Ever since I came to The Redwood, I feel like I’ve been surrounded by angels. If you are a supporter, thank you for being among the angels who help women and children, like me and my son, feel loved and feel like there is a way out.
When my ex kicked me out of the house, I left with my son and a backpack. And fear. Where would we live? How would I care for my 3-year-old? Would he be taken from me? How would I withstand whatever my husband might continue to threaten me with?
In the three years since I first walked into The Redwood, I’ve learned so much. I had been told so often that I was no good, that I believed it. But at The Redwood, they told me how strong I was. They made me believe I could do what was needed.
Every support The Redwood offered felt like a life-changer. They offered me counselling and work skills and hope for a better future. I learned how to stop the cycle of abuse so my son would not repeat it. In yoga classes, I learned how to cope with stress. At parenting courses, I learned tips on how to raise my son, including how important it is that he have a relationship with his dad.
The Redwood also understands that little gestures can make a difference when you’re going through a hard time. They made sure my son had special diapers because of his sensitive skin. We went to Wonderland. It was a joy to see him be a kid and for a short time forget the hard times we had been through. Haircuts and pedicures were a special treat for the moms. And after leaving home with only a small backpack, I was so grateful for the Christmas presents we were given. They even gave me gift cards at Christmas so I could by gifts for my son. It made me feel so good to be able to get special presents for him.
After I left The Redwood, they helped me find an apartment and set up my new home by supplying kitchen essentials. And my favourite program of all: Women-on-the-Move. Every other Saturday for a year I learned financial literacy, which kind of work best suits my personality, job skills and so many other skills. And I was encouraged to dream, something I hadn’t done for many years. I know I can build a new life and raise a son who will grow up to be a fine man.
Thanks to The Redwood, I’m volunteering, speaking to other women who are going through what I went through and I’m getting ready to apply to the Assaulted Women and Children Advocate program at George Brown College. I want to give back as a way to thank everyone who helped me.
Former client at The Redwood