Keith Nolan worked diligently to overcome obstacles in his life.
The man from St. John’s spent five years of his life caring for his sick mother. When she died he was five years older and five years out of the work force.
Things spiralled from there for him until he read about Stella’s Circle in an article in The Telegram.
He was broke in February, living on income assistance and it was not enough for him to be self-sufficient. Couple that with anxiety issues and he knew he needed help.
“Last February, I decided to call down there and made an appointment with an employment councillor (Twilia Thorne),’’ Nolan said Thursday as he was part of the kickoff announcement of the 4th annual Light Up Hope celebration at Stella’s Circle offices in Rawlins Cross.
“She was a big help for me, keeping me on the right path … especially when I was trying to fast track things along,’’ he added.
His keen eye and strong work ethic were huge in getting him through the 12-week cleaning program and ultimately putting him back to work. He said taking this path and getting back on his feet were key for him and the quicker the better.
His success fits perfectly with the mission of Stella’s Circle.
The centre is there to transform lives by offering real homes, real help and real work with more than 1,000 participants getting assistance annually through the organization’s vision of a home, a job, a community.
In years before his mother got sick, Nolan worked at Warren’s Meats. It was there that he learned to be meticulous in his work.
“Mr. Warren had a certain way he wanted things done. He taught me a lot of good lessons over the years I was there, and that helped me get to where I am today,’’ he said.
“I have gone from where I was then, dealing with a lot of anxiety, to a place of happiness today,’’ he added.
Nolan said after completing the course and getting to work he now holds two jobs, and being self-sufficient was good for him and for others.
He said the money he would receive from social assistance can now go to help someone else.
“That statement sums up this entire thing for me,’’ Lisa Browne, CEO of Stella’s Circle said.
“To have that much awareness and caring for others is what this event is all about, what we are all about here,’’ she added.
The Stella’s Circle Light Up Hope event will be held at Rawlins Cross on Giving Tuesday, (Nov. 27) from 6-7 p.m.
This family friendly and free event will feature fire jugglers, the RNC horses, Stella’s Circle staff in period costumes, music by DJ Slim Macho and the Stella’s Circle Inclusion Choir.
The lighting of the HOPE sign is the highlight of the event and warm drinks and treats will be provided by the Hungry Heart Café.
This will be the first time an event will be hosted in the new pedestrian section of Rawlins Cross, giving everyone who attends a much larger area to celebrate.
This is the fourth year Stella’s Circle is lighting up hope signs for Giving Tuesday at its facilities. Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving which follows Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
It is a reminder to give back to people in our community who need our support.
Other sites that had Hope signs last year included Emmanuel House on Cochrane Street, Naomi Centre on Patrick Street, Employment Services Centre & Community Support Program on Cabot Street and the Brian Martin Housing Resource Centre on Prescott Street.
Residents are invited to help Light Up Hope by donating to Stella’s Circle. Donations can be received by texting LightUpHope to 20222, online at StellasCircle.ca, or by calling 709-738-8540.
Bluedrop Learning Networks will be matching donations received up to $5,000. In addition, Stella’s Circle is grateful for the performers and corporate partners who are contributing to this event including Perfect Day that designed the event graphics; takeCHARGEnl donated lights and Murray’s Garden Centre loaned several trees for the space.
How to Donate for Giving Tuesday:
Mobile Giving: Use your cell phone! It only takes seconds and you can make a difference in the lives of people in our community. Text LIGHTUPHOPE to 20222 to donate $10 or $20.
For more go to https://stellascircle.ca/light-up-hope/ .
The Stella’s Circle Foundation is a registered charity, established in 2005 to secure financial support for the work of Stella’s Circle.