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.

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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

  1. To Michelle Agecoute in Edmonton, from Joe Lalonde
  2. To Zeara Chamberlain in Duncan, BC, from Rachel – FOUND
  3. To Mrs. T. Varga Tryntje in Vancouver, from Herb
  4. To Anna Marie Parker in Calgary, from Charles Parker
  5. To Beverly Anne Craig in Toronto, from Steven K
  6. To Tanisha Jones (unknown location), from Abraham Jones (dad)
  7. To Leslie Fraser in Vancouver, from Benny
  8. To Angel Warrington in Burnaby, from Shaun Therien
  9. To Sarban, Kurnal, Piara and Bhajan Cheema in Vancouver from Chungr
  10. To Patti Stark (unknown location), from Bill Mcgee
  11. To Sarah Brown & Booker in Alberta, from R.J.
  12. To Erma Jones in Illinois, from Abraham Jones
  13. To Elsey Gladue in Edmonton, from Rose
  14. To Chico Willier, from Rose
  15. To Danielle Cheyanne  / Gerald and Patricia Greer in Ontario, from mom
  16. To Rita Pearce Brady in Ireland from Terry H
  17. To Michelle Fennel or VanRikxoort in WA, from Robert V (dad)
  18. To Caroline Wasniuk & Trent in Kelowna from Patricia (mom)
  19. To Mona Madill in Alert Bay from Andrew
  20. To Francine Richrd in Quebec, from Jonathon
  21. To Elizabeth Hotomanie in Calgary from Ben H.
  22. To Freddie Edwards (unknown) from Freddie Edwards Jr.
  23. To Vernon Maxwell Biacey in Calgary, from Joel
  24. To Maureen Roweater in Alberta, from Bear
  25. To Scott Raymond Landriault in Abbortsford, from Bill Landriault
  26. To Sandy Cameron & Jean Swanson in Vancouver, from Robert R. Rich
  27. To Richard & Jill Carroll in Langley, from Renee
  28. To Mary Hamelin in Alberta, from Vince
  29. To Stanley Robinson in Ontario, from Stanley Robinson Sr.
  30. To Lena Grisenthwaite in Gibsons, from Liane
  31. To Lindsay McArthey in BC from Gary
  32. To Naomi Sakuno & Kaleigh in Japan, from Paddy
  33. To Sandra Pashe in Maple Ridge, BC from Cassandra
  34. To Alexandra Colombo & Roland & Amber in Surrey from Ronald Henry
  35. To Colleen Riendfleish (unknown location) from Fern Lucia
  36. To Carey Morso in Winnipeg from Norm
  37. To Lidia Happatin in Vancouver, BC from Manuel
  38. To Janice & Daniel Quantall in Campbell River from Steven

From 2011 & 2012

  1. To Jack Wejr in Edmonton from Joseph Boyce
  2. To Carol Joseph in Victoria from Louis Joseph
  3. To Katherine McMartin in Penticton, from Merideth Siah – FOUND
  4. To Terrence Buyck & Ian Buyee in Whitehorse, from Irene Martin
  5. To Amo in Surrey from Diane Evans
  6. To Mary Chirsten in Prince George from Brett
  7. To Daniel Jordan Laviolette in ON from Mona Ducharme
  8. To Lincon, Yadira & Sorama Hernandez in Vancouver from Efrain
  9. To Yolanda Magallanes in Phillipines from Anacel Lambert
  10. To Ed & Helen Helfenbein in Summerland from Robin
  11. To Dr. Vincent Priestner & Maureen from Rosaleen – FOUND
  12. To Neil & Sophea Brown in Vancouver from Lon
  13. To Buddy Winsor in Victoria from Marge
  14. To Myrtle Perry in Vancouver from Terri
  15. To Menno Jansen in Ontario from Mark Denbaak – FOUND
  16. To Jeanise Opan Wookey (Davis) from Celeste Larocque
  17. To Jean Larrivee in Vancouver from Donna Lynn Desnomie – FOUND
  18. To Peter Turners in Dallas from Freddie Edwards Jr.
  19. To Roy Grimley in Vancouver from Freddie Edwards Jr.
  20. To Ginger Henyu in Vancouver from Alana
  21. To Donna McDonald in Coquitlam, BC from Brian McDonald
  22. To Paul & George Saunders in Sechelt BC from Craig – FOUND
  23. To Ron & Lisa Kerr in Calgary from Craig
  24. To Mildred Thomas in Parksvilile from Sonia Thomas

