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Oct 17, 2019

Share with others the Impact You have made - this sort of news shouldn't be kept Secret

Canadian Top 100 Charity
Canadian Top 100 Charity

The best way to tell a story about how well we do what we do is to let someone else tell the story. For the past thirteen years, Charity Intelligence Canada has been telling the stories of how your support has been helping Fresh Start be recognized as being among the leaders in fiscal responsibility, social impact and overall excellence in delivering mission focused work that helps house, treat and support people affected by addiction.

"Charity Intelligence’s Top Rated 100 Charities is a list of outstanding charities you can support with confidence this giving season. This list has the 100 charities with the highest point totals based on our rating methodology on 750 charities.

These Top Rated 100 Charities:  

  • are leaders in reporting to donors, a good sign of accountability
  • are cost efficient with overhead spending averaging 20%, compared to an average of 26% for all charities we analyse
  • need support - none have more than three years of funding reserves,
  • are financially transparent

Fresh Start is the only agency on Charity Intelligence Canada's Top 100 List that is in the business of Addiction Recovery, it is one of the Top 10 Impact Charities in Canada (for the fifth consecutive year) on the list and is one of only three Charities that is rated "1" or High for impact of the Top 10."

You have exercised the power to create some amazing changes through your gifts. Consider continuing to create great change and be sure to tell your family and friends about the difference you are making and invite them to join you.

Fresh Start is grateful for the difference that you make.  

Charity Intelligence Four Star Rating Criterion
Charity Intelligence Four Star Rating Criterion


Jul 22, 2019

Your support continues to give new hope and life

Chad and his Family
Chad and his Family

Your support has helped men like Chad and Rene.

Chad just celebrated six years in long term recovery and one year as a father. Recently, Chad and his wife celebrated their daughter Zoey's FIRST birthday. We know without your support, Chad’s life and his family’s life would be very different.

At the end of each month, we celebrate milestones of recovery in months and years. Rumpel Hall (our gymnasium) has jerseys hanging from the rafters with the last names and clean dates of men who have achieved continuous recovery. They also bear the numbers 5, 10, 15 and 20 - to signify the numbers of years of success and inspire others to follow in their footsteps. Chad's jersey is among those.

Rene is another man whose life has been transformed, thanks to your kindness. 18 months ago, Rene was lost, addicted to opioids and had no hope or will to live.  After several overdoses and stays in homeless shelters, he had had enough of that life and decided to reach out for help. It was then that he found Fresh Start Recovery Centre.

Rene Says "With your generosity and that of others like you the programs at Fresh Start have helped me become the man I am today. I can honestly say that if it wasn’t for you; there is a chance I wouldn’t even be here (alive) today as I could not afford to pay for this amazing Addiction Treatment Program.”

“In these last 18 months, I’ve changed a lot. I went to school and have become a personal fitness trainer and a nutritionist. I am also working full-time for Fresh Start on their Eleven-Eleven food truck (Fresh Start’s Social Enterprise).” 

“You have helped me earn the trust of my family and I have been able to become the best version of myself and continue to grow and thrive. Thanks for giving me hope and helping to make my dreams come true. My family thanks you too"

Rene D

Your contributions have truly made a difference by transforming and saving lives. 

To see some of the other ways that you have helped, please see our 2018 Fresh Start Annual Report

Thank you for your gifts.

Rene serving Eleven-Eleven Ice Cream
Rene serving Eleven-Eleven Ice Cream
Rene in front of the Eleven-Eleven Food Truck
Rene in front of the Eleven-Eleven Food Truck
Jerseys Represent and Inspire Recovery
Jerseys Represent and Inspire Recovery
Apr 22, 2019

A portrait of a second chance at life

Chad's Family Portrait
Chad's Family Portrait

Your support makes miracles happen on a short term and over time.

Your donations help give hope to people seeking a second chance at life - a life free from the impact of their disease of addiction.

In the short term, your support helps us maintain our capable team of skilled and experienced counsellors so they can practice what they do best - giving people the tools and the inspiration to be stronger than their disease.

Through 2018, 859 men signed up to be on our wait list, seeking treatment for their disease of addiction. 134 of those men began the program and 66.4% of them successfully completed Fresh Start's 12-Step program, spread their wings and embarked on their journey of recovery with supports.

