Eagle Heart Project creates holiday memories
- EFN Staff | December 17, 2019
A non-profit organization in Regina helps families to create memories around the holidays. Eagle Heart Centre located in North Central has created the Legacy Project where they encourage donations from the community to give to nominated families to create memorable memories around the holidays.
Delora Parisian, the executive director at Eagle Heart Centre, wanted to leave an impact on families by creating this project in the community. It was something that began small then gained more interests by desired families.
“We try to the life experience gifts before Christmas…we put out nomination sheets. So, different programs within the Eagle Heart Centre nominates the neediest families that will benefit a life experience to make memories,” she said.
A few years ago, Parisian was thinking of retirement and she wanted to leave a legacy of some sort. She thought back on her childhood where she remembered the fond memories around Christmas time of eating together and spending time with her family in different life experiences. Parisian wanted to do something to give the families they serve life experiences of their own.
“Rather than gift toys, let’s see what happens by giving them life experiences,” she said. “So, that’s how the Project was born.”
Families are nominated by different departments within the Eagle Heart Centre based on who they feel deserved to be gifted with a life experience. Gifts from this project are presented in various ways such as a night at the movies, supper at a restaurant, haircuts and even a hotel room.
“Their budgets don’t allow for much of anything extra like that,” she said.
The Legacy Project started three years ago with only a handful of donors. The following year, over 20 donors donated to the project. This year, Parisian hopes to receive more donors to contribute to the Legacy Project. The life experiences are delivered on the week of December 23rd by volunteers which include the Chief of Regina Police Service Evan Bray.
Various organizations within the community donate to this worthy cause as a way of giving back to families during the holiday season. Doug Moran, the Chief Executive Officer of Gabriel Housing Corporation, said they donate to the Eagle Heart Legacy Project every year and it’s their way of giving back to families who deserve to have a life experience. They donate $200-400 a year for this project and it’s something the folks at the Gabriel Housing Corporation look forward to.
“We do it to give them that extra boost because there’s certain times of the year with where they have trouble around Christmas time,” he said. “We know that it’s a struggle around Christmas time so we try to do our part.”
The Eagle Heart Centre, formerly known as Aboriginal Family Service Centre where they assist with over 700 families a year.