Today is Giving Tuesday. Following Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday is a new Canadian movement for giving and volunteering, marking the official opening of the season of giving. It is a day where charities, companies and individuals join together to share commitments, rally for favourite causes and think about others. Please help Vecova support persons with disabilities by donating today!
Derek Cusler has had to overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges in his life. Addicted to drugs, in and out of the hospital with suicide attempts, run-ins with gangs: he came to Vecova through our Youth Transition Program.
“My (highschool) teachers thought I would be dead by now,” explains Derek who is 22 years old. “I was going down a bad path. I wanted to change and Vecova helped me.”
With Vecova’s support, Derek has learned how to build healthy relationships and establish a quality of life he enjoys. He lives with a supportive roommate and is often seen around Vecova encouraging his peers to overcome challenges they face in their daily lives – Derek wants to give back.
“I met him when he came to Vecova,” says Erin Lesher, Vecova Team Leader. “Derek is a success story in my book.”
Working alongside community members like Derek, it becomes clear when we come together with the commitment required to make a real difference and support each other through times of change, we are greater. We truly do venture forward together by taking each next step.
“A really big part of my life is my family. I’m not angry, I don’t do bad stuff, we’re like a family now,” explains Derek. “Erin and Karri, they always stuck by me, like my family. I really appreciate the help they give me.”
Stories like Derek’s happen every day at Vecova. We believe that persons with disabilities are valued and integral members of society and by bringing disability services, research and enterprise together to support persons with disabilities, we make that vision a reality, every day.