Friday, December 2, 2011

Where has the time gone?

Well, ladies we sure have been busy even on our off hours. The Goderich 'Room2Grow site has 34 members and is growing strong! Everyone sure enjoys the time spent together. There are strong developing friendships and support groups!
So many of the moms have come to us with requests...and it is absolutely miraculous how these requests have been looked after.
In the New Year we will be stating lesson sessions called "Home with a Heart" A qualified instructor will provide a work book and study guides on how to run your household and be a parent while still taking care of yourself. It is a free program (Room2Grow covers the costs) The lesson books are yours to keep to refer back to, We provide child care, support and will answer all your questions. Examples and 'goody bags' come with every lesson ---doesn't get better than that, right?
We sure would love to set up such a group in Clinton!
For those not finished their Grade 12....a lot of the local school districts is accepting this course towards school credits!! Please consider signing up....and spread the news.

Monday, August 15, 2011


Well, it certainly has been a busy, short summer. Can you believe it is the middle of August already? The Room was able to remain open the vast majority of the time. Thank you, everyone, for volunteering your summer hours. The mom's groups are going well...expanding and relocating to better venues. All good.
We met with some of the Beginnings Board members last week. They were quite impressed. We will likely be hearing from them in the next month on their final decision to allow us to be under their umbrella.
Our baby bottle campaign raised about $6,000.00!!! That is just beyond our wildest dreams. Thank you everyone for helping. Especially at the church rolling and rolling and rolling all that loose change. Then Jocelyn found a coin separator which made it much easier. (sigh) live and learn.
Erin has bottles at the Goderich Catholic church, so we are not even finished yet.
We have had some more walk ins. So the word is spreading about our mission here. I spoke with the Early Learning years program last week. They would really like to speak at the young mom's support group. I have contact information here at the Room.
Lawrence is slowly, but surely, cleaning out the side room for us. Linda VanWyk has shown the patience of a saint working with him. His goal is to have it completed by the end of August. There is a desk, shelves included. We would like to call it "Roelie's Room" -----Hey Mellissa----you are a great painter....maybe you could make a sign for the door?????
We will start our monthly meetings on September 6 @ 7:30 p.m. I would also like to invite anyone to come up with ideas on a lunch booth on September 17 from 10-2. Michelle, are you still expecting us to have a luncheon at the Hoggart Pond on the 18th??
Let's keep in touch everyone. Take care

Monday, July 18, 2011

Company comin'

Hello everyone
Henk, Herman and Arie from Beginnings Board of Directors are coming to visit us on August 9, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. They wish to evaluate our group, assessing our efficiency , financial viability and sustainability, leadership, community support and agency wide resource support and our ability to provide the underlying training, clinical issue back up etc etc.

This will be the final step to becoming a satellite office for Beginnings.

A questionnaire has been forwarded for us to complete and return prior to the visit. I really, really need your input on this....this group is NOT a "one-man show"

Questions include:
1. Have we done a needs assessment ---what do you see as your client base and target group
2. Do you have the right mix of volunteers on the ground and ready to go?
....are they open to clinical training and supervision or do they have too many of their own ideas that would make it difficult for them to work from within the large picture of Beginnings?
3. How would you see being able to have increasing cost recovery over the next three years?
4. How do you respond to the purposes and values of Beginnings as described in the promotional materials and other communications?
5. To what extent will the Director(s) be able to travel to Beginnings Central for training and support?
6. How do you see your advisory committee operating front line as well as support and encouragement?
7. How do you see your supporting faith community (diversity:possible tensions)
8. How do you see connecting with the public and community agencies
9. What questions were you hoping we would ask but did not?
10 What do you plan to do if your request to become part of Beginnings Family Services does not go through understanding that we are currently concerned about our financial base?

