WATCH: Going ‘Beyond HELLO’ reunites DTES mother with her long-lost daughter
WATCH (above): Linda Aylesworth has a touching reunion story of a DTES mother and her long-lost daughter, who she gave up for adoption almost 30 years ago.
Think happy stories don’t happen on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside? Then you need to meet Cindy Kadwell and Paige Fletcher and the remarkable woman who brought them together.
Founder of Beyond HELLO Kristi Blakeway along with some students from a Maple Ridge school helped reunite a mother and daughter after being apart for nearly three decades.
Five years ago Blakeway created Project HELLO (Helping Everyone Locate Loved Ones) where high school students would approach the homeless in the DTES and offer them an opportunity to re-connect with loved ones via handmade cards, phone calls, and face-to-face reunions.
Initially it started as a one-day field trip but now has become a multi-school, year round initiative and in July 2013 the project evolved into Beyond HELLO. Blakeway and the students take one homeless person to lunch once a month. It’s an opportunity for their stories to help change the perception, judgment and biases of the neighbourhood.
To date the program has helped more than 400 people send messages of love.
In this story Global News Linda Aylesworth brings you the reunion of Cindy, a drug addict on the DTES who gave up her daughter for adoption 28 years ago and her daughter Paige.