Softchoice’s Oakville employees raising funds for ‘Darling’ kids

A child draws. Another sings. Another swims. Ordinarily there is nothing remarkable about these activities, unless you are at Darling Home for Kids in Milton, Ontario.

You see, Darling Home for Kids is Ontario’s first children’s hospice. Each child has been diagnosed as medically fragile or technology dependent and many who suffer from progressive illness. The home provides much needed care for children, from therapeutic day programs and respite care to residential palliative care.

Each child is cared for by registered nurses and personal support workers providing the assistance that they need to live their short lives with as much normality as possible. Given this great task, it is no wonder Spread the Orange Oakville – a group of Softchoice employees dedicated to giving back to their community – chose Darling Home for Kids as their Power to the People (P2P) charity this year.

It all started in 2015, when a group from Softchoice’s Oakville, Ontario office volunteered at Darling Home for Kids. Twelve employees made the trip to help decorate the home for the holidays. It is the little details, like decorating, that make the home so special.

“You can truly see that they put their heart and soul into every detail of their home, from having the windows at eye level, the home away from home décor, accessible ramps and outdoor paths, and the staff’s ability to say ‘yes’ to almost anything for the kids!” said Chantel Yack, a Keystone Managed Services Project Manager at Softchoice. “We fell in love with the place, from the children to the staff. Everyone is so giving and kind, as well as extremely generous, and would do anything for the children.”

When the call for the 2016 P2P program came out and Softchoice Cares asked for charities with a focus on technology and children, Darling Home for Kids was a shoe-in. In every aspect of their care, the home leverages technology to help children feel at home and a part of regular life.

From wheelchairs lifts to Snoezelen multi-sensory rooms (rooms used to either relax or stimulate to allow for learning development and therapy), the Darling Home strives to support more children and their needs. Through P2P, Softchoice Cares Oakville is striving to raise $20,000 to contribute to the children of Darling Homes in 2016 and surpass their fundraising from 2015.

“I think that their mission, helping kids and providing parents with rest, it is a great mission,” said Carlos Betancourt, a Systems Architect for Softchoice following his volunteer day there. “And all of the facilities that they have to keep the kids comfortable are amazing.”

With a mission like that, it is no wonder why Spread the Orange Oakville chose Darling Home for Kids as the P2P charity this year. Softchoice Oakville looks forward to meeting their goal and working with the Home as much as possible, and making an impact one child at a time!

About Megan Shuker

Megan Shuker is the Cloud Dashboard Product Manager at Softchoice. She serves as a Softchoice Cares 'Orange Ambassador' in our Oakville office, and has championed three different non-profits as part of the Softchoice Cares’ Power to the People program.