To celebrate Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House, we’re sharing stories from our program participants, staff, and volunteers about what makes our House so special.
Here, Sharon Babu, former preschool program director, explains what the schoolchildren’s Breakfast Club meant to her family and the neighbourhood in the 1990s.
The Breakfast Club was one of the great successes at Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House. We prepared a breakfast for the many kids who attended local schools–I believe it was one of the first breakfast programs for schoolchildren in the region.
At that time, there were a lot of low income people in the neighbourhood and they were really struggling day to day. Parents weren’t home, and there were lots of issues around drugs and abuse. The breakfast program met many needs–including the need for a nutritious meal.
As for me, I had a newborn and a four-year-old myself and I didn’t have a lot of childcare, so being able to bring my kids to this program was amazing too.
We made our own version of Egg McMuffins and called them Egg McPleasants!
I had a volunteer holding my baby, while my four-year-old was busy serving breakfast. In this way, I could provide my family with another place that cared for them.
My kids were always around and they basically grew up in the Neighbourhood House. They volunteered, took leadership, and they even worked here! I think this aspect of the work was really important to me.
We live in a big city that can be quite an isolating experience. Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House and the people who lived in this community provided that extended family for me. It shaped my children in many ways and supported our family, which was helpful.
One of my children became a teacher, while the other became a social worker, and a lot of it had to do with being involved here. The Breakfast Club was really one of the great community building programs!