It isn’t just one mission, but more like three for Your Hope Dealers. The organization is working to empower victims of sexual abuse, domestic violence and mental illness through hope.
“We want to see a new generation of strong children, women and men that embrace vulnerability and healing, thus ending the cycle of sexual child abuse/domestic violence and mental illness,” says founder Danielle Smith.
Scarborough resident Danielle has always been passionate about giving back to her community, and when she couldn’t find a volunteer program that fit her schedule she created one. At first, Danielle started giving back to the community through Operation Brown Bag, an organization that made and delivered lunches to some of Toronto’s homeless population during the holiday season.
After a while, Danielle noticed that the brown bags didn’t just include a lunch for the recipient but also a message of hope. That’s when Operation Brown Bag transformed into Your Hope Dealers in an effort to spread hope to more people within the Scarborough community.
“I was surprised by the demonstrated need for this type of organization in the community. We facilitate safe spaces for healing and you can’t really find anything like it around. We have fun with our healing and we do it together,” Danielle says.
As an organization immersed in community well-being, Your Hope Dealers works to create events that encourage thought-provoking discussions that tackle sensitive topics in an approachable manner.
“Recently we have begun a series of events known as Heart Lounge where we marry the idea of art and therapy in fun, interactive spaces partnering with local artists and businesses in the city,” Danielle says.
With every event, discussion and blog article Danielle and her team at Your Hope Dealers is moving closer to achieving their mission of bringing hope and breaking cycles of abuse.