Do you remember when your first child was born? Did you feel a mix of love, excitement or possibly even fear as you held this tiny human so full of possibility?
In the beginning, parents wonder, “Is my baby eating enough? Is this crying normal? When can I sleep again?” The questions continue as a child grows.
Most of us called our parents or supportive friends when we needed parenting tips and a listening ear. But many new parents and caregivers do not have this support system.
Gabi’s second son was fussy due to acid reflux. “He didn’t sleep for more than 40 minutes at a time for the first six weeks,” says Gabi. Most mothers didn’t understand the depth of her struggles. Gabi was desperate for support.
Parents who don’t have family and friends close by can also feel alone, especially when they are newer to Canada.
“I had so many questions about our son’s development,” says Bahar. Originally from Cyprus, Bahar arrived in this country when her son was two. But, she didn’t know who to ask for help. Her mom wasn’t raised in this culture and couldn’t advise Bahar on everything.
With the growing stress of the COVID pandemic on parenting, families need our services now more than ever.
That’s why they need your help.
We provide welcoming and safe spaces for families in Waterloo Region to connect with each other in-person and virtually, including engaging programs, resources, and community supports for parents, children, and the family as a whole.
Jennifer Jordan, Executive Director
Our Place Family Resource and Early Years Centre.
In 1979, a group of women in the Waterloo Region saw a need for a welcoming space where parents could support one another and children could engage in early learning activities. In response, they started Our Place Family Resource and Early Years Centre.
Forty-two years later we still value belonging, engagement, and expression, because we believe these are the conditions families need for optimal growth and well-being!
But we need your help to continue offering our unique programs and services for parents like Gabi and Bahar.
In normal times, families come to Our Place in The Family Centre building on Hanson Avenue in Kitchener. They connect with each other during drop-in programs or join one of our ongoing programs, such as the Parenting in a New Society for people new to Canada or the Stork Secrets Pregnancy and Postpartum Adjustment Peer Support Group. While parents laugh and cry together, children engage in early learning activities in the next room.
We continue to provide essential programs for parents over Zoom, including Your Toddlers Journey to Kindergarten, Parenting in a Pandemic, and Stork Secrets. Families are also returning to the Centre for in-person programming with their children.
Our Place was there when Bahar and Gabi needed us. Bahar felt supported in the Parenting in a New Society Group. “Everyone was so honest, and no one judged anyone.”
Gabi arrived at her first Stork Secrets meeting feeling “disheveled,” and her son was crying. “Within 10 minutes, I felt like the other women were family because they understood what I was going through!”
This is who you invest in with a gift to Our Place.
Your gift will enable our team of registered early childhood educators, early learning facilitators and peer health workers to continue providing programming, resources, and safe spaces that are meaningful for families and their children.
With decreased government funding during a time when it is needed most, we need gifts from caring community members like you to offer Stork Secrets and our other unique programs.
On Giving Tuesday, please donate to Our Place so families can get the support they so desperately need.
Because your gift helps families when it’s needed most!
Read Gabi’s story to
find out how she overcame her son’s challenging beginning with help from the Stork Secrets Group.
Mery's journey started at
Our Place over 16 years
ago as a participant. Now,
as a program facilitator, she
is able to give back and
make families feel
Funding for this project was generously provided by the Ontario Trillium Foundation.