Let me introduce you…..
(Warning: it’s a long one folks, but worth the read; I pinky swear)
As I sat pondering, well more like struggling, to find a direction for this week’s blog my thoughts were filled with visions of all those who are supporting us, donating to us and volunteering for us! Because of you all each day of this journey, thus far, has been filled with hope; we can literally feel the love you share in your actions and swell with pride at each gesture, offer and service provided! You know who you are, but the community may not! I want to highlight some amazing, compassionate, diverse, dedicated people we have been working with, relying on and asking for everything from money to time, from treadmills to respite care along with everything in between! These are the kind of people that show up EVERY time for their neighbors, that donate whether they can really afford to or not and that volunteer despite working full-time and raising families.
These are MY people.
I feel I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about my partner, daughter, best friend & hero first; who I sometimes refer to as Maria 2.0 because she possesses the very best of me without the cynicism and darkness that still occasionally creeps into my world.
Many know her; but not like Tyler and I do.
They may know she is caring and compassionate but not that she literally cries for those who are hurting, loses sleep over finding solutions to save people from poverty and constantly puts aside her needs to meet the needs of others. People know she is persistent in achieving her goals, after all, she has a very successful nursing career and a happy family but they don’t know how absolutely RELENTLESS she is in helping others achieve theirs. Her family knows that she loves us all deeply; if you have ever been on her Facebook that is abundantly obvious, but many others don’t know how deeply she cares about her fellow community members, neighbors, and friends too. They also don’t know how much time, money and heart she is pouring into this organization.
Tyler and I do.
He is always on call to pick up furniture, deliver grocery cards or mow a lawn (which he never complains about) and I frequently get messages or calls at 3 am because she “just can’t sleep” until she figures out how to help a client, raise some money or get Marshall from Paw Patrol to show up free for a little boys birthday party whose single Mom just can’t afford to book him!
In short, she drives us crazy BUT she also makes us better people; I am certain I have learned more from her than I could ever teach to her! Get to know her and she will have the same effect on you; I guarantee it!
Recently we became involved with a couple after they reached out to us; Amy & Ryan Crowther who own Wooden it Be Nice Country Designs. So far they offered to collect, store, refinish and donate furniture to our clients, donate 20% of the sale from any free pieces donated to them after refinishing and Amy is participating in our August 13 Mani/Pedi event at the Ville- I have never even met either Amy or Ryan. I asked Amy and some other volunteers to write a blurb about why they are involved and here is some of the response I received from Amy:
“The concept of Linking Lives stands for equality, compassion, support and community. The spirit in which the organization was founded is one which resonates strongly with our own family. My husband and I have had times of struggle, both growing up and in our own family unit. There are times where we still struggle. However, in the end, my husband and I look at our hard times and know we always have each other and our extended support network; it is small but it is there. We understand there are others out there that do not have the outside or internal support systems that we have. We want to contribute to help show others that someone does care, that there are people out there that do not need lengthy explanations as to why you are struggling, or pass judgements, and who understand the courage it takes to step out and ask for help. There are people out there who are not interested in critiquing your life but simply just want to lend a hand, an ear and their whole heart to helping you. That is what Linking Lives is about and it is so much more than just fundraising. Linking Lives is a community concept that truly links people in need to those who can help them, builds lasting relationships and allows for us all to prosper as a community.” –Amy Crowther
Another of our avid supporters is Lindsay Gallagher; a woman whom I am also fortunate to consider a friend. I got to know Lindsay when she helped design an innovative therapeutic program at the transition house where I was working and I have to tell you, her approach to client care, her sense of community along with her strong ethics inspire me still!
Here’s what she had to say:
“I am the Executive director for the Sarah Tracy Centre for women. I have spent my entire career working in the non-profit world. I support Linking Lives because I believe in what they are doing. They are putting all of the pieces together to help those who may not be able to do that on their own. They are working with established services and with people or services who want to help. They are bringing people together. They are providing a needed service for the community and I’m so excited to be a part of this organization in any way that I can!”-Lindsay Gallagher
Then there is Alexandra, a 23-year-old student with an old soul and a heart of gold! She volunteered with me at the transition house and is now on board with Linking Lives.
Alexandra had this to say about her involvement:
“Hello, my name is Alexandra Curtis and I go by Alex or Allie. I am 23 years old and was born and raised in Fredericton. I graduated from Saint Thomas University with my B.A in Psychology and am going back to school in the fall to acquire my degree in Counselling. I am so excited and privileged to be part of such an amazing organization as Linking Lives. Linking Lives gives me a place that I can help and meet others in the community. I am excited to see how this organization can help Fredericton become a more linked community.
I love helping others because seeing happiness in others makes me happy.
I think it is great that people in Fredericton will have someone to call when they need help who simply may not know where to find it; negotiating established systems can be so complicated!
I hope to see this organization grow to be like “in the old days” when you took a horse and buggy to ask your neighbour for some sugar and they would be more than willing to help… Although you knew that they would before you even left. It would be amazing to see this city have the type community connections more often seen in small towns.”-Alexandra Curtis
We feel so fortunate to have these folks come along with us on this journey of the heart. There are many others too, who we will be periodically highlighting in the next few months because we want you to know what we have discovered….that Fredericton is full of kind-hearted, compassionate, community-minded people!
From doctors to landscapers, from truckers to nurses, and from single Mom’s to social workers we just have so many wonderful, dedicated and diverse people willing to help build a stronger, healthier, more equitable community for us all!
Please come join Maegan & Tyler, Amy & Ryan, Lindsay, Alexandra, and myself along with all the other fabulous volunteers at Linking Lives and let’s link our community; TOGETHER!
To get involved contact us via Facebook at:
Donations can be accepted via e-transfer or through our GoFundMe at: https://www.gofundme.com/linkinglivesinc
“We can ALL be great because we can ALL serve.”-Martin Luther King Jr.