From 2013

  1. To Paul Gladue in Edmonton from Rose
  2. To Bella Bresse in Yukon from Georgina
  3. To Jeanine Nahas in Victoria, from Cindy
  4. To Christy Roberts in Vancouver from Chantz
  5. To Leonard Auger in Prince George, from Lisa
  6. To Audley Bergen in Kelowna from Rose
  7. To Annet Czechaczek in Delta, BC from Sonia
  8. To Eve Clara Nantel (Barta) in Mission BC from Francine Monique Nantel
  9. To Brenda Solberg in Parksville, BC from Brent Potulicki
  10. To Barbara Smith in Nanaimo from Anita L.
  11. To Lesley Lee in Ladysmith, BC from Nicole Lee
  12. To Aaron Burnell in Vancouver from Donald
  13. To Max Simpson in Brandon Manitoba from Olga Simpson
  14. To Naida Hayward in Vancouver from Marsden
  15. To Steven Roshleau in New Westminster from Kathy D
  16. To Tristan Burnell in Vancouver from Donald
  17. To May Howard in Minneapolis from Derek Harry
  18. To Jordana Robillard in Surrey from Clorissa
  19. To Damien Desjarlais in Saskatchewan from Danielle Desjarlais
  20. To Mary Walker in Vancouver from Dale Smith
  21. To Thersia Boysis in Alberta from Denise
  22. To Ann-Dors Lecie in Vancouer from Aaron
  23. To Bernice Newnham in Port Alberni from Cindy
  24. To Carolyn Pattock in Alberta from Jadon Pattock
  25. To Ursula Golletz in Edmonton from Peter
  26. To Jack Dominico in Toronto from Peter Hayes
  27. To Teresa Frederick in Vancouver from Debora F.
  28. To Florence Nisyok in BC from Samantha Nisyok
  29. To Joyce Corrigal in Ontario from Charles
  30. To Annarou Zelya in Toronto from Herman Zelya

From 2014

  1. To Jorden Allon in Pentiction from Debro
  2. To Lloyd Prosper in Saskatoon from Harley
  3. To Tumica Charlie in BC from Arlene West
  4. To Dominique West in Takla Lake BC from Arlene West
  5. To Margaret Tuccaro in Alberta from Norman Tuccaro
  6. To Vincent Curtain in Winnipeg from Dennis Linklater
  7. To Julie & Wayne Brise in Coquitlam from Greg
  8. To Debbie Bailey in Quebec from Wayne
  9. To Hannah West in Takla Lake, BC from Arlene West
  10. To Marie Prokop in Castlegar, BC from Jay
  11. To Jolanta Warys from Antoni
  12. To Lynson-Leonard Nielson in Campbell River from Rachel
  13. To Cheney D. Johnston in Esquimalt from Myles Johnston
  14. To Kenlynn West in Takla Lake BC from Arlene West
  15. To Rod Collins in New Brunswick from Tim Collins
  16. To Cassius Underwood / Cole in Ontario from dad
  17. To Michelle Slater (Greville) in Crystal Beach, ON from James Slater
  18. To Catherine Guimon in Winnipeg from Jane Guimond
  19. To Manon St. Jean in Montreal from Victoria St. Jean
  20. To Jason Myles Jonston in Niagra Falls, Ontario from Myles Jonston

From 2015

  1. To Cheryl Lane in Kelowna from Kevin Sommers
  2. To Kathy Goodman in Prince George from Renata Fraser
  3. To Fernand Mouin in Gatineau Quebec from Reol Mouin
  4. To Maky Howard in Minneapolis from Derek Harry
  5. To Anna Abdillah in Surrey from Salah
  6. To Daniel Dixon in Quinel, ON from dad
  7. To Paul Cote in Edmonton from Mike Desjarlais
  8. To Claude Bird from Mary Bird
  9. To Agnes Rosetti in Prince George from Darryl Rossetti
  10. To Daryl Jr. & Llyod Porter-Rosetti in Prince George from Darryl Rossetti
  11. To Maverik Porter-Rosetti in California from Daryl Rosetti
  12. To Irene Mahalik in Ontario from Char Batycki
  13. To June, Aliya, Rainbow, Travis, Sandy & Mia Bernard in Vancouver from Lena Bernard
  14. To Reta Lawdry in Quesnel, BC from David Landry
  15. To Pacheco family from your son Fernando Pacheco
  16. To Evelyn Scherer in Alberta from Chris Scherer
  17. To Beulah Starr in Vancouver from Earl and Jessie
  18. To Ryan Van Casteren in Brrie, ON from Aryanna
  19. To Isabelle Poitras in Edmonton from Pierre Poitras
  20. To Sue Gagne in Surrey from Jeff
  21. To Julie Annelegaux in Californa from Ben Khatar Mohamad
  22. To Daryl Mason in Vancouver from Tammy
  23. To Carol McCormack in Fort MacPherson from Petty
  24. To Steven Stavenerention / Todd Copant from Astra Holmes
  25. To Cheyanne Thomas from Desiree
  26. To JC Freeman in Chilliwack, BC from Steven
  27. To Tristain & Darian in North Vancouver from Jamie
  28. 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.

 

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