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NOVEMBER 2018

"Turn of events was, we lost our house. I ended up renting a room that wasn’t fit for... well, I won’t say. We were just emotionally wrecked. Thank God my kids were done with high school and starting out, but they didn’t need that either, starting a new career and finding out their parents had lost everything they’d worked for. That was back in October 2010. We’re still rebuilding after eight years. It’s been a tough go. So that’s the process I’m doing now, rebuilding. It’s basically like building a house for yourself, putting the foundation down, putting your cement blocks up. I haven’t finished so I can’t explain what’s going to happen next, but I think I’m at the point where the subfloors and the walls are going up, and my foundation seems to be settled, so it’s looking really good. I have to be very proud and happy about that. The Green Wood team’s been great that way, in trying to rebuild your family and, you know, your sense of worth. They made my wife and me feel we were still part of the community, even after what happened. I’d like to say there’s a future, still have a chance of getting a place where I can have a bit of a yard, a bit of privacy, have the family over. I haven’t reached that end goal yet. Maybe never will. But as long as you can see it out there, you’re going to go for it, right?"

—John Hensgens

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Making a Difference is a new series of personal stories by members of the Green Wood Coalition community. Green Wood’s WrapAround life planning makes a difference in a life by supporting individuals to rebuild their lives,

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You can make a difference by donating to Support Green Wood’s work in Northumberland County. Click here: Donate to Green Wood





“I do spiritual care for the elderly and the dying, and when I sit with someone who is 90 and who doesn’t know who I am and can’t communicate, but has a sense that I’m in the room with them, I look at this whole life and think, wow, this person was 46, this person was 12, this person was 60, this person has experienced countless things – children, families, careers, work, love, loss, illness. Now they’re lying here in a bed. They’re moving toward dying. What can I do? Can I do anything? Is there anything to be done? And I somehow shift that into being with that one person in that moment. Even if it’s 15 minutes, simply being a witness to that life is making a difference in a life. And I feel that about the Green Wood dinner too. I’ve been sitting in the same place since I started coming. The people I’ve been sitting with, we have a bond now, and I think that’s making a difference in a life, building enough trust with a person that I trust them and they trust me and we can be ourselves together. When we connect, we are making a difference in each other’s lives. Maybe it’s a small difference, yet we don’t know what it’s going to bring. Our cultural broken bones can be healed when we eat together, talk together, get to know each other, release the fear of the other, of the different and somehow realize we’re actually not different. This is where we need to carry the vision of humanity forward if the human species wants to survive.”

—Celia McBride

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Making a Difference is a new series of personal stories by members of the Green Wood Coalition community. By building community through weekly Community Dinners, Green Wood makes a difference in a life.

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You can make a difference by donating to Support Green Wood’s work in Northumberland County. Click here: Donate to Green Wood

📷: Jeannette Breward



From our earliest days, the community that has gathered around Green Wood, has pulled up to a table, each week, to share a meal together. Sitting side-by-side, we come from a wide range of experiences and opportunities to engage in conversations that matter, listen deeply, and leave the table satisfied and richer in human experience. Thanks to Cobourg, ON artist, Katie Flindall for interpreting the community table in the fantastic art piece/display table that we are showcasing at public events.

Green Wood Recipe for Community 1. Go out and find some people. 2. Eat and drink together. 3. Listen to each other. 4. Learn to judge less. 5. Work together to solve problems. 6. Celebrate birthdays, successes, or just the sun coming up. 7. Make something beautiful, art, music, dance. 8. Recognize our common humanity. 9. Imagine a better future. 10. Repeat with regularity.


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