Finding Hope: Volunteers Bonnie and Diana, and participant mom Bernice share a special Bond
When Bonnie’s children had grown up and left home, she began volunteering with Mom2Mom as a way to contribute to her community and support a mother, and her children, living in poverty.
Bonnie, along with fellow volunteer Diana, was paired with single mom Bernice, who was facing some daunting challenges. Bernice was living in social housing with her 9-year-old son William who had previously been diagnosed with leukemia.
On top of the emotional and financial stress this caused, the family faced another problem: William became isolated from his peer group, and struggled to make friends.
When they were introduced to the family, Bonnie and Diana’s first steps were to build trust. Over time, as the three became close, they learned of Bernice’s dream to a cook traditional Indigenous meal for her extended family. However, she did not have a freezer where she could store the game meat and was unable to afford one.'
Bonnie and Diana were able to advocate for Bernice’s needs and helped her obtain a deep freezer through the generosity of Mom2Mom donors.
Bonnie, Diana and Bernice also bond over shared meals, and this has given them the chance to learn more about Bernice’s Indigenous culture. “We are very lucky, we really appreciate and respect one another,” said Bonnie.
The group isn’t afraid to have a little fun, either. One of Bonnie’s favourite memories is a trip the three of them took to Bellingham, when Bernice had the rare opportunity to truly relax. Bonnie and Diana are proud of the progress Bernice has achieved while they’ve walked side-by-side through this journey. “Sometimes you can come into a situation that seems pretty serious, but together we find hope and every time we leave things on a good note.”
Within a year, Bonnie and Diana helped Bernice and William move to new housing and William is now thriving in school. Whatever hurdles life may put in Bernice’s path, the three are confident they can get through them together.