When you visit United Way of Chatham-Kent there is a special room just a few doors down from the VON Kids’ Circle room. It is a place where the families of children going through the Kids’ Circle program can relax as they wait for their loved ones. This new space could not have been made possible without the partnership between United Way, TekSavvy and their committee of volunteers.
“When we went on the seeing is Believing Tour, we visited the VON Kids’ Circle and that made a huge impact on the whole group. After, we at TekSavvy wondered what more can we do?” said Dava Robichaud, Administrative & Event Coordinator at TekSavvy. As a group they made a decisive plan to help the families of the VON Kids’ Circle program. They saw firsthand how the program’s main space offered peace for the children; but in contrast, it’s waiting room was in the hallway – a public space that offered little privacy to the parent, guardian or siblings going through complex emotions. While working with United Way, TekSavvy mobilized a committee of staff and volunteers to turn the room next to VON Kids’ Circle into a waiting room. They organized with local businesses Leon’s and Davos Furniture, and transformed the once drab storage room into a tranquil space where, families waiting for their appointments can relax, watch TV, play on the computers or tap into the free wi-fi.
To announce the new room United Way produced a video which features Brian Rupert and Zara Belanger-Pepper who are now advocates, both having benefitted from the VON Kid’s Circle, the United Way supported program. In the video Zara talks about her personal experience in the tragic loss of her father at the age of 8. Now in her teens, Zara, is open about her emotions surrounding the loss, her involvement with the VON Kids’ Circle program, and her desire to give back to the program that provided her a place share with other children going through the same experience.
“I’m so proud to work for a company like TekSavvy; because we have the recourses to make such an impact.” Milinda Chambers, Community Engagement at TekSavvy “We have hundreds of employees and we also have hundreds of volunteers that are ready to help out with anything. It touches my heart to understand and know so many people wanting to help. It was also a pleasure for our committee to meet Zara. She is an inspiring young lady and it was really powerful for our team to meet someone who shows such strength after what their family has been through.”
To see the video and transition photos of the waiting room visit uwock.ca.