A non-profit charitable organization dedicated to providing crisis and treatment services held their annual Easter brunch today for their participants.
CEO Barkley Engel says that "Turning Leaf is a community of people that started here in Winnipeg and branched out throughout Manitoba and Saskatchewan,.. that help people who are vulnerable and marginalized...That need help with all sorts of different things. But mostly it's people that have come together that believe what our communities need is unconditional acceptance."
Turning Leaf Services Inc. employs 350 staff members throughout the province as well as Saskatchewan and is in its fifteenth year.
There are locations in Winnipeg, Winkler, Portage la Prairie and two in Saskatchewan; Moose Jaw, and Regina.
The non-profit organization is a crisis intervention program. The people that come for help are usually in a crisis or some kind of immediate need from needing safety from getting out of a gang, to getting out of human trafficking complete with the medical and counselling attention that they need.
"People are drawn to the values of unconditional acceptance"
Engel said that back in 2004 he was working in this area of crisis and noticed lots of people falling through the gaps. He explained that they were not getting the proper treatment that they were needing to treat mental illness or fetal alcohol syndrome.
Turning Leaf came from realizing a need for a service that was tailored to the person with the goal to bring the participant from crisis to stability.
Three times per year, meals are hosted for the participants; Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter Brunch.
A participant who enjoyed the brunch named Michelle said, "Turning Leaf means everything. For the last nine years, I've been with this crew. And all I could say is really good stuff about them. Turning Leaf came to my rescue and helped me."
Volunteers Sharon and Rhonda love helping with the cooking for these events. Sharon says, "When I see the look on people's faces and what we give them, it's just so overwhelming. It's very heartfelt and I just love doing it."
Rhonda agrees and says, "This is an organization with a lot of heart...We love community events and this is what it's all about -just hearing the noise and the excitement in the room."
If you are interested in donating or volunteering or you'd like more information, you can go to Turning Leaf