Sharing our hearts and homes: Building a safe and connected community

 Heidi, community builder extraordinaire

Heidi, community builder extraordinaire

When Matt and I became parents rather quickly, through adoption, a little over three years ago we were showered with kindness and generosity. Friends I made while a student at the University of Waterloo drove in from Toronto to paint the nursery. Other friends who live down the street handed down a bassinet and changing table, among many other necessary odds and ends. 

A few weeks ago I was able to pay this kindness forward. With help from the parents of Momtourage, a community of parents in Ward 5 that connect through email and also in person, I was able to source a whole lot of baby stuff for a friend who is about to have her first baby.  

Momtourage started when Heidi, a community organizer if I've ever met one, began intentionally introducing herself to other parents in the interest of building community, connecting people, and reducing feelings of loneliness.

These informal conversations grew to become a weekly get together between five moms and their kids. Now, this network includes more than 50 households that continue to share resources, information, and support.

 Lauren, another mom from the group, and myself

Lauren, another mom from the group, and myself

Heidi has a vision. She wants to "see community members become better connected, sharing both their homes and hearts with one another. It just takes a few people who are willing to take that risk, and things begin to happen."

Thank you Heidi for taking the risk to bring strangers together seven years ago. Your vision and leadership has helped me to feel even more rooted where I live. I am energized by your effort, heart, and desire to make this community safer and more connected.