Guelph, Ontario

Community Box: Self-Care Edition

Featured Creator, September 2019

I’d rather be on the positive trail than the negative trail - I’d rather have a positive life.

Ame´s Story

I like expressing my thoughts and feelings into my art and my favourite payoff is the smile of a person connecting with my design. I’ve created a lot of different kinds of art like murals, animations, carvings, sculptures, illustrations - It’s all through word-of-mouth and people reaching out to me.

Creations that I made will last forever and will be passed on and that’s inspiring to me.

My favourite creation is an owl carving that I sold to the local art gallery when I was 10 years old. It’s my favourite because my father bought it from the gallery and gifted it to his most loved best friend. I didn’t realize he gave it to his friend until 40 years later, and now his friend is giving it back to me - I cried of joy when I found out.

I was homeless for half a year before a friend of mine said to come to Guelph. They introduced me to HOPE House and by the end of the month, I found a place to stay.

I’ve lived in Guelph for four years and I love the Guelph community. People take care of one another, even if they don’t know each other.

The HOPE House community is incredible. They take care of people who need help - not just homeless, but also people in the community who are new or are looking for a place to go and there’s no judgement.

If I had a crystal ball, I would love to see my funeral day. After I am passed on, all the people who loved me are going to get together and talk about their experiences with me. Everyone may not know each other, but they will all know me and get to learn about each other through knowing me. They become a community and a family.

The better I do in my life, the more touched people in my community will be.

I’ve seen this happen with different elders in my community. My late father was very loved and respected. When he passed away, the entire community got together and there was a big feast - people were laughing, crying, reminiscing and having good memories. Families were even touched enough to name their child after my father.

Reincarnation is big up north and names are passed on. My name was a lady elder at first, and then a man named after her. When he died, my older brother was named after him and when he died, I was named after him.

It’s a way of keeping the community strong and connected - even if you’re not related to them, you’re related by namesake.

There are two words that the elders use in my community: Ayunama and Kaupaulaamiyuk.

Ayunama [ayu-nu-mun], it means it's just impossible. Just accept it. You can’t change it. For example, the weather, it’s impossible to control it - don’t dwell on it and you can move forward.

The other word is kaupaulaamiyuk [kau-pau-la-may-yo]. It means there’s always tomorrow. I said that to myself a lot of times when I was homeless.

These two words prevented me from giving up when i was homeless and it kept me carrying on to the next day. 

I don’t listen to put downs. I put myself up. I can make things happen, no matter how hard it may be. I’d rather be on the positive trail than the negative trail - I’d rather have a positive life.


The Community Box:


Self-Care Edition



Our third Community Box was created by five current or former users of HOPE House with a passion for self-care.

The Self-Care Box includes:

  • A self-care booklet with gentle everyday reminders

  • A handmade bracelet with a lava bead for essential oils or fragrances

  • A gratitude card to share with people you are grateful for

  • Three unique tea blends made in partnership with GROSCHE Coffee & Tea


The box was created in collaboration with HOPE House, a front-line poverty relief and social assistance centre in Guelph, Ontario.


Ame earned $50 for co-creating the products in his Community Box. Additionally, 50% of all our profits are shared with our Creators.


Click the button below to build your Self-Care Box or to order individual items from the box!

Box 3Justin ChanComment