Society & Community

This page highlights pictures from projects supported by Acts of Grace within the most recent five years.

Photos are listed in alphabetical order by charity name. Click on the charity's name to be redirected to its website. Click on the Grant Description link to learn more about each grant. These pictures are used with the express permission of the organization that provided them and are not to be reproduced for any other purpose.

CityKidz Ministries

CityYouth Transportation (Canada)

Recurring Grant - Grant Years: 2014-2018

Grant Description

  • CityYouth is a mid-week mentorship and leadership development program for youth from low income neighbourhoods. With an emphasis on faith, leadership and lifestyle through a small group mentoring approach. Teens are invited to discuss topics of interest and share life experiences in a safe environment with guidance and facilitation by a CityYouth staff person or volunteer. Through training and volunteer opportunities, CityYouth participants develop increased resilience and servant leadership skills.

  • Teens participating in CityYouth gain leadership experience by serving as bus helpers and Junior Leaders for the CityKidz and KinderKidz Saturday morning programs. Junior Leaders are assigned to a CityKidz volunteer team, under the direction of a team captain, where they receive training, serve and are mentored by their Team Captain and their fellow Team Members. In their final year of CityYouth, participants become part of a "RoadMaps" program where life skills are included along with the CityKidz objectives of faith, leadership and life style.

  • A special ceremony is held each year for CityYouth and Roadmaps graduates. This event, put on in partnership with Hamilton Police Service and Sons of Italy, gives the youth the opportunity to celebrate their achievements with CityKidz mentors, staff, volunteers and supporters. Each year, youth from the CityYouth program are also invited to participate in the CityKidz Ministries red carpet gala. This not only provides the opportunity for them to enjoy a fancy evening out but also a chance to share their story with others and to be encouraged by the community.

Prison Fellowship Canada

The Sycamore Tree Project (Canada)

Grant year: 2018

Grant Description

  • The Sycamore Tree Project takes its name from the story of Zacchaeus and his encounter with Jesus (Luke 19:1-10). Already used in 34 countries with more than 3,500 victims and prisoners, this is the first program of its kind in Canada. This pilot program provided a restorative justice curriculum in 10 Canadian federal correctional facilities. In other countries around the world, research shows The Sycamore Tree Project directly impacts how inmates view crime and has effectively reduced the rate at which ex-offenders re-commit crimes.

  • Restorative justice is based on an understanding that crime is a violation of people and relationships. The principles of restorative justice are based on respect, compassion, forgiveness and community. Restorative justice encourages meaningful engagement and accountability and provides an opportunity for healing, reparation and reintegration. A restorative approach asks three questions in the aftermath of crime: Who was harmed? What are their needs? Who is responsible for addressing those needs?

    Pictured here: A Sycamore Tree Project participant shares his story.

  • By emphasizing the responsibility of offenders to repair the harm caused by their crime, the program supports a ministry of reconciliation and restoration to inmates, ex-offenders, their families and victims through structured exercises that bring offenders and surrogate victims together. Trained Prison Fellowship Canada volunteers facilitate discussions aimed at creating a safe environment for people to share their stories of crime, and its impact, and build and common understanding to move forward along the pathway to healing and transformation.

    Pictured here: A Sycamore Tree Project participant receives his graduation certificate from Corrections officials and program leaders.

Restorations Second Stage Homes

New Windows and Doors for Restorations' First Residence (Canada)

Grant Year: 2019

Grant Description

  • Canadian survivors, law enforcement and social services emphasize the need for long-term residential support for victims of sexual exploitation and human trafficking. Without safe housing, it is difficult to provide supports that aid in recovery from trauma. The Alliance Against Modern Slavery’s Incidence of Human Trafficking in Ontario report (2014) identifies “lack of housing options” as the second highest challenge in assisting victims. The report emphasizes the need for residential programs that address the unique needs and challenges of survivors and are safe and secure. Restorations is a faith-based charity focused on meeting this need through holistic residential recovery programs for victims of human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation with the purpose of establishing a foundation for recovery, healing, empowerment and success.

  • In partnership with the Central District of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, Restorations is renovating a house in Burlington, Ontario that will become its first residence providing safe, stable and supportive housing for survivors of trafficking. Restorations will offer wrap-around services to residents to restore physical, spiritual and mental well-being and to empower individuals to step into their life’s purpose. These services will promote healing, wholeness, independence and family reunification through offerings such as trauma-informed therapy, life skills growth, educational development, job training, mentorship, and spiritual encouragement.

    To read an article about the renovations at Restorations' first residence and to see a brief video of the home, click here.

  • As part of the renovations, all of the windows and doors of the house must be replaced before residents and staff can move in. Existing doors and windows in the house are either broken or insufficient for providing a safe living environment for those escaping trauma. This project will provide all of the new windows and exteriors doors for the residence to increase the security and safety of the house reinforcing the truth that God makes all individuals perfectly and purposefully with the right to live free from exploitation and abuse.