My name is MaryAnn , I am a working professional and mother of 4 . The first time I set foot in Siloam mission, it was because my children's school, Calvin Christian Collegiate, was providing an inner city experience to the students . I came as a parent volunteer. I was scared and uncertain about what would be needed of me, but that quickly changed when I became involved with meal preparation and drop in centre activities. I soon started feeling something very different : compassion and empathy . I felt that the only thing different from me and some of the patrons in the room was that only by the grace of God, I was not homeless. I have been blessed with a family and a support network , which many of the people I was serving did not have. I spent time talking with and visiting with some of the wonderful people in the room, lending my ear and learning their stories .
Over the years since that first visit , I have been back many times, have enabled my entire work staff to take time from work to serve meals , and have encouraged countless others in my community to volunteer their time and their resources.
When I first heard of the sleep-out, I knew that one day I would participate and this is the year !