All you need is love

Local organization aims to reduce violence in lives of youth


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Zane Holder works closely with LOVE to help end violence in the lives of kids

“We have a responsibility to do good in our community, and I’ve come a long way. It was so easy to go the other way,” said Zane Holder, who has been involved with the Leave Out Violence (LOVE) organization, located in North York for the last 14 years, and is somewhat of a graduate of the group.

The local organization helps Toronto youth share their experiences with violence to help break the cycle in their schools, homes and communities.

Holder’s family came to Canada from the Caribbean island of St. Vincent to escape a family history laced with physical abuse. “[The] cycle continued from generation to generation. That’s the way life [was],” explained Holder.

At 15 years old, adjusting to a new life in Toronto proved difficult, and the environment was hostile.

“It was drug dealers and people overdosing. My education suffered greatly because of that,” he said. As a result, a teacher referred him to LOVE.

His appreciation for the group grew quickly, and he became a youth leader while in his teens. In March 2011, his life was rocked by the tragic murder of his 19-year-old nephew. Holder called LOVE and said, “I need all the fliers, newspapers, brochures [and] everything you have because our job is not done. In that moment [I had] to think about all the other youth in the city.”

Now 29, Holder is still involved with the organization on a daily basis. It has become his second family, home and a lifestyle. Holder is continually amazed by the tenacity of the youth involved the LOVE community.

“To go through such a traumatic situation and not be consumed by it,” said Holder, “is certainly something to be proud of.”

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