Sun Youth: Volunteer army gets 1,500-person boost

Sun Youth’s Sid Stevens and The Senior Times go hand in hand. (Photo: Nicholas Carpentier)Sun Youth’s Sid Stevens and The Senior Times go hand in hand. (Photo: Nicholas Carpentier)

Sometimes efforts go farther than imagined.

In 1954, 9-year-old Earl De La Perralle and 13-year-old Sid Stevens, with a few other kids from the St. Urbain neighborhood, started what would become one of Quebec’s most important charities. It began with a handwritten newspaper called “The Clark Street Sun” that mirrored the everyday life of these inner-city youth, many of whom lived in poverty and came from immigrant families. Two copies of the weekly newspaper were handwritten and circulated. Rather than selling them, each copy was rented at two-cents. All of the money collected went to fund local sports and recreational activities for the neighborhood kids.

Today Sun Youth boasts over 1500 volunteers yearly and is co-directed by its two original volunteers. Now a registered charity and non-profit organization, it has become a staple in the community, continuously helping thousands of people in many ways. While relying on the faithful
cooperation of community and humanitarian organizations, Sun Youth derives the majority of its revenue from several generous private and corporate donors, municipal and government funds, as well as media partners.

December is Sun Youth’s biggest month when it prepares Christmas baskets for distribution. Starting the 18th, Sun Youth plans to hand out 5,000 food hampers and nearly as many new toys to children aged 12 and under. Thousands of disadvantaged Montreal families count on the community’s generosity to enjoy the holidays with enough food to prepare a holiday meal and new toys for their young ones. As always, Sun Youth is extremely thankful to its volunteers and donors, without whom none of  this would be possible.

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