Stories of kindness

Familiprix celebrates people who inspire us to be kind. Watch our videos that tell the stories of amazing people of all ages and from all walks of life that had the courage to take care of their communities.

Marie Sterling l'ange du quartier

The Neighbourhood Angel

In the hustle and bustle of the city there is the sweet story of a tightly knit community where mutual aid and friendliness are at the heart of the neighbourhood. It is a movement first initiated by a woman, the local angel, Marie Sterlin. It is Élise who suggested her neighbour, Mary, as a model of kindness.

Marie has been so present in the lives of Élise and her daughters that it was natural for her to introduce us to her.

Coach joubenson

Coach Joubenson

In some neighbourhoods, youth are more vulnerable to bad influences. Fortunately, there are also benevolent citizens who are completely changing the game. This is the case of Joubenson Choute, basketball coach at Jean-Grou High School. He was introduced to us by the director of the mini-basketball program. Joubenson is the Program Coordinator. This coach is a true model of devotion and makes a difference in the lives of many young people. For Joubenson, sports is not just a game, but an opportunity to pass on valuable life lessons.

Maurice The Driver

The Driver

Despite their relevance, government programs cannot cover all of society’s needs. Fortunately, we can count on dedicated volunteers who cheerfully offer their support. After spending his entire life leading organizations to success, Maurice Collette is now a volunteer driver for Baladeur René, a low-cost group transportation service for seniors with reduced mobility that aims to break isolation. Maurice's career path is amazing. Now retired, he gives back to the community in a beautiful way. The president of Baladeur René introduced us to him. Maurice is very dedicated to helping others. In fact, he was awarded the Lieutenant Governor's Medal for Seniors, which recognizes the volunteer commitment of those who have made a positive impact in their community.

Your stories of kindness

Gisèle Paquette

Family is what matters most

The story of Gisèle Paquette

Following our first round of Stories of Kindness, many of you told us about inspiring people in your community or entourage. One story emerged from the outburst of sharing—that of Ms. Gisèle Paquette who told us about the dedication of her nephew, Gérard, and is spouse, France. They are people to count on and take good care of their extended family, even if they are extremely busy.

The couple from Valleyfield have a pretty busy life. With six children, we have to stay that they manage their day-to-day like a well-oiled machine, because they are nevertheless always available to lend a helping hand. With their careers, activities with the kids and life’s obligations, France and Gérard are very close to their loved ones. They take the time to see how they are doing and organize get-togethers. They are naturally dedicated to the people around them. Gisèle and her husband also have a busy life. Involved with Scouts Canada until their retirement, they were also on the go. Yet, they always had time to help others. Today, they are the ones that benefit from support from their family and friends.

When Gisèle had to stay in the hospital for nearly four months after open-heart surgery, France and Gérard remained by her side throughout her convalescence so that she would never feel alone. With help from the couple, Gisèle got back on her feet in not time! They assisted her in doing her exercises, brought her treats, and above all made her smile. At any time, Gisèle could count on France and Gérard. Their kindness really had a positive impact on her recovery and in her life.

Everybody’s lives are extremely busy. Weeks fly by. But there is nothing like being with family! There are many kind people like Gérard and France. When we take the time to take time, we realize helping others spreads happiness everywhere!

Nicole, Katia and Karine

True teamwork

The story of Nicole Dubé, Katia Girard and Karine Giguère.

Nothing beats the fun people have when working with colleagues that are inspiring and caring. This is particularly the case in our schools. With the lack of staff as well as budget and job cuts, it has become extremely difficult for people working in the educational sector. Banding together and helping each other has become a necessity. When Nicole Dubé watched the Stories of Kindness, she immediately thought of her former colleagues: Katia Girard and Karine Giguère.

Katia and Karine are part of a specialized team at the Hautes-Rivières school board. Katia, a psychoeducator, works mainly in special education with children who have behavioural or psychopathological problems. This year, she wanted to support colleagues that gave their time to help these troubled children. Karine is a special education teacher. She assists students in adapting to their environment and implements effective ways for them to enjoy a happy and gratifying education. She also supports other colleagues that work with these students.

Being already deeply involved with the well-being of the students and parents they support, Katia and Karine are renowned for their advice and listening skills. Even if they are crunched for time due to budget cuts over the past few years, they nevertheless pay a great deal of attention to all of their colleagues. Katia believes in finding the positive aspects of any situation. Ms. Dubé was touched by these two women’s kindness and willingness to help others. According to Ms. Dubé, they helped her out more than on one occasion, which allowed her to reach her goals.

