Submitted. Temple leaders from the Sikh temples in Abbotsford visited Matthew’s House in early February. They toured this unique facility for families who have children living with complex health care issues and were given the opportunity to hear how it has already impacted the community. The leaders were deeply impacted by what they saw and heard.
“It was amazing to have leaders from each temple come together to support Matthew’s House,” said Surjit Atwal, Constituency Assistant to MLA Darryl Plecas, who organized the meeting. “We really created a partnership with the Sikh community and Matthew’s House.”
The seven gentlemen watched a video that told the story of one family whose child lives with significant health care issues. As they heard the parents describe the challenges they face and the difference that respite care makes for their child and for them as parents, they were moved to tears. One temple leader said that he was aware of at least two families in his congregation with children who live with disabilities and could use Matthew’s House. Knowing that this connection has been made makes Atwal very happy.
“Many of these people didn’t know that Matthew’s House existed,” Atwal said. “Now, they know it is here and they are so impressed that they really want to support it.”
Alan Cavin is the Resource Development Coordinator for Communitas Supportive Care Society which operates Matthew’s House. As the leaders sipped chai tea and ate sweets, Cavin had the opportunity to provide them with information about Matthew’s House and to invite them to support it.
“Matthew’s House can bring peace of mind to parents struggling to care for a child with complex health care needs,” Cavin said. “We wanted to be able to tell these community leaders about Matthew’s House so that they could let families in their congregations know about this resource.”
Operating Matthew’s House comes at a cost – over $800,000 annually – to ensure that children and families are getting expert and compassionate care.
“Service and charity are two of the pillars of the Sikh faith,” he explained. “Family and children are very important to this community and they will support families in need.”
Before they left Matthew’s House, each of the temple leaders signed the guest book. “God lives here” one of them wrote.
“That was meaningful to me,” Cavin said, “because that’s how I feel too. When I see the care and compassion with which the staff here care for the children and families who come to Matthew’s House, I also feel that God is here. I am so happy to be partnering with this faith community.”
For more information visit mattshouse.ca