Mike and his Mother

A word of appreciation by Joanne shared at the Toronto Grace’s Re-dedication Celebration

My name is Joanne, mother of Michael, who has been at The Salvation Army Toronto Grace Health Centre for nearly four years.  I became aware of The Salvation Army way back in 1955 when I came from Italy.  Living in the Bloor and Ossington area, they would come on the street to play and sing which I enjoyed very much.  Michael was sent to Toronto Grace at 47 Austin Terrace after a stay at St. Michael’s Hospital.

It was hard for me to accept the thought that this might not be a short stay.  New environment, new people in control of Mike’s care, what I was able to do and what I was not able to do, going home crying, feeling like I was abandoning Michael.  The location at Austin Terrace had its limitations, but I was told it was temporary, we are going back to our location at Church Street.  While we stayed there, we did our best.

I got to know Michael’s caregivers, Jake the floor manager, with his office door always open, the social worker Clare, the secretary Lindy-Ann, the housekeeping and food services staff, the doctors, all working together to meet our needs.  The spiritual environment and services lift our spirits up.  Now, we are in this renovated building, I am sure it has been a long road to accomplish what has been done and is still being done.  I know renovations do not come easy.

In planning and financing, Patti and the many donors, a big thank you.

I can say that Michael and I are seeing this place as a God send for us.  The care that Michael receives, the beautiful location with its many services are truly appreciated.  Staff feels more like family.  I can go home at night with the feeling that if I do not wake up in the morning, Michael is in good hands.

I pray that Toronto Grace with God’s help, will continue to do what it does best – giving good care to whoever comes through their doors, spiritually and physically.  To all that worked hard to accomplish this – a big thank you.  There is always room for improvement and I am glad we are invited to give our suggestions.  My trust is first in God, and then to Toronto Grace to take good care of my son.

As we dedicate this building back to God, may we also dedicate ourselves by saying these words written by St. Francis of Assisi:

An Instrument for God

Lord, make me an instrument of your Peace!
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled, as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.
It is in dying that we are born to eternal life.