GUEST SPEAKER: Aidan O

 

GUEST SPEAKER: Aidan H


 

Aidan O

is a seventeen year old Grade 12 student who has dedicated herself to many hours to volunteer activities and uses every opportunity to help those in need. One of her more consistent volunteer experiences has been helping in the Independent Living department at school, a programme designed for special needs students.  Aidan also started a music club for students with various physical and developmental disabilities. More recently Aidan has been involved with fundraising for the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides spurred on by the experience of her sister receiving service dog last May.
 
Adian thanked us for being selected for a WE trip to the Amazon next summer and Mike H presented her with a $2000 cheque to assist with the expenses associated with her WE adventure.
 

Aidan H

is a social activist and RTE's 2017 RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Award) winner. He has been involved in a number of initiatives over the past few years helping support youth both locally and in Peru. He has worked for Heroes in Black where his role was developing Kali’s Dream Factory, a youth center that encourages sheltered and at-risk youth to pursue their dreams, join a community, learn, and be exposed to job opportunities. By reaching kids before they have been on the streets for 2 years, they are attacking homelessness at its roots. 
 
On January 6th, 2015, it was 19 below when Aidan witnessed an unconscious man was being taken away in an ambulance. He was wearing nothing but a t-shirt and jeans and died two days later. Not long afterward, a similar event occurred less than 2 blocks from the first.
 
These tragedies inspired Aidan to look for better ways to create sustainable change around homelessness. He learned that clean underwear is one of top 2 most requested items by shelters and hardest to come by. Clean underwear is not only essential for hygiene and health; it helps the homeless build self-confidence and dignity. As a result, Aidan started Simple Underwear Inc., a company that donates at least 1 pair of underwear for every 1 pair purchased. With help from The Bargains Group, his company is now distributing underwear through over 100 vetted shelters across Canada, and soon, North America.
 
With a full crowd of Rotarians in attendance, it was great to hear from such talented young adults in our community!
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