CLAUDE CYR
April 1, 2019
    

“I used to work for a company that dedicated a full day of
revenues to charity. One of the employees’ favourite charities was the Louise
Dean Centre. We even had the chance to hear a young mother tell her story. Her
particular story touched me because my daughter is a single mother who never
finished high school. Flash forward three years later. My wife Isabelle and I
went for a late season round of golf on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. We were
paired with a nice couple named Patricia and Kim. As we were walking, I asked
Patricia what she did for a living. “I’m the CEO of a not-for-profit organization.”
You guessed it, Patricia Jones from Catholic Family Service.

It just happened that I learned that week that my favorite
fall volunteer activity was sold out; a big disappointment. I saw meeting
Patricia as a major coincidence and an opportunity. So, I simply asked: “Do you
need any volunteers?” Much to my surprise, she answered: “Are you good at
cuddling babies?” I did not expect that! “Well, I had four kids and I have a
grandchild. I consider myself pretty good at cuddling babies and, besides, I’m
totally immune to a baby’s cry.” Next thing I know, I’m kneeling on the floor
playing little cars or reading stories with wonderful, welcoming girls and boys
in the Parent-Child Learning Centre at Louise Dean Centre. (A very good
stretching exercise by the way!)

Patricia explained that children don’t interact the same way
with men and women. It’s very important for their development to spend time
with both genders at a young age. I have to trust the science and research
behind this. My only focus is having fun with the kids. I just have to follow
their lead, because they’re the pros! It’s absolutely refreshing. Of course,
they want to be entertained, talked to and cared for, but what they really want
is to learn to do the same.

The incredible impact of Louise Dean Centre for these young
mothers in itself is totally worth it. However, the benefit expands way further
– to their families, friends, society as a whole, and obviously, the ever-smiling
kids.

My chance meeting with Patricia opened a door for me to give
my time to help where I can. It is meaningful to me and I hope my story will
open minds, hearts and opportunities for others.”