Weston woman supports neighbourhood though self-run non-profit

Community Sep 02, 2017 by Aaron D'Andrea York Guardian

Mellina Orr has always had a passion for helping youth and other residents in her neighbourhood: Weston.

“Even when I was younger, my friends used to come to me for help and advice and I used to help them,” she told The York Guardian.  “I find joy in doing so.”

The 34-year-old is the founder of Youth Winning Youth (YWY), a non-profit organization that serves children and families in need through community outreach programs which are run out of local organizations that it partners with.

Currently, she and a handful of volunteers manage its family program, Perfect Hearts, which is made up of a Christmas drive, a back-to-school supply drive and weekly grocery deliveries.

According to Orr, it has been a priority for YWY since 2014.

“We saw that was a great need and we started to focus on that,” she added.

When it was established in 2009, Orr, a Humber College graduate, ran a mentorship program for youth called Happy Hands where they learned how to play steel pan drums, which she said helped placed them on a successful path.

“Violence is one of the issues (in the area), including drugs,” she said. “We find that with a lot of the youth, there isn’t much guidance there for them, especially if they come out of government programs and they’ve reached that particular age, there isn’t any healthy transition that will help them in life to give them that support to enter the world.”

However, that program has been put on hold since 2013 until YWY can find a permanent home and fundraise to buy its own drums.

“Because we had the steel pan program going on and we saw how effective it was, even the parents used to come to us and say they’ve noticed a change in their children and even the youth who are grown adults now, they’ve noticed a change from the steel pan program,” she said. “I really believe that having music as therapy is a healthy way of allowing the youth to express themselves and let out any kind of emotions in a healthy manner and give them that positive outlet.”

Scarborough resident Danielle Bennett, 32, has been volunteering with Orr since August, bringing along her nine-year-old son Mason to help as well.

She said she’s in awe to see the amount of work Orr does.

“I’m blown away by the unity of the community and how much she’s willing to put in and how many hours she’s willing to put it for a non-profit organization run by herself,” she said. “If there’s somebody who is closer by who just wants to help out, they should really reach out.”

Looking forward, Orr hopes she can secure a space so she can increase YWY’s operations and bring back her youth program.

“I believe having a music program and mentoring program will assist greatly in eliminating some of the issues that’s going on,” she said.

Anyone who is interested in assisting YWY can email ywy4cministries.info@gmail.com.

Weston woman supports neighbourhood though self-run non-profit

Youth Winning Youth looking for a permanent home

Community Sep 02, 2017 by Aaron D'Andrea York Guardian

Mellina Orr has always had a passion for helping youth and other residents in her neighbourhood: Weston.

“Even when I was younger, my friends used to come to me for help and advice and I used to help them,” she told The York Guardian.  “I find joy in doing so.”

The 34-year-old is the founder of Youth Winning Youth (YWY), a non-profit organization that serves children and families in need through community outreach programs which are run out of local organizations that it partners with.

Currently, she and a handful of volunteers manage its family program, Perfect Hearts, which is made up of a Christmas drive, a back-to-school supply drive and weekly grocery deliveries.

Related Content

According to Orr, it has been a priority for YWY since 2014.

“We saw that was a great need and we started to focus on that,” she added.

When it was established in 2009, Orr, a Humber College graduate, ran a mentorship program for youth called Happy Hands where they learned how to play steel pan drums, which she said helped placed them on a successful path.

“Violence is one of the issues (in the area), including drugs,” she said. “We find that with a lot of the youth, there isn’t much guidance there for them, especially if they come out of government programs and they’ve reached that particular age, there isn’t any healthy transition that will help them in life to give them that support to enter the world.”

However, that program has been put on hold since 2013 until YWY can find a permanent home and fundraise to buy its own drums.

“Because we had the steel pan program going on and we saw how effective it was, even the parents used to come to us and say they’ve noticed a change in their children and even the youth who are grown adults now, they’ve noticed a change from the steel pan program,” she said. “I really believe that having music as therapy is a healthy way of allowing the youth to express themselves and let out any kind of emotions in a healthy manner and give them that positive outlet.”

Scarborough resident Danielle Bennett, 32, has been volunteering with Orr since August, bringing along her nine-year-old son Mason to help as well.

She said she’s in awe to see the amount of work Orr does.

“I’m blown away by the unity of the community and how much she’s willing to put in and how many hours she’s willing to put it for a non-profit organization run by herself,” she said. “If there’s somebody who is closer by who just wants to help out, they should really reach out.”

Looking forward, Orr hopes she can secure a space so she can increase YWY’s operations and bring back her youth program.

“I believe having a music program and mentoring program will assist greatly in eliminating some of the issues that’s going on,” she said.

Anyone who is interested in assisting YWY can email ywy4cministries.info@gmail.com.

Weston woman supports neighbourhood though self-run non-profit

Youth Winning Youth looking for a permanent home

Community Sep 02, 2017 by Aaron D'Andrea York Guardian

Mellina Orr has always had a passion for helping youth and other residents in her neighbourhood: Weston.

“Even when I was younger, my friends used to come to me for help and advice and I used to help them,” she told The York Guardian.  “I find joy in doing so.”

The 34-year-old is the founder of Youth Winning Youth (YWY), a non-profit organization that serves children and families in need through community outreach programs which are run out of local organizations that it partners with.

Currently, she and a handful of volunteers manage its family program, Perfect Hearts, which is made up of a Christmas drive, a back-to-school supply drive and weekly grocery deliveries.

Related Content

According to Orr, it has been a priority for YWY since 2014.

“We saw that was a great need and we started to focus on that,” she added.

When it was established in 2009, Orr, a Humber College graduate, ran a mentorship program for youth called Happy Hands where they learned how to play steel pan drums, which she said helped placed them on a successful path.

“Violence is one of the issues (in the area), including drugs,” she said. “We find that with a lot of the youth, there isn’t much guidance there for them, especially if they come out of government programs and they’ve reached that particular age, there isn’t any healthy transition that will help them in life to give them that support to enter the world.”

However, that program has been put on hold since 2013 until YWY can find a permanent home and fundraise to buy its own drums.

“Because we had the steel pan program going on and we saw how effective it was, even the parents used to come to us and say they’ve noticed a change in their children and even the youth who are grown adults now, they’ve noticed a change from the steel pan program,” she said. “I really believe that having music as therapy is a healthy way of allowing the youth to express themselves and let out any kind of emotions in a healthy manner and give them that positive outlet.”

Scarborough resident Danielle Bennett, 32, has been volunteering with Orr since August, bringing along her nine-year-old son Mason to help as well.

She said she’s in awe to see the amount of work Orr does.

“I’m blown away by the unity of the community and how much she’s willing to put in and how many hours she’s willing to put it for a non-profit organization run by herself,” she said. “If there’s somebody who is closer by who just wants to help out, they should really reach out.”

Looking forward, Orr hopes she can secure a space so she can increase YWY’s operations and bring back her youth program.

“I believe having a music program and mentoring program will assist greatly in eliminating some of the issues that’s going on,” she said.

Anyone who is interested in assisting YWY can email ywy4cministries.info@gmail.com.