Dear Donor,

I’m a mom. And like any mom, I try my hardest every day to provide a good life for my baby girl.Young mother holding an infant in her arms and looking at her

But to be completely honest with you, parenting has been a hard journey for me. My life hasn’t been easy and I didn’t have the best support system when I was growing up. So, when I found Youville Centre last year, my whole world changed for the better.

Youville has been there for me and my baby through everything.

But as I sit here and write this letter to you, I can’t help but feel a sense of sadness thinking about how life has changed so drastically for me and my daughter, and all the other moms and babies, since the COVID-19 pandemic hit back in March.

Because of COVID-19, Youville Centre has been closed for almost four months, leaving me and my daughter without access to our support system and many necessities we’ve come to rely on. Most moms can’t afford to buy food and all of the day to day items we need for ourselves let alone our children.

Before COVID, my Intensive Treatment Support Program (ITSP) worker always made sure I had supplies for my baby…items like formula/milk, wipes and diapers. Now, since the building has been closed, it’s been really hard for me to access these much-needed items.

And Youville provided us with a healthy breakfast and lunch every day, as well as snacks and sometimes even leftovers when we couldn’t afford food for dinner. We’re so grateful that the staff have been sending grocery gift cards since the closure, but even those have run out.

Box filled with food being handed from one person to another

I have a hard time getting to the food bank during the timeslot for my location, because I don’t have a car or childcare and I’m worried about taking my baby on public transportation with COVID-19.

That’s why I’m writing to you today. You have been so kind in the past, and now we need your help more than ever. Will you consider making an urgent donation today to help the moms and babies who are struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic?

During quarantine, I’ve also been struggling to focus on my school work. Trying to learn at home feels impossible while taking care of my daughter all day, every day, without any help. I have virtual mental health support from my counsellor, but it’s hard not seeing her in person. I’m tired, and my anxiety is at an all-time high…I feel trapped and unable to work towards my goals.

But even though this time has been scary and challenging, because of caring people like you, I have hope.

With your help, I know that my baby and I will be ok.

Because of new regulations on the number of children allowed per room, Youville Centre has had to reduce the number of kids it can accommodate…at least for now. That means some moms won’t have childcare until Youville is allowed to open more space. Youville is planning an expansion of the Centre to include a new childcare room. This expansion is needed now more than ever.

It’s heart-breaking that Youville has been forced to turn some of the children away due to social distancing rules, and they want them to come back as soon as possible. I know that without access to childcare at Youville, some moms just won’t be able to achieve their goals.

While the government is providing the initial seed funding for the construction, Youville is dependent on community support to accommodate the additional space for the children. They need your support to ensure spots remain open for all children enrolled in the Child Development Program.Child Care Staff wearing masks and gowns social distancing

If you’re in a position to help, please take a moment now to make an urgent donation to ensure that no mom and baby falls through the cracks during this pandemic and beyond.

*Alicia, Youville Centre Client and mom

P.S. Your donation today will make an immediate difference in the lives of two generations, like mine and my daughter’s. Can we count on you?

*Name has been changed to protect the privacy of the mom