“My mom had never asked for help when we were growing up, even though we struggled,” said Megan. “Here I was, years later, asking for help. It was hard. I felt like I was failing my son. I felt like a bad mother.”
By the time Megan met Fariba, House of Friendship’s Family Outreach Worker at Sunnydale Community Centre, she had barely any food at all for herself and her son, Mark.
“I was so nervous when I first sat down with Fariba,” said Megan. “But there was no judgment. I had such a sense of relief. I didn’t need to be alone anymore.”
Fariba told Megan about the weekly food distribution program, but also connected her to other programs and services in the Sunnydale neighbourhood, made possible by your faithful support.
Megan found more than food – she found a community, thanks to you!
It wasn’t long before Megan was joining weekly cooking classes at Sunnydale, and becoming part of the community garden program.
“I not only learned new recipes from other cultures, I also got to meet moms in my neighbourhood from different backgrounds,” said Megan.
“We’ve all kind of helped each other in one way or another. My friends at the community centre have become like a second family to me and my son.”
Megan, now 35, is unable to work after a vicious assault left her with anxiety, post-traumatic stress and problems with her memory. Her son, Mark, also faces daily challenges, living with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
She lives on monthly disability payments, but it is incredibly difficult for her to make ends meet despite living in subsidized housing.
Because of your support of our Neighbourhoods programs, Megan and Mark have found a place to belong.
Mark regularly attends programs at Sunnydale, including after-school homework help, and weekend basketball practices. He also loves growing his own cucumbers in the community garden, finding a sense of pride and accomplishment in his achievements.
Megan is also now playing a leadership role in her community, as community garden coordinator. Through this role, she has successfully advocated for more garden plots for her neighbours to enjoy.
“Today, if I think about my life without the community I have found through House of Friendship, all I can see is struggle,” said Megan. “My life today is so much better than it could have been.”
Together, let’s build a community that helps families thrive and our children build a better future.
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