“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.”

April 1, 2019