Guelph, Ontario

Community Box: Self-Care Edition

Featured Creator, September 2019

Nothing in nature blooms all year long, so don’t expect yourself to either.

Sarah’s Story

I sing a lot of kids songs to myself. My son watches the types of kids shows where it’s all singing and dancing and I find I get those stuck in my head throughout the day. 

I feel most grateful for my kids and being able to take care of them and to love them every day.

I am a single mom and it’s a struggle doing this on my own. They’ve taught me the value of patience - I am enjoying the small things in life like going for a walk and going to the playground.

Martha, Paul, Marlene, and Ame are all part of my adoptive family that I’ve met through art and through HOPE House. People go to HOPE House because it’s a safe place to go, it's a safe place to access food and to access help and resources. I go there because of the workshops and programs that I am part of.

They’ve helped me positively because it has connected me with other people in our community and my social network has expanded because of it.

Selling artwork that I’ve created is a great accomplishment of mine. A lot of energy and myself goes into the art, so it’s nice when other people treasure that kind of thing and really enjoy the meaning of it.

My dream job would be turning my passions of art, painting, and crocheting into a career. 

I want to end the stigma attached to mental health, poverty, and low income. A lot of people think that if you have a mental health issue, you are either poor, or on drugs, or addicted to something. Not everyone’s story is the same and the link between poverty and mental health is complex. For me, having postpartum depression, anxiety, and depression makes it hard to find and keep a job. I am on ODSP and I can’t maintain regular work. However, I try to do a lot of volunteer work - it fills up my cup in other ways other than financially.

Part of living low income and living with mental health issues means that it’s hard to think about the future.

I can think about things that I want to do, but it’s hard to actually do those things, and it's hard to plan for things that involve money. It would be nice to let the kids choose what we do and let them plan things. We would love to travel more. We don’t have a vehicle, but it would be really nice to see the ocean and to travel with the kids and drive across provinces.

In five years, I want to be in a house with enough space for my kids and to have a nice garden. I want to be more involved with my community and be more involved in helping other people that are struggling with mental health issues. Helping others helps me.

Self-care means taking time for myself and taking care of myself, whether that’s watching a movie, doing art, or making a nice cup of tea and enjoying it, and really savouring that moment.

Making the bracelets was fun. It’s a hobby of mine that I haven’t done in a while and it nice to hang out and chat with everybody while we were making them. I also enjoyed making the self-care booklet, and sharing ideas of what self-care is to me and putting our ideas on paper.

I try to do half an hour at night to crochet, write, or draw. It gets all the good stuff or bad stuff out and it helps me unwind after the day.

Nothing in nature blooms all year long, so don’t expect yourself to either.

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.


Sarah earned $50 for co-creating the products in her 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