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Thank You for Keeping the Heat on this Winter

The Winter Breather Program supports individuals and families that are connected to an Aspen program with their utility and grocery costs over the difficult winter months. By helping in the two challenging areas of Energy Poverty and Food Security people can reduce their stress, increase their wellbeing and create the space to enjoy meaningful holiday memories.

Thanks to donors like you, this year 856 individuals received support through Winter Breather!

489 of those individuals were under the age of 18 which is over 57% of the program.

You helped 221 households keep their lights on, their cupboards full and the holiday season in tact!

How Winter Breather Helped Becca

Becca has been a Youth Matters client since May of 2018. Becca is a 16-year-old female that had been referred to Aspen’s Youth Matters Program by a school counselor. Becca has five siblings all under the age of 18. Two of her siblings are on the autism spectrum and require more support from Becca’s mother which has prevented her from providing adequate income for the family. Becca’s father was providing a steady income for the family, however in June of 2018 he was diagnosed with a debilitating illness. Due to his illness he has been unable to work.

Becca’s family had spent the latter part of 2018 struggling to pay for basic needs, utilities, and rent.

The financial strain has impacted each member of the family greatly. Becca felt that she needed to take time off school to take care of her brothers and the infant in the home. If Becca took over her mother’s role in the home, her mother would be able to pick up more shifts during the week.

The Winter Breather Program was able to provide grocery support for Becca’s family for the month of December, allowing the family to pay their rent on time. Winter Breather also provided Becca’s family with utility support, this allowed Becca’s parents to put more money toward basic needs and rent.

Winter Breather lessened the financial strain that was so deeply effecting Becca’s family.

Becca’s family has since been connected with more resources to assist in alleviating the financial strain.

*To preserve confidentiality, the names in this story have been changed.

How Winter Breather Helped A Strathmore Family

Mrs. Garcia and her family initially started visiting the Parent Link Centre in January of 2017 with her husband and three year old son. Their hope upon coming to the Parent Link Centre was to grow their parenting knowledge to help improve their son’s social skills. Over the following two years, Mrs. Garcia and her family attended many different programs as well as completed the Triple P Positive Parenting Program.

The family is always happy to be at the Parent Link Centre and is always so gracious and appreciative with any information, referrals or resources that are provided to them.

The couple recently welcomed a second child into their family. A little girl who is now five months old.

The Winter Breather Program provided grocery support to this family at a stressful time. With bringing a new baby home and trying to navigate the holiday season, the support came at a great time for them. Mrs. Garcia was so appreciative; she was so shocked at the dollar amount and was so incredibly grateful for the support

With tears in her eyes she stated how one day she would pay it forward, and hopes that there will be a time in her near future where she can donate and help other families in need.

It was so heartwarming to be able to help and support this family in a time of need.

*To preserve confidentiality, the names in this story have been changed.