Pacifica Housing‘s Virtues Youth Group program provides weekly sessions, based on the internationally renowned Virtues ProjectTM for up to 90 children, ages 4 to 12, living in Pacifica’s subsidized family housing complexes in Victoria, Saanich, Colwood and Langford. Fifty-two virtues are features in this program, such as confidence, generosity, integrity, respect, responsibility, and thankfulness. Children enjoy arts and crafts, engage in physical activities, celebrate various holidays, have nutritional snacks, and go on field trips to learn more about the community beyond their complex. In addition to fun, children practice socially appropriate behaviour that builds self-esteem and develops strong and healthy family relationships and friendships. Thanks to Pacifica Housing for sharing these stories and photos!
Hot Chocolate and Skates make for a magical night
On December 17th the Virtues Youth Group laced up their skates at the Empress Hotel skating rink for their annual holiday season event. 28 children and 4 parent volunteers from 5 of Pacifica Housing’s Virtues Youth Groups came together to get warmed up with hot chocolate and hotdogs. Afterwards everyone enjoyed magical evening at the beautiful rink, right in front of the Fairmont Empress Hotel. The night was filled with laughter and joy. Smiles were growing wider as the children got better ever time they made it around the rink. “The children of our youth groups love getting together and the new groups at Hawthorne Way and Oak Park joined them for the first time”, said Mary Ellen Van Dusen, Director of Strategic Operations at Pacifica Housing. “Everyone was so excited for the opportunity to go skating and seemed to enjoy themselves greatly.” A special Thank You goes to the Empress Hotel for their help in accommodating this large group. We would also like to thank the volunteer drivers for picking up the children and dropping them off at their homes!
Winter projects at Alderbrae
This winter season, the children at the Virtues Group at the Alderbrae complex have been very busy with crafting wallets out of duct tape, making candied apples, meeting Santa and creating their own bird feeders just to name a few. “In a time where food is sparse for local wildlife, the bird feeders were a fun and creative way of letting the kids experiment with low cost, every day items,“ remembers Lauren*, volunteer at the Alderbrae Virtues Youth Group.
Birthday Party at Tamarack Close
It was a wonderful surprise for Tommy at one of the latest Virtues Youth Group sessions. The evening started off with a birthday ice cream cake from Dairy Queen, which was a real surprise! Several youth were so generous and brought birthday presents for Tommy. His mother was over the moon, expressing heartfelt thanks for the party. “I would not have been able to do this on my own” she told us later. After cake and presents they headed to Juan de Fuca Rec Centre for an hour of swimming. “The children were so well-behaved and they cannot wait until we do it again” recalls Youth Group leader Conny*. “Thanks for enabling us to make this a special day for one of our young tenants.”
*All names changed to protect privacy