Every so often a person is lucky enough to land a job that determines their career path. For Victoria Harvey, it’s been more than luck – it has been the call of God on her heart that led her on a journey of caring for children.
Victoria, who attends Northview Community Church in Abbotsford, began working at Matthew’s House in 2015 after completing her third year in the Counselling and Human Services program at Columbia Bible College. One of the requirements of her program was to do an internship, which brought her to Matthew’s House. She already had some experience working with children who live with special needs, serving as a respite worker with a family that has five children, two of which live with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
“I absolutely love working with this family and I thought that maybe I’d enjoy working with other children as well,” she recalls.
I am so glad I applied because I absolutely love working with Matthew’s House families. Victoria, staff person at Matthew’s House
Matthew’s House supports families by providing quality care to children who live with complex care needs. Victoria is inspired, watching the children at Matthew’s House grow, develop and thrive.
“The look on a child’s face when they learn a new skill or a new way to communicate is amazing,” she says. “You can just see how proud they are of themselves.”
While it’s rewarding to help a child reach a new goal, Victoria says she’s also rewarded by the way children give back to her. Interacting with the children at Matthew’s House has exposed her to more joy than she has ever encountered before. Contagious laughter and unconditional love make each day a gift.
“Walking into a room and being given a big hug, high five, smile or cuddle is an amazing feeling,” she says.
Being part of a team is another aspect to her work that she values and it’s teamwork that enables Victoria to deal with the challenges that also come with the job. When a child is having a hard hour, day, or week, it can feel overwhelming.
“That’s usually when one of my co-workers is able to step in and help. It makes a difference knowing that I’m part of a team that steps up to the plate when it feels like I can’t,” she says.
Pursuing a career with children wasn’t something that Victoria had seriously considered but she says that through her work at Matthew’s House, God has given her a passion to do more. She is planning on enrolling in a Masters of Counseling program so that she can continue to serve children and families in an expanded capacity.
“These children have taught me so much about what a person really needs and how to truly live,” she says. “They truly are some bright lights in my life.”