St.Amant

“The time volunteers spend with the persons supported by St.Amant and the special connections they create, which are different from what they might have with their families or staff, are invaluable. It’s lovely to see. It helps us combat the loneliness felt by our persons supported by St.Amant, loneliness that can really bring them down, and it creates a culture in which people put themselves in their place and think about what they are going through.

That puts them front and centre.”

John Leggat, president and CEO of St.Amant

Invaluable Connections

Joy is what it’s all about at St.Amant, an organization offering a range of services for children and adults with autism or developmental disabilities, and dedicated to the mission of addressing their loneliness.

“Illness is not always the greatest issue of the persons supported by St.Amant,” says John Leggat, President and CEO of St.Amant. “Sometimes, it’s loneliness that makes them the saddest. No-one deserves to be alone, absolutely no-one.”

So St.Amant relies on its volunteers to spend time with the persons supported there each week and build friendships with them. One such person, Ted Siwik, enjoys the socialization aspect at St.Amant. He especially loves riding his therapeutic bike through the corridors, accompanied by his faithful friend, Jack Froese. Jack has been a volunteer at St.Amant for the past 20 years and would not miss spending time with Ted for the world.

“The first time I came to St.Amant was with Ted’s father, a long-time friend,” says Jack Froese. ” I found the encounter so touching and the atmosphere so compelling, that when Ted’s father asked me if I wanted to become a volunteer, I jumped at the opportunity.  After 20 years, I am still just as sure that it was the best decision of my life.”

Over the years, Ted and Jack have developed a very special friendship, which is hugely important to Jack Froese. Before his death, Ted’s father asked Jack to continue bringing joy into his son’s life. Jack is committed to fulfilling that wish every week.

Today, he will tell you that volunteering at St.Amant is a wonderful, exciting and rewarding experience that has changed his life. “It’s a joyful atmosphere that is good for the soul,” he says. “Everyone involved at St.Amant is loving, caring, enthusiastic and devoted to the persons supported by the organization. I think everyone should spend some time here! “

While volunteers like Jack Froese get something positive out of their visits at St.Amant, the persons supported feel the same way.

“The time volunteers spend with the persons supported by St.Amant and the special connections they create, which are different from what they might have with their families or staff, are invaluable. It’s lovely to see.”

“It helps us combat the loneliness felt by our persons supported by St.Amant, loneliness that can really bring them down, and it creates a culture in which people put themselves in their place and think about what they are going through. That puts them front and centre.”