You can make a difference!
Last year, the family of ShareLife-funded agencies provided services to many people locally and assisted countless more in developing countries around the world. They fed the hungry, sheltered the homeless, protected the meek and cared for the sick. In 42 municipalities and in more than 20 languages, those in need received professional, faith-informed and compassionate care as a result of our generosity.
A New Start for Brittany and Her Young Family
“I first came to Rose of Sharon as a pregnant
17 year old mom thinking this would never happen to me,” explains Brittany, now
with her five year old son Ethan and one year old daughter Sarah, “I was the
only pregnant girl in my high school, so needless to say, there wasn’t much
acceptance or peer support.” Brittany and her children’s father Jarrod
soon discovered that their parental support for their new situation was
limited. Jarrod enrolled in university at Waterloo and Brittany and Ethan
eventually joined him. This was after Brittany came to the Rose of Sharon to
enroll in the mother baby programs designed to assist her and her new family to
get on their feet. Everything from diapers, food, clothing, cooking classes,
completion of high school courses, Ontario Works applications, resume assistance
and more was available to her. Within a year, she was able to use her new-found
skills to adjust to her new life. Last year, after her second child, Brittany
has been able to rejoin the Rose of Sharon and become involved in further
parenting programs to enable her to increase her parenting skills.
With the help of Rose
of Sharon, she has become a patient and understanding mother, capable of
dealing with a lot of life’s trials and her growing family. Together, Jarrod
and Brittany thank ShareLife donors for their financial part in helping them
deal with the challenges they have faced as they learn to enjoy life with their
Watch the Rose of Sharon video.
A Safe Place for Tina
Adult clients Tina, Gayle, Julie and
Rose are busily involved in stringing beads and happily creating other crafts
in the day class at the St. Bernard’s location of Mary Centre. They, along with
many others, are part of the Mary Centre adult education day program designed
to develop emotional and intellectual stimulation skills. The adults in the
program are encouraged to express themselves and be honest in their
communications with peers and staff in order to regain their self-esteem and build
trust in one another. Staff provide a
safe respite and encourage a family atmosphere for clients outside their own
home, whether they live with parents, siblings, or on their own.
“Mary Centre offers a safe place for special
adults to feel secure and rebuild their lives again,” shares Tracy
Berman, Executive Director of Mary Centre, “We have had the opportunity recently to take in two
developmentally challenged homeless women at our Mary Centre St.Bernard’s
location and help them regain the confidence and life skills to live again. This
is but one example of the practical difference ShareLife makes in the lives of
those in desperate situations.”
Watch the Mary Centre video.
A Family of Brothers Supporting Each Other
Michael’s homes is a multiple level facility located at 262 Gerrard St E
featuring a main floor meeting, a full kitchen and communal living spaces as well
as second floor private rooms for the residents. The staff have recently
completed some upgrades which include a large deck at the back designed to
welcome all residents as a gathering place for non-alcoholic social times.
especially want to thank ShareLife donors for their generosity, " shares Ron Lirette, the Executive Director, " the
communal approach we take here reflects the desires of staff and residents, so
we’re like a big family of brothers supporting each other. The financial help
ShareLife donors bring goes a long way. Thank you so much for all that you do!”
Watch the St. Michael's video.
Learning to have Fun Together for the Best of Friends
Mackenzie and Joelle are the best of friends and have fun together at Silent Voice summer camp. There they know it's important to sign so they can more fully understand each other. The girls have attended hearing camps but prefer deaf camp because of the ease of communication and understanding. Originally from E.C. Drury, a school for the deaf in Milton where the "mascots are beavers", they enjoy playing basketball and baseball with their other school friends. At Silent Voice camp, they love to swim, jump on trampolines, make crafts and play soccer.
Mike started as a summer camp counsellor at Silent Voice and became Program Director ten years ago. The mandate at Silent Voice is to encourage all staff and children to sign using ASL (American Sign Language) to enhance communication amongst each other. The agency is grateful for the support that they received from the Share Life campaign. 'The support you provide as donors is vital because the children come from struggling backgrounds," says Mike, "When they come to camp they feel privileged and are free and empowered to develop and be all that they can be. Thank you for the positive difference you make in their lives!"
Watch the Silent Voice video.