Please take the time to think about these questions and provide me with your suggestions/thoughts/ideas. This will be vital part of the future of Room2Grow

thank you for everything
linda r

Monday, July 11, 2011

Beginnings and Bottles

Hello everyone:
I trust you are all enjoying the summer, thus far.
We are in the final stages of the baby bottle campaign. It was a tremendous success. So far, we have received donations of $5,662.51. And I am quite sure there are more bottles still out there waiting to be picked up. This is enough to keep the centre open for another year! God is good!!
It is a lot of work, counting and rolling.....but it was also a learning experience. We already have come up with better methods to count the coins (thanks Jocelyn) So if you still have bottles out there, please drop them off asap. Linda VW will be purchasing large plastic totes to store them in the basement. It would be nice if we have close to 400 bottles stored again.

I have received a reply email from Kerry Vandergrift at Beginnings. Two members of the Beginnings Board of Directors would like to visit with all the volunteers at the centre on August 9, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. to discuss our dedication and focus for Room2Grow. This is a very very important meeting.....please try to attend. Please let me know if you can attend, so I can inform the Beginnings Board of Directors. They have sent me a list of questions to complete prior to their visit. It has to be returned to them by August 1. I will leave copies here at the Room. Please feel free to put your comments in before the deadline.
thanks everyone
be safe

Monday, June 27, 2011

Baby bottles

Hi everyone.
The bottles are starting to come in to the Room. It is amazing the support we are receiving. I hope you all had the opportunity to read last Wednesday's Clinton News Record----we finally got published. Thanks Erin for your inside track!!
I am hoping to set up a date the first week of July to count and record the money received from the bottles. There is a spreadsheet hanging in the Room showing who the volunteers were and how many bottles are still to be returned yet.
So, can we count on these bottles being picked and returned by July 4??? Just drop them off at the Room. I have been labeling each bottle....that way we can keep track of what organization was the most receptive to our cause and can approach them next year again. (and visa versa).
Thank you all for your hard work and support. It is incredible how this mission has grown! I have heard such positive comments on the young mom's groups.
Take care Linda R

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Baby bottles and more baby bottles

Well, Father's Day is coming up quickly. The end of our baby bottle campaign.

I met with Joyce from Woodstock Beginnings asking for ideas on how what their routine is for counting the money received.
She gave me a form they use....I will try to duplicate and make one for us.
Basically, she advised me to try to keep each location of the bottles seperate. This is done for two reasons...1. You can then place a thank you announcement in their bulletin with an exact amount they donated and 2. This gives you a better idea on which location would be most receptive next year.
They count each bottle seperately, place the pertinent information on their form, such as name, address, cash total, cheque total etc.
Once all the bottles have been counted and the forms filled out.....I would place all that information on an Excel spreadsheet and give to Willy Van Dorp from Clinton CRC.
We should go to the bank with all our coin rolls and change into large dollar bills....That way Willy can fill out the deposit slip much easier.
I know it may seem a lot of work to some of you. But this does not have to be done in one day or one evening. This could be good for passing the hours while you are donating time in the Room.
It will work, and the rewards will be great. I hope the enthusiasm is still there from all of you to complete this. is only once a year.
Blessings to each of you. If you have any questions, concerns, ideas please place a comment on the site. Thanks everyone

Monday, June 13, 2011

Family in dire need

I received a phone call from Liz Herman at Community Support for Families. There is a young family living in Vanastra who have a medically fragile baby born last August. They have to make frequent trips to London to meet with specialists.
Liz was asking if there was any way our group could help. The biggest concern is their finances to pay for special formula....the baby is tube fed.
What do you all think? How can we help?
Any amount of money would help....or is there other ways we can help?
Let me know of your thoughts. Thanks Linda R

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Email addresses

Hello everyone
There has been confusion for our dedicated volunteers on their shifts. I have been talking to them and some of them have not been receiving the emails. Could everyone check their addresses prior to sending an email to ensure that everyone is on the list?
So far, the confusion has been positive for Room2Grow. Two people have showed up for the same shifts----but I feel bad when they have to drive in for 'nothing'.
On another note:
Brittany reported that she had another 'walk in' this morning. She said that the young woman's friend said 'see they are really nice'-----this is going to be our best advertising!!! God is good.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Beginnings and Baby bottles

Well, it has been a while since the last post. Where do I start?

