Hello to all the teams from Shine Out! Shout Out!  2018,

Where to start ….
In my email of September 9th I talked about how the Shine Out! Shout Out!  tournament is a day with filled with many emotions from all that the day brings, and how this year it was a day where our hearts were heavy with the absence of Jo Evans, someone who had been an institution on and off the ice of her own making, who had been an amazing team mate, mentor, and friend to most of us, and who had participated in Shine Out! Shout Out!  since the start. After our first tournament Jo and I had a chat about the day and she talked about what a great thing it was that we were doing.  And Jo was right … it is a great thing that we are doing.  I don’t mean the organizer we, but WE in all of us  – organizers, volunteers, teams, friends and families, donors, and sponsors, coming together for a day of socializing, for playing a sport we love, and for helping to make a difference for youth who are struggling with their mental health. 
And what a difference WE have been making…Thanks to You!!
  • Thanks to you we have been able to take an idea we had and create a grassroots social-rec program from scratch, where youth struggling with mental health issues can talk with someone their age who has been where they are and can say “me too”
  • Thanks to you since 2014 the Just Be You peer to peer program has been providing a space for youth to go, hang out, have fun, to socialize on their terms, while feeling supported
  • Thanks to you 20 youth on average a Friday night get together without fear of judgment or stigma, and help build their self-esteem and self-confidence, their coping and resiliency skills, to get socially connected, and to just be youth
  • Thanks to you the cost to run the program is entirely covered by Shine Out! Shout Out!  and is run for us by Support and Housing Halton
  • Thanks to you having the cost to run the program being entirely covered by Shine Out! Shout Out!  means we can let youth from anywhere participate. So often there are barriers to accessing services for mental health based on where you live.  We didn’t want to do that for this program.  Youth currently are from Oakville, Burlington, Mississauga, and northern Peel Region
  • Thanks to you we can provide transportation to youth who need a way to get to the program 
  • Thanks to you the youth can choose what activities they want to get involved in whether it is having someone to come in and speak with them, or whether it is to go to a movie, go paint-balling, or bowling, or even just hang out and have fun chatting with each other
  • Thanks to you 2 part time staff have been hired for the program 
  • Thanks to you parents/caregivers are talking about what a tremendous program it is for their youth and the difference it is making
  • Thanks to you we have a program that healthcare and mental health care providers are seeing as a model of success
  • and most importantly, Thanks to you lives are being changed; NO, lives are being saved (in the words of the youth)….Thanks to you.
When we decided to hold our first Shine Out! Shout Out!  in 2013 (just 5 years ago) our view was if we could make a difference for one or a few youth how great would that be.  And now, here we are – $250,000 later, after raising over $45,000 (net) this year  – and we are now talking about sharing the program with others in the province to help more youth get connected. 
My heart is truly bursting – THANKS TO YOU!!
Much love and hugs to all of you on behalf of the entire Shine Out! Shout Out! team – myself, Darcy, Stacey, Lynne, Lana, Cari, Pam H, Jane, Jen A-C, Liz, and Sherri. 
We hope to see you on September 7, 2019 for Shine Out! Shout Out!  (aka 7th on the 7th).  The ice has been booked and now you just need to mark your calendars.
One final ask – next week is Mental Health Awareness Week.  If you still have your ConvoPlates, can I ask that we make it an extra special week for the Hansell Foundation by sharing pictures of your plates on their journeys as they are passed on amongst family, co-workers, team-mates, etc. on social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn etc.  Just use the hashtag #ConvoPlate and the number found on the back of your plate when you post your picture. It is that easy. 
Michele Sparling
Founder | Team Member
Shine Out! Shout Out!