It’s Family Day in BC. An extra day off. A long weekend. A day to spend with those we love. For the privileged, the toughest decision we have to make is how to spend our time; choosing between a lazy day at home or a family outing. But what would Family Day be without family?
Over the past seven years I have blogged about mini miracles as my students and I have helped over 500 homeless people from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside write letters of love to their long lost families. One by one we have shared our successes: tears of joy, exciting phone calls, and amazing face to face reunions. But there is a part of our story we have not told. Our success rate is not 100%. Although we have successfully mailed close to 550 cards to loved ones around the world, there are still over 100 un-mailed cards full of personal messages.
Year after year I have tucked these cards aside, hoping one day we will find the recipients. I cannot throw these cards away. Stuffed in a cupboard drawer, these cards are beginning to gather dust but they should not be forgotten. These cards represent broken connections: families torn apart by addiction, trauma and circumstance.
Tonight, for the first time, I gathered all our ‘unfound’ cards dating from 2009-2015. As I stand here, I am overcome by a feeling of deep humanity. Spread across my kitchen island are 140 untold stories. Voices stuffed in envelopes but desperately wanting to be heard.
Each card bursts with messages of hope, words of love and dreams of a brighter future. Standing on the streets, our most vulnerable citizens have taken risks and opened their hearts to families who have moved on without them. For these card writers, the luxury of family is only a hope.
I share the names with you in hopes that you can help our most marginalized members of society have a voice – a voice that wants to say hello – a voice that wants to connect – and a voice that would give anything to celebrate Family Day.
From 2009 & 2010
- To Michelle Agecoute in Edmonton, from Joe Lalonde
- To Zeara Chamberlain in Duncan, BC, from Rachel – FOUND
- To Mrs. T. Varga Tryntje in Vancouver, from Herb
- To Anna Marie Parker in Calgary, from Charles Parker
- To Beverly Anne Craig in Toronto, from Steven K
- To Tanisha Jones (unknown location), from Abraham Jones (dad)
- To Leslie Fraser in Vancouver, from Benny
- To Angel Warrington in Burnaby, from Shaun Therien
- To Sarban, Kurnal, Piara and Bhajan Cheema in Vancouver from Chungr
- To Patti Stark (unknown location), from Bill Mcgee
- To Sarah Brown & Booker in Alberta, from R.J.
- To Erma Jones in Illinois, from Abraham Jones
- To Elsey Gladue in Edmonton, from Rose
- To Chico Willier, from Rose
- To Danielle Cheyanne / Gerald and Patricia Greer in Ontario, from mom
- To Rita Pearce Brady in Ireland from Terry H
- To Michelle Fennel or VanRikxoort in WA, from Robert V (dad)
- To Caroline Wasniuk & Trent in Kelowna from Patricia (mom)
- To Mona Madill in Alert Bay from Andrew
- To Francine Richrd in Quebec, from Jonathon
- To Elizabeth Hotomanie in Calgary from Ben H.
- To Freddie Edwards (unknown) from Freddie Edwards Jr.
- To Vernon Maxwell Biacey in Calgary, from Joel
- To Maureen Roweater in Alberta, from Bear
- To Scott Raymond Landriault in Abbortsford, from Bill Landriault
- To Sandy Cameron & Jean Swanson in Vancouver, from Robert R. Rich
- To Richard & Jill Carroll in Langley, from Renee
- To Mary Hamelin in Alberta, from Vince
- To Stanley Robinson in Ontario, from Stanley Robinson Sr.
