The past year has been a time of building wellness and collaboration, rich
with learning opportunities and creativity. It has been my honor and pleasure
to work alongside our dedicated staff, Board members and volunteers at
Families Matter to strengthen our foundation as a family serving organization
and provide high quality programs for the children, parents and families we
serve. – Danielle Ladouceur, Executive Director
Mitchell came to Families Matter earlier this year to take part in our ‘Be a Great Dad’ parenting course for fathers. Mitchell became a father at 19, and faced many obstacles as a young father – he was still maturing, he was just learning about his new role as a father, and he was trying to figure out how to be involved in his young son’s life.
Mitchell is not alone in facing these barriers. Young fathers are often marginalized and pushed out of their parent role. They are routinely perceived as too immature or irresponsible, and struggle to find support. Despite the adversities and challenges Mitchell faced, he was determined to find a way to become involved in his child’s life. Choosing intentionally not to walk way, Mitchell was prepared to do whatever he needed to in order to become a good father, create trust, and build a relationship with his son. In an effort to pursue this commitment to his son, Mitchell reached out to Families Matter for help and was enrolled in our ‘Be a Great Dad’ course as an entry point into our Successful Young Parents Program.
Mitchell was an enthusiastic and committed participant in the program. He shared his stories and his dreams, and took the learning to heart. Mitchell would be the first to tell you that he was far from perfect, but he was working on his goals and they were being met. He had a good job, a positive attitude and plans for his future. His vision was to become an active and inspiring father and a healthy role model in his son’s life, and to provide support for him both emotionally and financially.
Unfortunately, Mitchell died suddenly and tragically when he was struck by a train in Bowness this year, at the age of 20, before he was able to bring his hopes and dreams to reality. Mitchell’s mother, Jill Purdy, stepped forward after his death and made a donation to Families Matter in her son’s name to provide subsidies to other young fathers who wanted to attend our ‘Be a Great Dad’ course and build healthy relationships with their children. Our most recent course included two young dads under the age of 23 who were able to attend thanks to the generosity of the Purdy family.
“Keep fighting the good fight” is what Mitchell often said, and what he tried his best to do. We invite you to help us to carry on Mitchell’s legacy.