change lives.

Impact Stories

Dawn’s story: Courage, and a life transformed

Dawn grew up in a life of poverty, quitting school by Grade 8. She fell into a life of addiction and found herself homeless on the streets of Fredericton. Determined to turn her life around, she moved to Saint John and beat her addiction. She was determined to improve her education – and her life along with it. It wouldn’t be easy.

Melinda’s story: renewed hope in recovery

As a young woman in her 20s, Melinda had a full life yet ahead of her. But she struggled with an addiction to alcohol. When doubt and worry made her question her relationships and the future of her job, she decided to turn to the Sophia Recovery Centre.

Tracy’s story: A boy transformed

When Tracy first joined Sistema NB at the age of five, he struggled with focus and his own emotions. While enthusiastic about the music program, he fidgeted through classes and became easily upset. Some days, he’d hide under tables or run away from his teachers. With help from occupational therapy, Sistema learned how to deal with his restlessness.

‘Thank you hardy feels like it is enough’

The note is simple but touching, genuine and sincere. “Thank you hardly feels like it is enough to express our gratitude,” Sarah Norman of the St. George and Area Food Bank wrote. “Thank you for giving us that piece of mind….” Sarah and others at the food bank fretted about so many of their clients who had no car to get there to pick up the groceries that they needed just to put food on the table for their families.

Alshaimaa’s story: A new life, a new path

As a new immigrant to Canada from Egypt, I wasn’t sure I would find a job in my field. There’s so much to learn when it comes to the language and culture of a new country. When I first moved to Saint John, I felt that my English wasn’t good. I had trouble speaking about my feelings because we don’t learn how to express ourselves in this way in Egypt. At times, it was hard. 

Zola’s story: From anxious teen to budding social entrepreneur

When staff at the Teen Learning Centre in Saint John first met Zola, she was stressed and anxious: she had moved to the city from another country – culture changes and a brand new routine were hard enough; the prospect of starting high school was something else entirely. The turning point for Zola was sparked through the Teen Resource Centre, the United Way-supported organization that helps youth reach their potential. Soon after a visit to her Grade 8 class, other youth from the centre took Zola under their wing to get her ready for her middle school graduation. Read more...

Natusha’s story: From reluctant to inspired

This was one phone call Natusha wasn’t keen to make, but her social worker pushed her on it: call the Saint John Women's Empowerment Network – they can help you. Natusha is glad she took the advice. A mother of two on social assistance, she says she wouldn’t be where she is if not for the programs and support she received from the United Way-supported organization, which aims to give women a voice and focuses on tackling the root causes of poverty. Read more...

Jordan’s story: A boy’s first real Christmas

As a child who spent years in care, Jordan never experienced the joy of a traditional Christmas. He had never even been trick or treating. Then he met Sarah through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Saint John. She made sure things were different for him right away. Read more...

Susan’s story: Fleeing abuse and finding solace

I left a dangerous relationship after years of abuse. At the time, I didn’t have a job and I had nowhere to turn for help. I didn’t know how I would feed my child or provide a place for us to live safely. Read more...