God had a message for me back in the Fall of 2014. Through prayer groups, sermons, and specifically while attending a WXN (Women’s Executive Network) event, the message He was sending me was I needed to increase my service to others. With more prayer and support from my women’s prayer group and my mentor, I was encouraged to look at serving on a Board of Directors.
Through a series of circumstances, which I now interpret as God’s hand at work, I was introduced to Dave Addison, TCM’s Executive Director!
From our very first meeting, it was clear to me that Toronto City Mission was an organization that I would be passionate about serving. I loved that the programs are designed to first build relationships with the children and families and then to provide a concrete solution for their needs all the while with a focus and emphasis on prevention - on providing tools to families impacted by poverty. I was inspired by the Outreach Workers who have such a heart for the communities they serve that they choose to live in those communities.
I was humbled to learn that the need in our great city of Toronto is enormous - far more than I imagined. During my first visit to the Kingston-Galloway site, I heard of children hoarding snacks during the after school program because they were unsure whether they would have dinner that evening. As a mother to 2 very young children (3 years old and 5 months old), my heart was broken for these children. To keep these children in an after school program, not only serves their immediate needs, but it means that they are less vulnerable during the after school hours when they would usually be alone.
Another reason why I was compelled to serve TCM is the Role Model Moms program. I met a young mother of two who dropped out of school at grade 10 and living on government assistance ever since. She was determined to break out of the cycle of poverty by finishing her high school diploma and then continuing on like so many in the program to get a college diploma. When speaking to these inspiring women, their answers were all consistent - they were getting their education to set an example for their children.
Finally, what gives me a passion for Toronto City Mission is their financial need. The communities we serve depend and rely on the programs organized and run by the dedicated staff at TCM. I see a huge opportunity for me, my colleagues on the Board of Directors, and the TCM staff/volunteers to pool together our God given talent and resources to respond to this urgent and immediate need.
As one of the newest members of the Board, I am really looking forward to continue to learn more about the communities we serve and to be a part of God’s work in our great city of Toronto.
Melanie Au began serving on TCM's Board of Directors in June 2015. Melanie is Leader of a team of Senior Acccount Managers at Suncor and is currently on maternity leave with her second child. She attends The Meeting House and has a heart to serve families in Toronto who are impacted by poverty.