The Never Ending Soap Story

The Never Ending Soap Story

Three short years ago a question, out of curiosity, was asked to 5 local shelters. “So, what do you do for hygiene amenities?” At this time we did not realize how many people in our own communities go without soap and hygiene amenities.

Disaster Aid Canada (DAC) does international humanitarian aid to people affected by natural disasters; including helping evacuees from the BC Wildfires. The Soap for Hope program was created to supply these disasters with soap. Something as simple as soap can save lives.

Three short years ago, the question  “So, what do you do for hygiene amenities?” changed our focus solely on international aid to helping locally as well. DAC had an excessive amount of soap and shampoo products in our warehouse. We believe that supplies help no one by sitting in a warehouse. So, we reached out to our local community shelters. We honestly were shocked and never expected the responses we received. How is it our fellow community members go without something as basic as soap??

Soap for Hope is a conduit between the hospitality industry and community shelters. We have created a “Caring Community Partner” program where we collect the hotels’ used amenities, linens (towels, sheets, blankets) and other items that can be redistributed back into our community. The soap and amenities are sorted, reprocessed, and packaged to create a 5 piece Hygiene Kit (an individual bar of soap, shampoo, conditioner, body wash and body lotion). Linens are folded and counted. This a laborious process done by our dedicated volunteers. This program facilitates volunteer opportunities for a wide age range of people that come to our warehouse for some good clean fun! Each amenity is handled at least 8 times before they are redistributed back in the community. By looking at our products you would never know these were destined to be landfill. In 2017 we redistributed close to 500,000 products back into our communities (and international disasters).

Soap for Hope has 2 warehouses; one in Victoria and one in Airdrie, AB. This is where all the processing takes place. Products are now being distributed back to local community shelters from Victoria to Campbell River, Vancouver and Whistler, Airdrie, Calgary and the surrounding area. The potential to help has spurred us to reach each of these communities in a system of give and take. When we have hotels sign up for our “Caring Community Partner” program in a community, we then look to community shelters in that area to make sure we are giving back. We work with countless Rotary Clubs  and Community Partners that facilitate this exchange.  With this win-win system we are now supporting over 100 community facilities.

Our ultimate goal is to become the complete hygiene solution for those we serve. Our scope now includes vulnerable seniors, kids, food banks, 1st nations as well as shelters, transitional homes and neighbourhood housing. We have had to make adjustments along our three year journey. Some facilities need individual products and some need family sized products; some need our Hygiene Kits and others like loose product. The key has been to work closely with each facility to access how we can best be of service. There are a number of items we must purchase. These include deodorant, feminine products, toothbrushes and toothpaste. We are able to purchase these products with donations to the Soap for Hope program.

As much as we never could have anticipated the results of our initial question “So, what do you do for hygiene products?”, we could not be more proud of our accomplishments. This practical program is helping thousands of people and having an impact of thousands more. We are continually growing, we are continually reaching further and deeper into our communities, and we will continue to become the complete hygiene solution for those we serve. As we like to say, “No one should have to hope for soap!”

Heart For Music

Heart For Music

In 2019 Rick’s Heart Foundation will be putting “Heart For Music” into various nursing residences in the Surrey and Greater Vancouver area.

“Music is therapy. Music moves people. It connects people in ways that no other medium can. It pulls heart strings. It acts as medicine.” ~ Macklemore

This Program is going to bring so much delight to many Seniors who worked, fought and sacrificed to provide this and many generations to come, a free and marvelous home we call Canada.

During my personal journey with my late Father and his dementia, when he was listening to music it brought the life back into his eyes. He became alert to his surroundings and the spark in him returned.

Seeing as music evokes emotions that bring back memories, I have made it my personal endeavor to have music in as many Senior’s homes as possible. Starting with WHERE your dad lived in New Westminster, BC.

Musical aptitude and appreciation are two of the last remaining abilities in dementia patients. Knowing this is why I wanted to give my Father the gift of music. Seeing such a transformation with such a simple gesture of music was a huge heartwarming gift both for My Father and Myself.

On behalf of My Father and Rick’s Heart Foundation, this Program will be so positive for it will inspire smiles and joy. It will bring back memories of key moments of happiness to these Seniors: Especially those battling with Dementia, or Alzheimer’s.

