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Staff

Discovering a Passion

There’s laughter coming from the playground at Matthew’s House. Maggie and Shae are playing on the slides and taking selfies. You can tell by the giggles and the smiles on their faces that they are truly enjoying each other’s company. It is moments like these that fill Maggie with joy as she cares for the children who visit this unique respite home for children.

From her first baby-sitting opportunity at age ten, to volunteering in the children’s ministry at her church, to playing with her own grandchildren, investing in the lives of children has been a lifelong love for Maggie. That she is able to care for children as her job is a blessing.

“The best part of my job at Matthew’s House is witnessing a child smile, laugh and discovering new abilities,” she says. “We all face challenges in life and it is no different for a child with special needs.”

Maggie credits her sister with inspiration when she was making career choices. Her sister worked in a home in California that cared for adults with developmental disabilities. Since the home was just down the street from Maggie’s house, she’d often stop by to interact with the residents.

“They were caring adults and I loved stopping by just to say ‘hi’,” she remembers. “It was an eye-opener to me to see how many people there are who are in need of care.”

This experience motivated Maggie to learn and become more involved in health care. When she moved to Canada, she continued to find ways to be involved in the lives of children and then she began to work for Communitas Supportive Care Society, the organization that operates Matthew’s House. Her first job was working in a residential home, supporting five adults. It was a growing experience for Maggie.

“I learned to see them for who they are, not their medical conditions. I really came to love them and they still hold a special place in my heart,” she says.

But when she heard that Communitas was going to be involved with Matthew’s House, the desire to work with children rose up in her again. She committed the decision to prayer, wanting to be sure that she would be the right person for the job, asking God to give her direction. When she was offered a position at Matthew’s House, she was ecstatic. She has been part of Matthew’s House since it opened in 2013.

I am so happy to be part of a great resource in our community, knowing that we not only support children but whole families.  Maggie, caregiver at Matthew’s House

Maggie has a nephew who lives with Cerebral Palsy, so she knows parents sometimes find it hard to trust someone else to care for their child. She’s also conscious of the fact that parents sometimes feel exhausted by what can be a stressful parenting experience, not even realizing that they need a break.

Matthew’s House is well-equipped to care for children who live with complex care needs. Experienced staff like Maggie are trained in relevant medical and behavioural practices and are also sensitive to the needs of each individual family. Because the staff at Matthew’s House recognizes that parents are the experts in the care of their children, parents are involved in developing care plans and spend the first night at Matthew’s House to help staff learn what is unique to each child. Maggie loves this holistic approach to caring for children and parents and is grateful to be part of a team.

“I am very blessed to work with amazing people that share the same desires and to work in a place where kids can have fun while their parents relax,” she says.

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