and the winter donation drive will help “if anyone else needs items” to help them through the winter months.

“People can donate here” at their office on 187 Main Street West in North Bay, Lariviere said, adding that there’s a clothes rack in the boardroom, and the goal is to keep the drive going “until that rack is filled.”

The space is relatively new to the group, having moved in this past November. “We’re settling in,” Lariviere said.

“We’re really happy that we have a space now, because we were all doing this from our homes before.”

Indeed, before finding their new office, the organization served the community on a more mobile basis, reaching out to people where they were, and now the office allows room to meet and provides a place to ground the group.

See: Endaayaan Awejaa youth drop-in center opens Main St. location

Besides the winter clothing drive, the team is also working to put together a Youth Wellness Council for Indigenous youth.

The council, composed of volunteers aged 15 to 29, “will help us plan events,” Lariviere said, and “we’re going to teach them about grant writing, fundraising, and give them those skills so that they can be future leaders of tomorrow and help out in the community.”

“They’ll be able to use their voice in the community and tell us what they want instead of us planning everything for them.”

The first meeting is planned for December 18, and more information on how to apply can be found on their website or Facebook page.

Endaayaan Awejaa is also seeking adult volunteers to help with the organization, particularly those who might be interested in leading workshops for the youth.

For instance, a recovery support group “has started, and runs bi-weekly,” Lariviere notes, and they would like to host other workshops, and are open to ideas from potential volunteers.

For more information, contact Endaayaan Awejaa through their website or Facebook page.

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