There were 3 meetings held in Hamilton last week with Beginnings Family Services. They are very impressed and interested in Room2Grow. I feel very confident that we will be under their umbrella shortly. They said we would know by the end of June. This will give us many advantages. It gives us credibility, liability and access to so many resources and years of experience to tap into. It protects us from the community questioning our motives and use of funds. As far as "What will change from Room2Grow?"-----nothing. We can continue as we are.
They do, however, strongly suggest that we have at least one paid chairperson part time position. In the case of anything we do or say ends up in a court case, having a paid position protects Beginnings and the people involved. Otherwises we can just shrug and say "We are only volunteers". That does not give us credibility in any lawyer's eyes.
This being said, every Beginnings satellite office must raise their own funds. Woodstock, Guelph, Coburg and Hamilton are in the same position. (Woodstock raises over $70,000 per year!) These offices all have, at least, 3 paid part time positions. We have been working hard in researching for corporate funding. (not easy in a small town) We don't need a lot---$12,000 per year should do it. ----this is taking into account that this position will be at a much lower rate of pay than the other offices. But, we should start small and see where it goes. Pray for wisdom in this matter. We would really appreciate your feedback on this whole matter. This is a group decision!
I also attended a community project called "Home with a Heart". Women from the community attend to learn cooking and household skills. Free child care is provided. It is a very successful program. More ideas, eh?

As you have probably read through emails, the 'walk-ins' have also increased. And the young mom's groups are expanding. The Health Unit really did a nice job on the flyers. Thanks Mel for looking after this! God has truly blessed this program. Prayers are continually needed. Thank you all for your prayers when Linda and I had a meeting on Monday. We felt God's strength.

The Baby Bottle campaign is up and running. Thank you all for 'adopting a church'. As well, many of you have left us know that local businesses also wanted to participate. Wow!

The group from Exeter has decided not to set up a young mother's group at this time. The leaders have full time jobs and are unable to fully commit at this time. Seaforth has a store called "Moms Inc" and they have expressed a desire to help us in whatever we need. They were given posters and flyers. A back room is available in their store for our use if needed. Any thoughts or ideas on this?

We are all still 'talking' to Lawrence about the back room. He even received a flyer from a company in London that will bring a shredder truck to his office. (Coincidentally the day after I talked to him about this company) Seriously, I did not call the company in London!! Just another 'Godincidence" (lol)

On a personal note, I would like to thank you all for your phone calls, well wishes and prayers over the last month. He is stable, but will not return to work. We are adjusting to our "new normal". I love you all and feel blessed to be in this mission work with you. God bless you.
Linda Renkema

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Hello everyone
Well, there seems to be a lot going on over the last few weeks. Melanie was able to reserve a room in the Heartland Church for a young mother's group on Thursdays. Melanie and Mellissa and Melissa are enthusiastically setting it up. The Goderich group (I hear) is going fantastically!!
We have brochures being printed. They look great.
I have gone to the desk of Clinton News Record a total of 6 times, and they will not see me. So, I have contacted the Focus and they will probably do an article after March 28. He is really interested, just needs to find the time. (thanks Melanie)
The fetal doppler came in and Linda was able to find her own pulse, so it must work. (lol)
Beginnings in Woodstock has been able to find a supplier for our baby bottles, we will probably get around 400 bottles.---they need 600 new ones and the company wanted a total of 1000 ordered to give a discounted price. As well, they have agreed to free shipping, which saves hundreds of dollars!! They should arrive in about 2-3 weeks. I will keep you informed.
God has greatly blessed Room2Grow and it is a pleasure to be in this mission with all of you!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Change of venue

