Central Alberta youth will have another helping hand in their communities.
Dakin Chase has stepped forward as the newest nonprofit in Sylvan Lake. The foundation became an official nonprofit on Dec. 1, 2021 and has already been putting their initiatives into action around central Alberta.
“Dakin Chase Foundation is committed to helping the youth in all communities have a place to go if they feel unsafe,” said Kjeryn Dakin, foundation co-founder.
Dakin was in a meeting earlier this year and listened to the struggles the community was facing in terms of its youth and how to help them and keep them safe.
“I knew there was a problem, especially with the trauma of what everyone was experiencing with COVID-19. This became magnified and we wanted to bring a voice to the pain of our youth. We needed to do something about it by creating safe spaces,” said Dakin. “I made a post that went viral, offering to any kid who needs a place to go, to come to Bukz for a meal, free wifi, and even odd jobs if they needed a bit of money to get through,” she added.
The Yellow Butterfly initiative is one of three initiatives currently underway.
“I would refer to this as our first of three initiatives at Dakin Chase which we call the Yellow Butterfly initiative.
“Our symbol is a Yellow butterfly. When you see our yellow butterfly in a store window, know that they have taken the time to educate themselves with resources to help youth and made a promise to be a safe space.
This program is intended for restaurants and alike. We are open long hours, we have food if needed ready to go, we have wifi and we have many staff ready to help,” said Dakin.
Dakin owns Bukz, Bukwildz, and Doe(s) restaurants on Lakeshore Dr. and is offering the Yellow Butterfly Restaurant Program at all three businesses. She said it may take several visits for youth to feel ready to open up and ask for help.
Other programs include the upcoming Cocooning Retreat-A New You, and Butterfly Awards.
The Cocooning Retreat aims to put together mini-retreats motivating individuals to be able to achieve whatever they put their mind towards, said Dakin.
The Butterfly Awards Gala aims to celebrate community members making an impact. The evening schedule for November 2022 will celebrate four individuals.
Unstuck Angels is another initiative that supports locals through their daily life, may that support paying a bill, help with babysitting, or anything else. Individuals nominate someone who could benefit from the support, and the foundation tries to aid one or two individuals every month in central Alberta.
The Gulls Give Foundation hopped on board in support of the Dakin Chase Foundation and made a donation of $750. All foundation programs are funded by community and individual donations.
“How great is that for local supporting local. This will impact so many youths who need a safe space, day or night,” said Dakin.
The foundation is open to donations to help offset the cost of printing training materials and decals for the Yellow Butterfly Restaurant Program. Restaurants and businesses are encouraged to put a yellow butterfly decal on their business storefront if they can provide a temporary, safe space for youth in their community.
“If you would like to participate in being a safe space, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org We are currently working on getting all of our contacts together for each municipality in central Alberta to help bridge the gap between youth in trouble and accessing resources.
“It might not be the first visit or two but once you can earn their trust that you have their best interest at heart maybe we can save a few kids from dangerous situations. Or they will open up to talk to someone before they become another statistic,” said Dakin.
Visit the foundation website for further details at www.dakinchase.com. Initiating from Sylvan Lake, Dakin said they are working to expand to Red Deer in the upcoming weeks, with the aim to spread nationally.