Bobby Hayes has tirelessly devoted almost two decades of his life to ensure at risk children have a person to talk to, being both a friend and a leader. His program, supported by a team of dedicated volunteers, has been so successful that the current environment cannot keep up to the demands of this growing organization. Last year Bobby received national recognition as Canada’s top volunteer in the CBC Champions of Change competition. The Joshua Group consists of over 100 children ranging from ages 2 to 18 years old. These “at risk” children generally come from single family homes, many of them fatherless. The Joshua Group places special emphasis on priority neighborhoods where families most often feel neglected and ignored by society. It’s not unusual to see poverty, child abuse, drug abuse, prostitution and criminal activities in these areas. Sadly enough, The Joshua Group is only reaching a small percentage of the over 1,200 children living in such conditions in our community.
The Joshua Group recently acquired the former Peacock Garden Center off the Sandy Point Road and is going to build a headquarters that will meet the needs of these children and many others. Their mission is to ensure that everyone in need will be provided with the resources that are so badly needed in our community.
The Joshua Group headquarters will be a community center where children will get hot meals, receive clothing, footwear and personal care items when needed, develop leadership and social skills, work alongside volunteers to learn about vegetable gardening, woodworking, fishing, cooking and much more. It will be a place where they can learn about nature and experience the beauty of being outdoors. But most importantly, it will be a place where kids can be kids.
The center and its team of dedicated volunteers will provide children with love, hope and opportunities so they can dream about a future and give back to the community. Together we can make a difference in changing the future of these at risk children.
The Joshua Group is a non-profit organization that was established in 1993 and received charitable status in 2008. It is dedicated to improving the lives of children and families in need in the Greater Saint John area. Our primary purpose is to help create a better quality of life and to establish a level playing field for these children and their families. This is accomplished through the implementation and support of culturally appropriate projects that nurture and improve their emotional, educational, medical, social, and cultural well-being. We also partner with other organizations and committed individuals who can help us to meet our goals.