Below are two links to some fascinating documentaries about music and memory:

Story of Henry – Music & Memory iPod Project – Alive Inside Documentary

Alive Inside Official Trailer 1 (2014) – Alzheimer’s Documentary HD

Memories Of Music Cannot Be Lost During Various Stages Of Alzheimer’s Disease

If you would like to sponsor a Senior’s residence in your community or gather more information please send an email to [email protected]

In Heart and Love,

Rick Diamond

Surrey Parks Play Boxes

Surrey Parks Play Boxes

Playboxes are big tool boxes located in the  City of Surrey Parks which are stocked with all sorts of play and sports equipment. Everyone is able to sign up for FREE access to the Playbox, which is accessible from dawn to dusk, or when the park is open.

The Live 5-2-1-0 Play Boxes support kids and families in achieving the recommendations in the Live 5-2-1-0 message by making it easier for families to access free  equipment and play actively together outside.

Live 5-2-1-0 Play Boxes are all filled with play equipment such as balls, hula hoops and frisbees, and more!

Rick’s Heart Foundation is excited for the opportunity to sponsor playboxes in 12 parks around Surrey

Holly Park (10706 – 148 Street)
Bridgeview Community Centre (11475 – 126A Street)
Starr Park (19333 – 66 Avenue)
Maple Green Park (8959 – 150 Street)
Bakerview Park (1845 – 154 Street)
T.E. Scott Park (7014 – 148 Street)
Panorama Village Park (14899 – 57 Avenue)
Guildford Heights Park (10310 – 154 Street )
Hummingbird Park (11083 Swan Crescent)
Hjorth Road Park (10275 – 148 Street)
Alex Tot Park (across from Alexandra Neighbourhood House, 2916 McBride Ave)

Magee Park (6872 191 Street)

RHF Secures Donation of Fire Trucks To Nations In Need

RHF Secures Donation of Fire Trucks To Nations In Need

Rick’s Heart Foundation has worked with Canadian fire and medical services across the country and secured the donation of a number of operationally ready fire trucks and ambulances. The Foundation is shipping these vehicles to places around the world.

The first vehicles have already been sent: an ambulance by freight to Liberia, Africa, and trucks and ambulances by convoy towards Nicaragua and Central America, where the first 3 fire trucks will be going into service in Mexico early in the new year. There will be many more to come.

These vehicles are incredibly important, but in order to truly build the capacity of these services they must come with expertise as well. It is not enough to just deliver a truck – training is necessary to ensure the vehicles are used effectively and safely.

In order to meet that need Rick’s Heart Foundation is working with groups such as Kamloops Fire Rescue and GlobalFire. These teams provide a way for our own home-grown heroes — skilled and experienced Canadian medics and firefighters — to donate their time to accompany the vehicles and give comprehensive, state-of-the-art professional training to the brave responders receiving them.

Ricks’s Heart Foundation is committed to building on this incredible program, bringing together great Canadian generosity and hard work to help save lives all over the world. We will be looking to deliver up to 5 more vehicles in 2019. Follow us on social media to keep tabs on our progress!

Union Gospel Mission

Union Gospel Mission

Union Gospel Mission Annual BBQ – An Event that saves lives!

The bbq at beautiful Crab Park was an amazing success. Our Train of Heart & Hope ran full steam throughout the day – almost 900 happy passengers laughed and let their cares go as we toured around the park. We handed out 231 teddy bears with Save-On Meats meal tokens attached. Almost 5,000 meals were served and the gratitude from the attendees touched us so deeply – next year we’ll have to remember to bring 100 boxes of kleenex for our tears of joy!

We are once again going to participate in the UGM Annual Barbecue on July 25th, 2015. It’s a can’t miss celebration! This community event offers a host of family-friendly activities such as rides on the Train of Heart & Hope, lots of great food, a bouncy castle, face painting, a myriad of mini-carnival games, and of course, cotton candy.

Kids and adults alike can enjoy the music and delicious food. Like UGM’s other large community meals, the BBQ helps make the season fun and memorable for so many who struggle day to day. But its potential impact is actually much more profound. UGM meals are a chance for those struggling with homelessness, addiction and chronic poverty to connect with UGM outreach workers, and to become acquainted with the assistance available to them.