When Leila Thiessen applied to work at Matthew’s House and was given a tour of the Serenity Garden, she knew right away that this was where she was meant to be.
“It was like confirmation from God,” she says.
That was 7 months ago and she has developed a deep love for the work she does, supporting children who live with complex care needs. Her colleague, Lisa Falle has been working at Matthew’s House for over a year. She also finds her work deeply rewarding.
“Seeing the smiles on the faces of the children, knowing that they are safely and well cared for makes working here a joy,” she says. “We know that this place makes a difference to families.”
Matthew’s House supports families by providing quality care to children who live with complex care needs. This home-away-from-home first opened its doors in November 2013 and has been in demand ever since. Because they work here, Lisa and Leila have seen the impact that respite care has on the families.
“I wish people could see how huge the impact is for the whole family. It means that parents can spend time with each other or with their other children and just get the rest they need.” Leila, Matthew’s House staff person
Lisa agrees, adding that parents can feel confident that their children are safely cared for.
The commitment to their work and to the families they serve is obvious. They speak passionately about how important it is to have this resource in their community. That’s why they are also committed to raising funds so that Matthew’s House can continue to provide quality care.
To that end, the two are organizing a series of fundraisers this spring and summer specifically to raise enough money to replace the dishwasher and the washing machine at Matthew’s House.
Participants will get a chance to create their own version of this painting at the Paint Night for Matthew’s HouseThe first fundraiser Paint Night was held at the Abbotsford Curling Club with artist Tammy McCormick. It was so popular that a second Paint Night will be held at Cheers Bar and Grill. Lisa has done a few Paint Nights with Tammy and has enjoyed each one.
“It’s a great way to spend an evening, especially if it’s for a good cause,” she says.
Other fundraisers will follow in the summer with hotdog sales happening at the Otter Coop in Aldergrove on July 7th. On August 11th, they’re teaming up with the organizers of Take It To the Streets Hockey Tournament to do a BBQ for those who attend.
The first Paint Night for Matthew’s House was held on May 27th. A second Paint Night will be held on Sunday, June 17th from 6 – 8 pm at Cheers Bar and Grill, 2814 Gladwyn Road in Abbotsford. Cost for the event is $45 per person. Lisa and Leila hope to get 50 people out to the event. Those interested in participating can contact Lisa to register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or texting 604 996 6244