Noreen Stone

Noreen Stone, Treasurer, Project New Hope CanadaTreasurer: I am a retired teacher who taught accounting for many years, and am the treasurer for Project New Hope Canada. I have three daughters, one is an aircraft mechanic with the Royal Canadian Air Force and I am thankful she returned from her deployment without too many obvious issues. Along with my husband, I was one of the founding members of Project New Hope Canada in 2009.

As a Canadian I was always proud of our role as peacekeepers and never really thought or realized the difference between a peacekeeper and a combat soldier till one day my husband returned from a Lion’s Convention where there had been a presentation by two veterans suffering from Operational Stress Injuries, clinically known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). What was Post Traumatic Stress Disorder? His comment was: “I have never seen such dead eyes in another human being.” We then sat down with some of these veterans and listened to the horrors they had witnessed and because of their role as peacekeepers could do nothing about. A group of us said if they could make these sacrifices for others, we should be willing to help them in return—thus the birth of Project New Hope Canada Inc. As you search the internet you will find an American equivalent, but due to different rules and tax structures the two organizations operate independently. Goals about helping veterans live with PTSD are the same.

Since its inception in 2009 many changes have occurred as we grew and needs changed. The role of Canada’s serving personnel changed from peacekeepers to active troops. During this last campaign we have lost more soldiers from suicide than were killed in Afghanistan. In 2015 alone, 18 military personnel committed suicide.

Not only the serving member but the family of that individual is strongly affected by what happens. Many things that are a part of everyday life, have to be relearned when a serving member returns home. Can you imagine the change in lifestyle, from sleeping with a loaded rifle, ready with a reflex response to a sound or physical contact, to then coming home and sharing a bed and not attacking if touched or if an innocent child jumps into bed with you. This puts more stress on individuals who are often suffering from nightmares and re-enactments of what happened during deployment.

Project New Hope Canada has been raising funds to support workshops to aid in the healing process. Veterans or their families can assemble, talk about their problems, realize that there are others in the same situation, and learn coping strategies.

Although we are a small group we all do a variety of tasks to help make our organization successful. As a result of some generous donations from local businesses, Legions, Ladies Auxiliaries of Legions and Lions Clubs and dedication on our part we have been able to help sponsor several retreats. When you read the letters of retreat participants on how much these retreats have helped them cope, it makes it all worthwhile. All work is strictly volunteer, no one gets paid. Other than minor administrative costs such as printing of pamphlets, all money received goes directly to help veterans and families.

I realize this is a strange bio but I believe the cause is way more important than who I am. All I am is an individual willing to work and try to help those that were willing to stand and fight on our behalf. Anyone else who has the same philosophy and are willing to help please contact us, our emails are on this web page.

Noreen may be contacted at treasurer@projectnewhopecanada.com.

< Back