I became involved with Logifem in part as a result of my only brother, who died suddenly in 2007. He was a project worker in a similar shelter in England. After his death, while visiting the place he worked, I felt burdened to carry on his work in some small way. The opportunity to become a Board member at Logifem came the following year. I’d always known of the organization, attended presentations by Pauline Richard at Greenfield Park Pentecostal Church, donated things. And now was my chance to be actively involved; what a privilege! Though Logifem has been around for over 25 years, it is constantly expanding to respond to the needs of the people it serves. The past eight years have seen Logifem buy a condo, reconfigure the shelter to accommodate more women with children, and even establish six newly renovated apartments! I also have a sense that Logifem is increasingly recognized as part of the community, linked with other community groups, and becoming more and more known within Montreal for its enduring commitment to its cause. Through all the changes, the reason for being remains the same: the residents themselves. We learn from them, are humbled by their stories, their resilience and courage. They are the heart of the organization; they are the reason Logifem exists.

The thing that has most resonated with me through this time on the Board has been that everyone involved in Logifem cares so deeply about our mission to help women in difficulty. The roles are different; from the daily work of the Executive Director in holding everything together while making important decisions, to the intervention team and their tireless commitment to understanding, encouraging and empowering the people in their care; to the administrative and operational staff taking care of the day-to-day tasks so important to people’s well-being, happiness and health, to the Board members themselves who wrestle with questions of budget and forward planning. Every step we take is really a leap of faith, but having God as our anchor helps us walk in confidence as we keep Him in the forefront of our prayers, thoughts, actions and plans. This verse in particular makes me think of Logifem, of all the people involved, residents and workers and volunteers, sheltering and flourishing under God’s love and protection:

“Because He has been our help, therefore in the shadow of His wings shall we rejoice” (Psalm 63:7)

Wishing you all a blessed, peaceful and happy Christmas with family and friends

Juliet O’Neill Dunphy