Hearts Full of Sharing
The tree stump outside the home where Corrine lives with her Home Share providers, Tina and Jake Neudorf, is decorated with beautifully crafted hearts. The hearts share messages of peace, joy, love, and gratitude. They are a way to brighten up their neighbourhood and to say thanks to first responders. They are also a reflection of Corrine’s heart for others.
“Corrine loves to give,” Tina says. “She is always thinking of others first.”
Corrine has been part of the Neudorf family for 15 years. For Tina, being a Home Share provider is a calling.
I love everything about it. It is hands-on caring and that’s what I love to do. – Tina, Home Share Provider
When Tina was a child, she spent a great deal of time with her cousin who lived with mental health challenges. This relationship influenced her deeply and led her to pursue a career in care-giving. For more than 15 years, she served people living with developmental disabilities where she lived in Manitoba. When a back injury brought that career to a halt, Tina looked for another way to serve. That’s when she learned about Home Share.
“I was making a move to BC to be closer to my mother and so before I left Manitoba, I did all my paper work and was ready to begin when we got here,” she explains. “I’ve never looked back.”
Tina has also been a life-long crafter. Skills she learned from her mother, she passed them on to her own children and grandchildren as well as Corrine. Her extensive collection of craft supplies allows Tina and Corrine to do all kinds of things: beading, knitting, crocheting, scrap-booking, rock painting, card making, and more. This creative passion has made the current pandemic more than just bearable; they have come to love being isolated.
“Honestly, this has been a blessing for us,” Tina says. “With nowhere to go, we sleep in and craft whenever we want to. We garden too. I think we could be locked down for years and have enough to keep us busy! We are never bored.”
But Tina and Corrine have not simply closed themselves off from the world. Their crafting continues to be a way for them to connect with others in their neighbourhood. When the family across the street from their home saw the beautiful hearts that Corrine used to decorate their tree stump, the mother commented that she was looking for more things to do with her children. Corrine and Tina decided that they would help them. They created craft packages filled with supplies so that the children could create their own hearts.
“Corrine traced hearts that the children could cut out, and then we used paper punches to create hearts of all sizes. I think Corrine made over 200 hearts,” Tina says. “She made them for other families too and those families took their hearts to their school to say thank you to their teachers.”
Corrine has seemingly inherited Tina’s love for all kinds of crafts. She has more than twenty scrap-booking binders, she loves making cards and gift tags, and if the local craft fair takes place this year, she hopes to enter some of her painted rocks into competition.
Corrine’s latest goal was to learn to knit. She found knitting with traditional needles too difficult to manage, so Tina taught her to “table-knit.” Using oversized yarn laid out on a table, Corrine would weave back and forth. It took her three days to complete a cozy blanket but it is an accomplishment of which she is very proud.
“When she sets her mind to something, she doesn’t give up easily,” Tina says.
It is one of the many qualities that the family has come to appreciate about Corrine. She is not just a giving person, she is also an accepting person.
“Corrine doesn’t see differences or flaws in other people. She simply accepts people for who they are,” Tina reflects. “I think we learn more from her than she ever learns from us.”
With a room filled with craft supplies, an abundance of creativity, and hearts filled with a desire to love and serve, it seems that Tina and Corrine will continue to learn from each other for a long time to come.