Volunteering and giving back to our community or at an organization that is meaningful has always and continues to be important to my husband and I. Maxwell and Brandon started volunteering at the age of 18 months. They helped locally at a Christmas Drive for Safetynet founded by Bill in Oakville. We unpacked donated items and organized them for families in need. We continued to volunteer monthly by doing light clean up at the office and continue to help out yearly during Christmas season.
As a family, we participated in our first 5km run for the Road2Hope Campaign in November 2017. My husband Andre, ran 4.5km with the boys in a double stroller. I remember running alongside him and everyone “oohing” and “ahhing” of how wonderful of a dad he is running with a stroller. In my head, I’m like “I carried these boys for almost 9 months” and no one is “oohing” and “ahhing” over me. So, on the downward slope of the trails, I ran after the stroller for a good 0.5km. LOL, I digress but I had to document it.
I will continue … the boys also have helped bring awareness to Bank on Bellies founded by Georgia who encourages her local community to donate non-perishable food items or time to Kerr Street Mission.
In addition, we’ve worked with Walmart Canada in their Fight Hunger Spark Change campaign. The boys went up and down the aisles, selected their donated food items and did the drop off in their bin.
Most recently, I had a really special experience with the boys. To give you some context, a couple of months ago, I got an email from Diandra from Take Care Kits. She is the founder of a Toronto based non-profit organization that provides care kits to parents who have children in the NICU. She asked if I had any contacts of companies/brands who she could reach out to for donations. Over the last 10+ years, I’ve been working in the health services industry, so I provided her my contacts. She went through an approval process and was successful in receiving donations of toothpaste, toothbrushes and caps from GlaxoSmithKline Inc.
I felt the need to help even further and asked Diandra if we could assemble the kits and make the delivery. She provided me with her contact at Credit Valley Hospital in Mississauga, and we made the delivery. Proud mom moment watching my toddlers hand over the goods. And what made me even prouder is that they were born at this hospital and as a family, we spent the first three weeks of their lives in that NICU. So yes, I knew firsthand how helpful the care kits are to a parent.
A short video of the boys assembling the kits and making the delivery can be viewed, by clicking here.
If you are interested in learning more about the charitable organizations that we’ve been involved with and inspired by, please click on links below.
Bank on Bellies: http://bankonbellies.com/
Kerr Street Mission: https://kerrstreet.com/
Take Care Kits: https://takecarekits.wordpress.com/blog/
Walmart Canada Fight Hunger Spark Change: https://www.walmart.ca/en/fight-hunger-spark-change/N-27473
Hamilton Marathon Road2Hope: http://www.hamiltonmarathon.ca/