When Missy, a single mom from Hamilton, Ontario, first heard about a homemaking course offered in her community, she was interested because she likes learning new things.
But after several weeks, she said, “This doesn’t feel like a program. This feels like family. This experience has been like me meeting God.”
Home with a Heart is a 12-week course offered twice yearly by Immanuel Christian Reformed Church in Hamilton. Moms learn tips on budgeting, laundry, parenting, cooking, running a home business, and more.
The project started with a grant from the Sea to Sea fund, money raised by the Christian Reformed Church’s 2008 cross-country bike tour.
Anita Joldersma teaches the class, using Home with a Heart curriculum. A local neighbor-to-neighbor organization partners with the church to offer the course.
“We want to meet them where they are at,” said Joldersma. “We don’t want the women to feel like outreach targets. We want to help them develop a community and to provide them with the resources they need.”
Church members support the program financially and by helping to teach different skills like knitting and skin care.
Volunteer Leida Dykstra prepares a light lunch each week and copies of the recipes for all of the women.
“The food is amazing!” exclaimed Liz, a participant. “I’m an orphan; I never had a mother, so I never had a role model to teach me these things. I also like the openness we share here. We are all from different cultures and backgrounds, but we are learning that we are not so different from each other.”