When Cassidy Wagner-Biddle began planning for her career, she never thought she’d find work in a place that would suit her skills so perfectly. She’s pursuing a career in Social Work and she has completed the first step by graduating last December with her Human Services Diploma. Landing a job at Matthew’s House was like a dream come true.
“I never thought I’d be working at a place like Matthew’s House,” she says. “I absolutely love kids and see myself working with kids, youth and families, so I could not have asked for a better opportunity.”
Her passion for helping people is what drives her career choice and serving at Matthew’s House helps Cassidy gain experience while she does what she loves.
Matthew’s House supports families by providing individualized respite care in a homelike environment for children who live with complex care needs. Respite care gives parents a much needed break to rest and rejuvenate. Every day that Cassidy comes to work, she sees the difference this resource makes to parents and families.
“Matthew’s House is a fun and safe place where the children have fun and the families can feel relaxed when leaving their child in our care,” she says. “These families are just so grateful to have Matthew’s House as a resource.”
There’s no such thing as a typical day at Matthew’s House. Because Matthew’s House staff tailor their care to each individual child, each day is different. With some children the focus is on their school work or on behavioural issues. Some children are mobile while others rely on wheelchairs. Some children have their schedules organized around their medication and tube feedings. Things can also change as children get older.
“It really varies from child to child,” Cassidy says. “You never know what the day will bring. It keeps me on my toes at all times!”
When asked what her favourite part of the job is, Cassidy can’t decide. She loves her fellow staff members and the children bring her great joy. She loves watching the children grow and also enjoys the opportunity to participate in their happiness when they visit Matthew’s House.. But when she considers the question seriously she says it’s the opportunity to make a difference.
“I know that the work I am doing is changing people’s and family’s lives,” she says. “Seeing how appreciative the families are that this place is available to them, that’s a great feeling.”
Cassidy hopes that the community will continue to acknowledge and embrace Matthew’s House. It takes a commitment from the community to keep Matthew’s House operating, costing nearly a million dollars annually, most of which comes from generous donations.
“To see what Matthews House does for the families we serve is unbelievable and I feel so fortunate to be a part of that,” Cassidy says. “It really makes a difference.”