Our quest is to improve the health, wellbeing, and dignity of residents in crisis, in need, at risk, or who are experiencing homelessness by providing hygiene products through social service agencies, charities, schools, and directly to the street.
The Rose Quest became a non-profit corporation in July 2020 after 6 years of operation under our former name, ‘The Rose Project – Northumberland’.
With our non-profit status we are now able to receive cash donations. Please note: we are not yet able to provide charitable tax receipts.
We are currently operating solely as volunteers, but we hope to grow into a full-time operation in the near future.
The Rose Quest has always been an all-inclusive organization which aims to help anyone in need.
“A small idea that grew…”
The Rose Quest was founded from a variety of elements, but it started out with a small and simple idea:
“How can we assist with less waste, and also help others?”
Rose, the CAO, a trained social worker, has always had a passion and a need to help others. When traveling, she found she wasn’t using the toiletries provided by hotels. As she passed people experiencing homelessness on the street, she started to think, “here are all these hygiene items going to waste, and someone out there could use them.”
Then came the ice storm of 2013. Rose came home from work, like many others, only to discover that she couldn’t have a shower. “We all thought it would last for only a few hours. My family was without power for 5 days.” Frustrated, Rose says, “I nearly went out of my mind because I couldn’t bathe. I then thought, if I’m feeling this way after only 5 days, what is it like for someone on the street who can’t afford the basic necessities, or know when they can have a shower again?”
Rose began saving her hotel toiletries and free toothbrushes and toothpastes from her dentist, along with other free items that we collect but we may not necessarily use.
During a hard time in her personal life, she went to Toronto for a day trip in July of 2014, and she took the first kit with her. At the last stop she made for the day, she came across a man, who wasn’t much older than herself, who had a sign that said, “Broke and hungry, anything would help.” She showed him what was in the kit and asked him if it would be helpful to him. He lit up, and said, “Yeah, actually that would be a huge help!” She gave it to him and wished him a good day. As she walked away and took a moment to turn back, she saw him holding the kit, stunned and cradling it like it was something precious.
“I will always remember that moment for the rest of my life. Here I’d been feeling sorry for myself, and in that few seconds of interaction, I felt a great weight lift off of me. I thought, ‘I may have a broken heart, but I’m going to be okay. I have everything that I need which is a lot more than what most have.”
Not long after that, Rose decided to ask friends and family to also save their unused toiletries so that she could continue handing out small kits whenever she was traveling. The response was overwhelming. Within a week, a Facebook page was created to help people contact Rose, and very suddenly, the small, friendly idea had grown into a full quest.
The need wasn’t only on the streets though. Friends and family suggested that Rose contact local Northumberland schools to see if they too needed kits or loose toiletries. “I admit that at the time I felt silly contacting them, thinking, surely there is funding for that.”
When the first school was contacted, the principal at the time said, “Yes! That would be wonderful! Can we have 30?” Rose was stunned. 30 quickly became the standard number requested from each school. Thus, the School Program was born. Now, every fall the The Rose Quest takes custom orders from several schools in the Northumberland area for kits or hygiene items in full size. However, due to Covid-19, the need has greatly increased. One school in 2021 asked for 45 kits.
These events and Rose’s tenacity led to the creation and continuing efforts of The Rose Quest. As the Quest has grown, so have the needs of our communities with requests for help coming from charities, social services, and citizens concerned about their neighbours. To meet these growing demands and concerns, The Rose Quest now has multiple programs including: Direct to Street; Schools; Social Services, Churches, and Charities; and Crisis relief.
Executive Board Members