A well-intentioned member of the HCF board told us that the Chaney-Ensign Bursary was offered by the Foundation. This information was the lifeline that we so desperately needed. My wife, Vicky, was an outstanding scholar who gloried in being a wonderful wife and mother. She saw as her calling a large family, using her social work training at home. I was the sole provider until our children began part-time jobs, such as paper routes, babysitting, store clerks, junior librarians, etc.
Hamilton Community Foundation entered our lives at the exact moment of our greatest need and stayed in our lives for years.
I am now retired. Vicky is still a wonderful homemaker and the heart of the family. We have lived in the same home for 47 years – a timeworn home in Dundas. We still have no television. Our children have accomplished so much as a result of the financial assistance they received to complete their studies.
Ann is teaching and the mother of six. Colleen is teaching and the mother of eight. Jennifer is teaching art therapy. Julie is teaching and the mother of one. Rebecca is teaching, is the mother of two and a Terry Fox Humanitarian Award recipient. Patrick is a film director and the father of three. Sarah is a teacher presently at home raising her four children. Emily is working at the University of Toronto and the mother of two. Peter is an urban planner and the father of three. Joseph and Katie are both in business careers.
All of our eleven children completed their undergrad studies successfully in large part because of HCF. The bursaries they received allowed them to spend more time on their studies as opposed to getting a second part-time job while at school.
The monies provided by the Foundation permitted our children to dream in a fashion that would have been unthinkable before. HCF opened their, and our, eyes to the benefits of education. We had four children in university at the same time – tricky and exhausting, but exciting and empowering to see it could be done.
If we could say anything to the sisters who provided for this bursary, we would say, “Many, many, many thanks! You allowed us to dream. Not a week goes by without our thinking of your kindness.” HCF proves that good things do happen when both donor and recipient appreciate the purpose of award.