A Mother's Story
Life hasn’t been easy for Joyce* and her children. As a single mother with no support from extended family, she struggled to meet the needs of her busy toddler and eight-month-old baby.
Feeling alone and overwhelmed, Joyce knew she needed help. In spite of her misgivings, she picked up the phone and called the Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto (CCAS).
“You always think that if you call Children’s Aid they’re going to take away your kids, but I had nowhere else to turn. I knew I was a good mother and just needed some guidance,” remembers Joyce. “When I called CCAS, they were at my door an hour later.”
Joyce met with an intake worker and a health specialist who discovered that her baby was sleeping in her bed because she couldn’t afford to buy a crib. “I’ve never had a crib before, ever. I just let my babies sleep in the bed with me, I thought that was okay,” says Joyce.
The workers explained that the safest place for Joyce’s baby to sleep was close to her bed, alone in a crib with a firm mattress without pillows, crib bumper pads, blankets, duvets or quilts. They referred her to CCAS’s Hope for Children Fund, which offers a program that provides new cribs to struggling families. The program is funded through donations to the annual Sleep Tight campaign.
In a matter of weeks, a new crib was delivered to Joyce’s apartment. It took a while for her and the baby to adjust to the crib, but they are now both sleeping soundly through the night. “I had to plan out a whole routine, but it was worth the effort to know that my baby is safe,” says Joyce.
Joyce is grateful for the new crib she received from the Hope for Children Fund and for the support of her CCAS workers. “Life would be different if I hadn’t called CCAS. I was feeling really low; I needed resources and I needed support,” says Joyce. “It’s nice to have someone come in and check on you, and if I need to, I can ask questions. They really care.”
To make a donation to the Sleep Tight campaign, visit www.hopeforchildren.ca or call 416-395-1634.
* Name has been changed to protect privacy.