The PJ Project – The Arts Connection
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Thank you to all who participated in this year's PJ Project. We had a record year of donations and are very proud to be part of such a caring community that is able to help out such a great cause. Once again thank you and we look forward to next year's 'PJ Project'!

At The Arts Connection we believe that in addition to education and the arts, it is important for our young students to develop empathy and an understanding of social issues within our community. To this end, we are active supporters of "The PJ Project" during the holiday season in support of Jeremy's Memorial Foundation Again Domestic Violence.
For families who are interested in join this cause, we would like to take a moment to share some intimate details of why we chose this project and why we hope to seek your support in this endeavour and encourage you to put your hearts behind this project!
Jennifer Menendez was a young Early Childhood Educator who worked at our Renaissance Kids Richmond school for several years. Jennifer and her family were founders of "Jeremy's Memorial Foundation Against Domestic Violence" as Jennifer's little nephew had died through an act of domestic violence. Jennifer was actively involved in the foundation and developed a workbook for children which is now used throughout British Columbia with children who have had to flee from domestic violence.

On a bright sunny December 2nd morning in 2005, Jennifer was driving to our centre to begin her work shift when her car hit a patch of black ice on No. 6 Road. She lost control of her vehicle and drowned in a deep ditch on the side of the road. This was a tragic and emotionally devastating event for Jennifer's family, her colleagues and all of the families whose children were in her care at our centre. Ever since this tragic event, we have been involved in trying to keep Jennifer's memory and love of children alive through a variety of initiatives.

The beautiful playground outside the Renaissance Baby 4 classroom, with the lovely plants and fountain was dedicated in Jennifer's name. There is a plaque in the garden with an inscription to Jennifer and her family attended a dedication ceremony with Mayor Brodie four years ago when we opened the centre. Jennifer's family is still actively involved in supporting Jeremy's Memorial Foundation, as Jennifer would have wanted them to do.

B.C. has over 90 transition houses for families and supports over 20,000 women and children each year who are fleeing domestic violence. Imagine how you would feel if you had to leave your home and all of your belongings behind and arrived at a transition house feeling frightened and alone. We can send a message of caring by assisting the foundation to provide the many hundreds of pairs of pajamas that these shelters need every year to distribute to these women and children.

This year marks the 11th year of Jennifer's death and to honour her memory, we hope to break our previous record by collecting over 250 pairs this year. We are now accepting donations of NEW pajamas. All sizes are needed from infant sizes through to teens, and also for women arriving with their children. We encourage you to include your children in the 'shopping adventure' and make it a learning experience by telling them that we are helping to take care of families who are not as fortunate as we are and who need some help. If you are unable to actually do the shopping, we are also pleased to accept cash or cheque donations. All funds go directly towards purchasing pajamas.

Cheques should be made payable to "Jeremy's Memorial Foundation" (a registered charity). A tax deductible receipt is available upon request. Please leave your donation with Ms. Mehernaz at the reception desk and she will collect your information for the tax receipt.

We look forward to making this project an amazing one with all of your support and thank you, in advance, for your generous donations and contributions in Jennifer's memory.


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