“I so appreciate all that you do to support your clients and am very thankful that Causeway is there to provide these employment supports for my son and others living with mental illness.”
Meet Jackie, a retired mother of two sons whom we came to know as a donor to Causeway. In her teenage years she volunteered as a candy striper (i.e., a teenage volunteer position in a hospital) which she recalls as her first philanthropic gift. Her professional career revolved around non-profit childcare, where she started as a caregiver and eventually moved into an administrative role.
Throughout her career, she remained an active member of her Union and served in various capacities including union education and involvement in the union-sponsored pension plan, demonstrating her commitment to advocating for the rights and welfare of workers.
Jackie likes to keep herself active, and she enjoys going to Aquafit classes not only for exercise but also for the social interaction it provides. She has a green thumb and loves to work in her garden – she has both a flower and vegetable garden. Camping is another activity she finds joy in, explaining that “one of our family traditions is to go canoe camping for the Thanksgiving weekend – our final hurrah to the camping season!” Recently, Jackie took up watercolour painting and enjoys spending time broadening her skills.
She continues to help our community by being a volunteer at a local community theatre and a loyal donor to multiple organizations, including Causeway Work Centre.
Jackie’s unwavering support for Causeway stems from her personal experience with the organization. Her younger son is a participant in Causeway’s employment programs, and she has witnessed first-hand how employment has positively impacted his self-esteem and self-worth.
She states that “employment makes such a difference in the way he feels about himself … not to mention the financial support this employment provides him. I so appreciate all that you do to support your clients and am very thankful that Causeway is there to provide these employment supports for my son and others living with mental illness.”
It is important to Jackie that her son’s employer understands the challenges he is living with and that they recognize that he can contribute to the workforce in a meaningful way, regardless of those challenges.
“He wants to work and is a hard worker but there is still so much fear and misunderstanding about his illness in our Society. It means so much to me knowing that my son is treated with respect and understanding by supervisors and co-workers because they understand his differences and life challenges and can see beyond the illness to the person he is.”
Jackie has a two-step process for giving. Firstly, she assesses what she can afford to donate, and then she divides the amount among the charities that are dearest to her heart. She chooses to support Causeway because of the organization’s impact on her son’s life, and because she feels valued and appreciated as a donor.
“I would describe Causeway as a front-line organization providing much-needed support to an often misunderstood and marginalized community. There is no other organization like Causeway that I know of which provides this kind of ongoing employment support to individuals living with mental illnesses.” She also recommends Krackers Katering to groups hosting events, in part to support Causeway, but also to spread awareness of mental illness and the work that Causeway does.
To Jackie, Work. Regardless means “that there is a job out there for everyone; a place for everyone to contribute to the workforce, even if that means creating that workplace, as Causeway has done.”
We thank Jackie for her unwavering support and for being a donor since 2017. Every donation to Causeway matters. Please click here to donate and make a difference today.