Christmas 2020 Graphic of young mother and her children


I didn’t think I had the strength to give my kids a Christmas last year…I almost cancelled it.

I struggled with mental health issues and isolated myself at home. I didn’t have a high school diploma and my only family in Ottawa, my Grandpa, had just passed away.

I desperately needed support last November.

My best friend was attending Youville Centre at the time, to finish high school and receive support while her daughter attended the onsite childcare. She urged me to come too. She told me it would be the best thing that ever happened to me…

And she was right.

My son, Kayden was 2 years old and my daughter, Maci-Lynn was just 10 months old when we arrived at Youville last fall. Kayden lives with autism. He was barely interacting with people, he wasn’t talking and he wasn’t playing with other kids.

On our first day, he noticed my friend’s little girl in the Child Development Program and from there he began opening up and wanting to be around other people. Thanks to the Youville childcare team, both he and Maci-Lynn are like different children today.

Maci is a bit speech delayed, but she’s completely come out of her shell. She’s mischievous and sassy and her little smile…she just lights up the room!

My children’s future is brighter than ever now because of Youville and kindhearted donors like you.

That’s why I’m writing to you today. Youville Centre not only changed my life, but it has changed my children’s lives too. Without your generous support, Youville wouldn’t exist, and I couldn’t even begin to imagine our lives without it.

Will you make a special Christmas donation to Youville Centre today, to help other young moms and their babies who are struggling right now, just like I was at this time last year?

I’m not going to lie, going to Youville was hard at first. Because of my severe anxiety, I could barely leave my house. My friend had to drag me and my kids to school every day for weeks.
I’m so glad she did because just a few weeks ago, I graduated high school! When I sent my mom the video of my graduation, she cried…she was so proud of me. I’m proud of me.

I owe much of my success to my Intensive Treatment Support Program Case Coordinator, and to my St. Nicholas Adult High School Teacher and of course to my Therapist…she is my lifeline. She has helped me to conquer my fear of going places and also encouraged me to join our Sources of Strength team. She has shown me how to work through my feelings, and to stand up for myself. She has given me the confidence I need to succeed.

I take part in all the programs that Youville has to offer. I really appreciate the Parent-Child Therapy. I’ve learned so much from it…especially new ways to manage some of Kayden’s challenges.

It’s not easy having a child with autism. A lot of moms with kids on the spectrum will just keep to themselves and they end up struggling alone. I want to tell my story so that other moms know that there is support available.

Youville is more than a Centre for young moms and babies – it’s a family. It’s a caring, loving and supportive community, where we can talk about the challenges of raising our kids and help each other.

When you give to Youville, you’re providing a better life for two generations.

Today, I’m working on upgrading my math and science courses here at Youville, so that I can apply to the Veterinary Assistant Program at Algonquin College for next September! Without Youville, I probably wouldn’t have ever finished high school.

Now I’m excited about what my future has to offer, and that’s because of donors like you. Your kindness means everything to me, Kayden and Maci-Lynn.

With the support of my new-found family at Youville, I didn’t cancel Christmas. I found the strength I didn’t think I had to create a bit of holiday magic for my kids.

I honoured my grandparents’ holiday traditions and made it extra special for Kayden and Maci-Lynn. Their favourite part was opening their Christmas Eve boxes…new PJs, a movie, a snack and a little toy.

Thank you for giving me and my babies a better life. I hope you’ll make a special Christmas gift to Youville today, to help other young moms like me.


Youville Centre client and mom to Kayden (3) and Maci-Lynn (2)

P.S. Please consider a special Christmas donation today to help other young moms complete their high school education and receive the mental health and parenting support they need to reach their potential. When you give to Youville, you’re helping two generations. Happy Holidays!

Visit our Canada Helps Page here to donate now.

Visit our Many Ways to Give at Christmas 2020 page here to see other ways you can help this Christmas.

Thank you!