In the longer term, your generosity helps Fresh Start offer resources to the men and their families who have completed their program so that they can continue to do the work needed to maintain their journey of lifelong recovery.

Of the 135 men who started their program of recovery in 2017, 60% of them (81) have reached and surpassed the one-year milestone in 2018 on their continuous journey of recovery.

The recovery community has a saying that “just because you are further down the road doesn’t mean you’re any further from the ditch”. Your support helps people stay “between the yellow lines” with their second chance ... one day at a time.

One story of a second chance at life is Chad’s story of his new beginnings in his words:

"It’s Thursday, November 15, 2018

Today I celebrate my 45th birthday and the many blessings that this year has given me. I became a dad. I celebrated my one-year anniversary with my amazing and supportive wife. I experienced my first Father's Day with our five-month old baby girl Zoey and we purchased a condo in Hawaii (yes Hawaii) where we moved a few months ago.

To say my life is a miracle is an understatement! With the gift of recovery I have an opportunity to share it with others in hopes of helping, inspiring, and perhaps showing them and you the joys of recovery.

If you are struggling - I get it. I did too … for most of my life. What I know is that you can’t just need recovery, you have to want it. With a true desire to change your life, a support system and a higher power - you can and will get better. I offer you the gift of knowledge and experience; the knowledge of how I worked the steps, as you must also do to get better.

I celebrated my five-year milestone this year and I know from experience that working the steps, REALLY working the steps is a game changer.

Step 1, powerlessness and unmanageability; that was easy, and obvious if you know any part of my story.

Step 2, came easily as I was raised to believe in God and had never really stopped believing, I just fell out of practice.

Step 3, I began saying the third step prayer every day and praying for God to remove my obsession to use, and he did.

Step 4, my nemesis. I hated step four, and I still do. Make a moral inventory?! We bury all that pain for a reason, and the last thing I wanted to do was dig it all up again, so I made every excuse I could to avoid it. The only reason I was granted parole was due to my release plan, which was to come to Fresh Start for treatment. I gave it my all, I didn’t want to have to do it again, so I knew I had to get it right the first time.

Step 5 involved holding poor Sister Mary hostage for 3½ hours as I shared everything with her and with God, even some things I didn’t have the balls to write down. This was the most liberating feeling I’ve ever had. It just felt so good to let everything go.

I reviewed my Step 6 list, and said my Step 7 prayer, which I still say every night to this day. We work on the outside, and God works on the inside.

Step 8, I made a list of everyone I had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all. This is not to say I was willing right away, but I became willing.

Step 9, I’ve only made a few amends so far, and all of them have gone well … better than I expected. I made amends to my parent’s. I read them a list everything I had done to harm them throughout my addiction, and I apologized for all of it. By the end of it all we were crying tears of joy and relief. Today I have a better relationship with my parents then I can ever remember having before.

I can never make direct amends too all the people I sold meth to over the years. It’s just not practical, and it would be dangerous. So, I found a way to make indirect amends for these actions.

With my “sponsee”, Chris, I started Calgary’s first Crystal Meth Anonymous (CMA) group, with the hope of helping others recover from their addiction to crystal meth. The meeting has exploded! This was long overdue in Calgary, and every time I see somebody there that I once used with getting help, it warms my heart.

Step 10, I’m really not looking forward to ever doing another step four again, so the way to avoid this is to stay vigilant with my step 10 by admitting my wrongs as soon as I realize I’ve made them, and not letting any resentments grow.

Step 11, I’m not really one for meditation just prayer and quiet reflection. I make a habit of praying every day and asking God for the knowledge of his will.

Step 12, I do a lot of service work for my home group in NA not to mention CMA, I stay connected to Fresh Start and help by donating my time to the alumni whenever possible. Of course, I make a conscious effort to practice all 12 spiritual principles in all my affairs. We practice Conscious Contact versus Conscious Comfort.

By following these steps, you can experience the miracles of recovery and I thank all of you for helping to make this possible.

With Deepest Gratitude and Respect,

Chad B.


Thank you for being part of the magic in making miracles like Chad's second chance happen!

If you are happy with the work you are doing with Fresh Start, please share with your friends and invite them to join you in supporting Fresh Start.

If you think there is more we can do, please share with us.


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