The people we come into contact the most often, apart from our family, are our work colleagues. These relationships are a part of our day-to-day lives. The unexpected benefits of solidarity can change a life. In fact, there is no need to move mountains to be kind. An open mindset, listening and helping one another can make a huge difference.

Stéphanie Petrin

When kindness knows no borders

The story of Stéphanie.

It’s hard to imagine losing one’s bearings and move to another country in order to flee danger. Thankfully, organizations help newcomers and refugees in order to ease the transition. These organizations are desperate for volunteers to assist people in need—and offer acts of kindness. That is why Stéphanie immediately thought of her mother, Suzelle, when she heard about Familiprix’s Stories of Kindness.

Suzelle, now retired, was a social services administrative assistant for many years. For over 15 years now, she is a volunteer for the CRÉDIL, a non-profit organization that helps immigrants start new lives in the Lanaudière region of Québec. In order for these new citizens to more easily adopt a new way of life, the CRÉDIL pairs them with local families or people. Suzelle is a part of this program, which consists in accompanying immigrants who often come from war zones and had to escape their homelands very quickly. Naturally, in addition to experiencing extremely stressful situations, these immigrants’ arrival in Québec requires a lot of adapting to a new life as well as learning a new culture and language. Suzelle therefore helps immigrants in their day-to-day lives, such as going grocery shopping, getting to medical appointments, or learning French. Soon, she will also help a Columbian woman give birth as she unfortunately had to leave her entire family behind.

Suzelle also gives room and board to international interns when they visit the Lanaudière region. She also keeps in contact with these interns when they return home in order to carry out humanitarian aid in their respective countries. In fact, almost all of Suzelle’s free time is dedicated to helping others. From a purely human perspective, the relationships she builds bring her a lot of joy.

Volunteering, which is all about helping and sharing with others, contributes to creating strong ties between people. These ties are even more significant when immigrants arrive in Canada; newfound relationships and friendships are often their first impressions of the country that has welcomed them. Being supported by people like Suzelle enables a successful integration, which in turn builds communities that are stronger and more socially and culturally inclusive. Solidarity between citizens is proof that kindness knows no borders.

Johane et Danielle

From resilience to kindness

The story of Johanne.

Lately, we have been inviting people to send us stories about kind souls that lend a helping hand and bring joy to others. Ms. Danielle Delisle wanted to share her story about her friend Johanne. Despite the fact that Johanne has lived through some difficult times, she nevertheless is filled with kindness and generosity. For over 30 year, Danielle and Johanne have always been there for each other. The two women are greatly involved in their community and devote their time to causes that they hold dear to their heart. One of the organizations in which they volunteer helps women who are living in poverty. When Johanne fell sick, Danielle stayed by her side and, together, they continued to volunteer. Just recently, they cooked a huge batch of spaghetti sauce for women in need.

Four year ago, Johanne fought Stage 3 breast cancer. She had to undergo chemotherapy and radiation, which had serious repercussions on Johanne’ physical health. Even though her motor skills and energy are affected, she always manage to keep a smile on her face. She continues her work in the community and even help women overcome challenges when faced with illness. When Johanne lost her hair, Danielle knitted cotton hats for her. Now, Johanne shares these hats with other women undergoing chemo. The difficulties Johanne has faced keeps motivating her to help others.

Being already deeply involved with the well-being of the students and parents they support, Katia and Karine are renowned for their advice and listening skills. Even if they are crunched for time due to budget cuts over the past few years, they nevertheless pay a great deal of attention to all of their colleagues. Katia believes in finding the positive aspects of any situation. Ms. Dubé was touched by these two women’s kindness and willingness to help others. According to Ms. DubIts during situations like these that Johanne realizes the importance of being surrounded by people who care in order to overcome challenges. Nothing can protect someone from getting sick. Nobody can predict if they will get sick one day. It takes resilience to fight cancer. Finding the strength to help other—even when living through something as hard a cancer—requires a lot of compassion and kindness. Johanne indeed shows just how kind and compassionate she can be every day.

« If you hadn't come to get me, I would never have been able to get out. »
-Passenger of Baladeur René

Share a story of kindness

Do you know someone who is exceptionally kind and does great things for their community? Share their story so that we can highlight their involvement and encourage the community to follow their example.

A member of the Familiprix team may contact you to get more details on their story as well as the person's contact information.