- To Lena Grisenthwaite in Gibsons, from Liane
- To Lindsay McArthey in BC from Gary
- To Naomi Sakuno & Kaleigh in Japan, from Paddy
- To Sandra Pashe in Maple Ridge, BC from Cassandra
- To Alexandra Colombo & Roland & Amber in Surrey from Ronald Henry
- To Colleen Riendfleish (unknown location) from Fern Lucia
- To Carey Morso in Winnipeg from Norm
- To Lidia Happatin in Vancouver, BC from Manuel
- To Janice & Daniel Quantall in Campbell River from Steven
From 2011 & 2012
- To Jack Wejr in Edmonton from Joseph Boyce
- To Carol Joseph in Victoria from Louis Joseph
- To Katherine McMartin in Penticton, from Merideth Siah – FOUND
- To Terrence Buyck & Ian Buyee in Whitehorse, from Irene Martin
- To Amo in Surrey from Diane Evans
- To Mary Chirsten in Prince George from Brett
- To Daniel Jordan Laviolette in ON from Mona Ducharme
- To Lincon, Yadira & Sorama Hernandez in Vancouver from Efrain
- To Yolanda Magallanes in Phillipines from Anacel Lambert
- To Ed & Helen Helfenbein in Summerland from Robin
- To Dr. Vincent Priestner & Maureen from Rosaleen – FOUND
- To Neil & Sophea Brown in Vancouver from Lon
- To Buddy Winsor in Victoria from Marge
- To Myrtle Perry in Vancouver from Terri
- To Menno Jansen in Ontario from Mark Denbaak – FOUND
- To Jeanise Opan Wookey (Davis) from Celeste Larocque
- To Jean Larrivee in Vancouver from Donna Lynn Desnomie – FOUND
- To Peter Turners in Dallas from Freddie Edwards Jr.
- To Roy Grimley in Vancouver from Freddie Edwards Jr.
- To Ginger Henyu in Vancouver from Alana
- To Donna McDonald in Coquitlam, BC from Brian McDonald
- To Paul & George Saunders in Sechelt BC from Craig – FOUND
- To Ron & Lisa Kerr in Calgary from Craig
- To Mildred Thomas in Parksvilile from Sonia Thomas
- To Paul Gladue in Edmonton from Rose
- To Bella Bresse in Yukon from Georgina
- To Jeanine Nahas in Victoria, from Cindy
- To Christy Roberts in Vancouver from Chantz
- To Leonard Auger in Prince George, from Lisa
- To Audley Bergen in Kelowna from Rose
- To Annet Czechaczek in Delta, BC from Sonia
- To Eve Clara Nantel (Barta) in Mission BC from Francine Monique Nantel
- To Brenda Solberg in Parksville, BC from Brent Potulicki
- To Barbara Smith in Nanaimo from Anita L.
- To Lesley Lee in Ladysmith, BC from Nicole Lee
- To Aaron Burnell in Vancouver from Donald
- To Max Simpson in Brandon Manitoba from Olga Simpson
- To Naida Hayward in Vancouver from Marsden
- To Steven Roshleau in New Westminster from Kathy D
- To Tristan Burnell in Vancouver from Donald
- To May Howard in Minneapolis from Derek Harry
- To Jordana Robillard in Surrey from Clorissa
- To Damien Desjarlais in Saskatchewan from Danielle Desjarlais
- To Mary Walker in Vancouver from Dale Smith
- To Thersia Boysis in Alberta from Denise
- To Ann-Dors Lecie in Vancouer from Aaron
- To Bernice Newnham in Port Alberni from Cindy
- To Carolyn Pattock in Alberta from Jadon Pattock
- To Ursula Golletz in Edmonton from Peter
- To Jack Dominico in Toronto from Peter Hayes
- To Teresa Frederick in Vancouver from Debora F.
