Why We Exist
Often, families come to Providence at a very difficult time in their lives. First, the realization their child may not be developing typically; then, seemingly endless doctors’ appointments, medical tests and assessments . . . and more doctor’s appointments. Often, there remains a lot of questions and very few answers, and uncertainty about the future for their precious child and for their family as a whole.
Parents tell us stories of harsh judgement by strangers in grocery stores and playgrounds and a shrinking pool of friends as their child is excluded from birthday parties and backyard barbeques. We know parents who have taken their child to 11 doctor’s appointments in two weeks; parents whose child is 5 and hasn’t slept more than two hours at a time; a child who has been turned away from 17 childcare facilities because they cannot handle his behaviour; and moms who have chosen to end their professional careers to care full-time for their child.
The stress can be hard on family relationships, and it’s often difficult to know where to turn or what to do next for your child. But parents tell us the hardest part is wondering if anyone will be able to love and care for their child as they do, and entrusting their child’s care to strangers.
At Providence, we know. We care. And we can help.
Providence Origins: Martha Cohen and Providence Creche
Martha Cohen was President of Providence Creche for two years and spent 10 years on the Board of Governors in the early years.. She was the first Jewish woman to hold the position of President.
The following story was submitted by Martha’s daughter, Cheryl, on the occasion of Providence’s 70th anniversary:
Martha held a meeting at her home, this was likely in the mid-1950s. The doorbell to our home rang and Martha’s son, Philip, ran to answer the door. Outside were a group of nuns wearing their full habits. Philip had never seen nuns before and yelled to his mom that there was a group of wicked witches at the door and he thinks they might have legs. Needless to say, soon afterward Philip received his first lesson about nuns and Catholicism.
It was through Martha’s work at Providence Creche that she met Father Patrick O’Byrne. From time to time, Father O’Byrne would come to our home to swim in our pool. One day my sister, Faye, asked Father O’Byrne how many children did he have. He answered none and Faye was insistent that he had children because he was called Father. Another lesson in Catholicism.
For more stories from Providence’s past, read Our Stories: http://providencechildren.com/about-us/our-stories/