The most rewarding part of my job is when someone doesn’t need Welcome Hall Mission’s services anymore. Does that sound strange? To some it might. But every time someone’s life changes for the better — so they don’t need our services anymore — is a cause for celebration.
Of course, these personal triumphs happen behind closed doors, which is why I’d like to tell you about Gynlowe.
Gynlowe first reached out to us around mid-March of 2020, which you’ll remember was just the start of this pandemic.
Working part-time as an orderly, Gynlowe was stretched thin, juggling nursing classes, providing for her son, and attempting to keep up with parenting.
“I’m doing everything as a single parent, and the pandemic is…” she paused for a moment. “It’s making everything so much more challenging. Either I have to find money for additional childcare or I have to work less to watch him. I don’t know how we’re going to get through this, no matter what I do.”
As she shared the particulars of her experience, I simply listened.
“I’m so sorry, that does sound like a catch-22. Have you heard about Marché Bon Accueil?” I asked. “It’s a fully-stocked market where you can pick up all the ingredients on your shopping list, free of charge. We can go over the details and get you signed up today, if you like.”
Gynlowe didn’t miss a beat.
As Gynlowe and I continued to talk, I learned she was studying to become a nurse.
As the pandemic continued, her orderly position was considered essential work, and she was given full-time hours. While this helped cover the cost of additional childcare, she had less time to prepare for her exam, and she and her son were at increased risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus.
Her work and study schedule also meant she had little time for anything else.
“I really don’t know how I’ll manage to pick up my grocery order. I’m working long hours and I don’t get off until the Marche has closed,” she said, emotion straining her voice.
I reassured Gynlowe, “Let’s arrange for you to grab your order when you can!”
For the next few months, we made special grocery-pick-up appointments around her schedule. Then we didn’t hear from her.
One day months later, I received an email from Gynlowe. She’d passed her nursing exam. This was fabulous news! She’s now a full-time nurse and can provide for her family.
These moments truly make our work worth the effort.
Thank you for supporting Montrealers like Gynlowe so they can create sustainable lives for themselves and their families.
— Jerry, Welcome Hall Mission Customer Satisfaction Advisor