- To Florence Nisyok in BC from Samantha Nisyok
- To Joyce Corrigal in Ontario from Charles
- To Annarou Zelya in Toronto from Herman Zelya
- To Jorden Allon in Pentiction from Debro
- To Lloyd Prosper in Saskatoon from Harley
- To Tumica Charlie in BC from Arlene West
- To Dominique West in Takla Lake BC from Arlene West
- To Margaret Tuccaro in Alberta from Norman Tuccaro
- To Vincent Curtain in Winnipeg from Dennis Linklater
- To Julie & Wayne Brise in Coquitlam from Greg
- To Debbie Bailey in Quebec from Wayne
- To Hannah West in Takla Lake, BC from Arlene West
- To Marie Prokop in Castlegar, BC from Jay
- To Jolanta Warys from Antoni
- To Lynson-Leonard Nielson in Campbell River from Rachel
- To Cheney D. Johnston in Esquimalt from Myles Johnston
- To Kenlynn West in Takla Lake BC from Arlene West
- To Rod Collins in New Brunswick from Tim Collins
- To Cassius Underwood / Cole in Ontario from dad
- To Michelle Slater (Greville) in Crystal Beach, ON from James Slater
- To Catherine Guimon in Winnipeg from Jane Guimond
- To Manon St. Jean in Montreal from Victoria St. Jean
- To Jason Myles Jonston in Niagra Falls, Ontario from Myles Jonston
- To Cheryl Lane in Kelowna from Kevin Sommers
- To Kathy Goodman in Prince George from Renata Fraser
- To Fernand Mouin in Gatineau Quebec from Reol Mouin
- To Maky Howard in Minneapolis from Derek Harry
- To Anna Abdillah in Surrey from Salah
- To Daniel Dixon in Quinel, ON from dad
- To Paul Cote in Edmonton from Mike Desjarlais
- To Claude Bird from Mary Bird
- To Agnes Rosetti in Prince George from Darryl Rossetti
- To Daryl Jr. & Llyod Porter-Rosetti in Prince George from Darryl Rossetti
- To Maverik Porter-Rosetti in California from Daryl Rosetti
- To Irene Mahalik in Ontario from Char Batycki
- To June, Aliya, Rainbow, Travis, Sandy & Mia Bernard in Vancouver from Lena Bernard
- To Reta Lawdry in Quesnel, BC from David Landry
- To Pacheco family from your son Fernando Pacheco
- To Evelyn Scherer in Alberta from Chris Scherer
- To Beulah Starr in Vancouver from Earl and Jessie
- To Ryan Van Casteren in Brrie, ON from Aryanna
- To Isabelle Poitras in Edmonton from Pierre Poitras
- To Sue Gagne in Surrey from Jeff
- To Julie Annelegaux in Californa from Ben Khatar Mohamad
- To Daryl Mason in Vancouver from Tammy
- To Carol McCormack in Fort MacPherson from Petty
- To Steven Stavenerention / Todd Copant from Astra Holmes
- To Cheyanne Thomas from Desiree
- To JC Freeman in Chilliwack, BC from Steven
- To Tristain & Darian in North Vancouver from Jamie
- To Christine, Jen and Andrenne in Campbell River, BC from mom
Thank-you for sharing. I hope your Family Day is full of love and connections.
17 thoughts on “Missing. When the Luxury Of Family is Only a Hope.”
wow what a great idea Krisi. At least you never gave up on them. Let’s hope you can make a few more families happy.
I knew a Jacques-Andres Larrivee. If the person who wrote to Jean Larrivee is still around and the name is familiar or that if a relative- please tell them Jacques-Andres passed away in 2012. 😦 I wish I knew him outside of school so that I might have more information or could be of more help, but there can’t be that many Larrivee’s in the lower mainland so I had to say something.
Thank you for helping.
Jean Larrivee is my father – he’s now at 1070 yarnell place, oxnard, CA. We’re guitar makers
Thank you. I will put the card in the mail tomorrow! Glad we found you!
For Kathleen McMartin in penticton. Could it be Katherine McMartin? I know a Katherine that has siah family!
Yes – you are correct! I typed it wrong! The inside reads “To Katherine and girls and Sandy – Merry Christmas! Have a Happy New Year. Hope to see you before next year. I love you, Love mom (Meredith Siah). If this is the correct family please email me at email@example.com and I can send the card on. Thanks!
How do I get a hold of you personally??
Umm.. are you wanting to call me or vise versa?
I know some of the people from Takla. As far as I know they have never been any where else so don’t know why the can’t be reached. I have forwarded the Facebook posts to my friends in Takla.
Awesome – thank you. They may be at their original address but often the people we talk to on the streets forget to tell us some details that would help us search. Thanks for passing on our messages.
A quick Google of “Dr Vincent Priestner” popped up with a number of results for a doctor in Abilene, TX (for “To Dr. Vincent Priestner & Maureen from Rosaleen”), including an obituary for a Maureen Priestner mentioning “Rosaleen in BC”.
It might be possible to get contact info for Dr Vincent Priestner from this organization since he appears to be on their board of directors: http://www.medicalcaremission.org/who-we-are.html
Thank you so much. Our students do the research and phoning and we always try to reach someone by phone first before mailing the cards. I really appreciate your help. yay! Another person found! Thank you!
How do I get ahold of kristi?…. Please email me firstname.lastname@example.org thx
Please email me at email@example.com