Thank you so much for your generosity and much needed help for my daughter and I this Christmas.
Having been a social worker for over 20 years, I’ve known about the amazing work of the Christmas Bureau and have often referred clients in need. One time as a teenager my Dad and I volunteered to deliver hampers and it was a very memorable and eye opening experience.
This year I called and requested help myself, which was a humbling and difficult step because I’ve always been on the giving and helping side of the desk so to speak. I know that asking for help is a sign of strength and I always encourage my clients to remember that we all go through tough times and to not feel bad about reaching out for help when needed.
This year was the first time ever in my life that I found myself in a very difficult and financially desperate situation. The financial struggle started back two years ago when I adopted a beautiful 6 year old little girl. As a single parent adopting beyond infancy I knew the road ahead would be wonderful yet filled with challenges. As a first time mom I was excited for this new journey and I went on parental leave to give my new daughter and I a chance to bond. Unfortunately shortly after adopting I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and had to go through a major surgery. I remember thinking well at least I’m already off work on leave so I guess I can use this time to not only adjust to motherhood but to recover and get my health back. The surgery was successful and I moved on hopeful for a new lease on life. Shortly after I returned to work last year, I was laid off due to budget cuts. At first I was really stressed and angry but decided to look at this as a chance for more time with my daughter and to work on getting healthy enough to return to work. I went from parental leave to regular EI. Unfortunately late last year, I was cut off EI and also found out my ovarian cancer had returned. I went for a another major surgery in earlier this year and have been in a downward spiral and struggling with my health and finances ever since.
I have been living on my visa and line of credit which I know was not the best plan but finally all my resources were completely exhausted and I was left feeling I had nowhere to turn. In consultation with my family and my Doctor last month, I came to the acceptance and realization that returning to full time work at this point with my health battle is not possible right now so I made some calls and reached out for help.
A few days ago a beautiful gift hamper and gift card for food arrived and it was awesome. I know my daughter will love her gifts they are a perfect fit for my sweet now 8 year old.
I want to say a big heartfelt thank you to the Christmas Bureau and all the wonderful people who help and who donate tons of time, energy and resources to make this all possible. What you do really matters and truly makes a difference. Christmas is a wonderful time to celebrate the truly greatest gift of life and your generosity has made this wonderful season and celebration even brighter and happier for this Momma and her girl! Thank you!