Hello everyone
Ashley Frank from Birthmothers of Canada is looking forward to coming here on March 31 from 1-3 p.m. It will be an interesting session to try to understand the birthmother and birth grandmother's perspective of having an adoption plan. I encourage you all to look at their website. It is
Melanie Siebert has generously offered her home to hold this seminar. It will have more room and (I'm sure) more comfortable chairs. Melanie lives at 78 Rattenbury Street. Coming from Londesborough, you would turn right at Bartliff's and she lives about one and a half blocks on the left hand side. A big yellow brick victorian house. (As you can probably gather, I am very poor at knowing west from north from east)
Thank you Melanie. Hope to see many of you there!
Linda R

Friday, March 4, 2011

Birthmother support

Hello everyone
We have talked and trained about post abortion, parenting and open adoption. There is another topic (that I have heard whispers about) that should be addressed as well. That is --- birthmother's support. We cannot expect the birthmother to 'just get over it', even with an open adoption.
I have set up a training seminar for March 31 at 1:00 p.m. Ashley Frank and her mother are from Kitchener and offer free training. Ashley is a birthmother and has set up this organization 9 years ago. She will come in and speak freely about her experiences and answer all of our questions. She has supported women who are in the 80s, who still need someone to tell them it is "okay", to women who have just delivered their baby.
The seminar will be held here in the Room. (unless someone will volunteer their home). I hope you all can attend, it will probably be a couple of hours in length. I think it sounds very interesting. Please let me know if you can attend. Thanks for all your support in this mission!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

How are things

Hey everyone

This blog thing has been pretty quiet lately. How have things been going out there? I enjoyed seeing everyone on a weekly basis and now it seems like forever since we have chatted. I was telling Linda VW the other day that I notice a few of the pull tabs on the poster in at Winks had been removed. Not that it is nice to think we may have possible clients soon, but who knows.

I know that Michelle has heard some eye opening stories at the mothers group, hard to believe that there are young moms living in such situations, they will be in my prayers...

How is the group preparations for Clinton coming Linda VW? Can we help in any way??

Hope all is well with everyone

In His Hands

Monday, February 21, 2011


Diane and I have been working very hard on developing a website for us. What we really, really need is someone to step us and be committed to write up a newsletter for the site. Something that will tell everyone what we have been doing, what success and trials we have gone through. Prayers that are needed. It is an important part of our ministry here,ladies.
Can anyone volunteer to write up something? Just let me know and I will forward to Diane. She had done unbelievable work for us for $0 , we need to prove to her that God has been working through us. She knows of God, but does not understand him. This is our chance! Just speak for the heart! Room2 Grow needs you. We all have gifts that we didn't know we had, now is the time to thank God for these gifts!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Emmanuel Baptist Church

You know, it just blows me away how God works. I am practicing my speech in front of the mirror and microwave (it has a timer) and I would stutter and stumble. Yet, Linda prayed before we went into the church and I felt a sense of calm come over me. I went up the pulpit in front of about 150 people and did not stumble at all. It went very well. The church had a love offering this morning and will have another offering next Sunday for us. After the service, about 15 people came up to us, asking questions, giving support and stories. We met two families who are willing to become foster homes for a pregnant women, we met a woman who runs a second hand store in Dashwood and is willing to donate baby items. We met a woman who had a baby boy at the age of 16 in 1971 and was sent to a home for unwed mothers. She said that she had to wear wigs and disguises to hide her 'shame'. Even after 40 years, she was starting to cry while telling her story. We met a mother whose daughter runs a very successful program teaching absentince and loving yourself. I am sure that we can use her as a resource for the young mom's group in Goderich and later on in Clinton.
We handed out a number of 'cards' and people wanting to keep in touch with us.
It was an amazing experience and I am glad we did it. Thanks everyone for your support!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

monthly meeting

Hey Ladies

Great meeting last night, seems like lots of progress is being made for R2G.

Please except my apology to any and all who may find offence with my off the wall humor at our meetings. I don't mean to make light of anything we are discussing at the time, I take this mission very seriously. For some reason I just seem to come up with these silly comments and never take the time to "screen" any of it before it reaches my mouth. A good laugh is food for the soul, but never ment to make light of serious issues, topics, situations, confessions...etc. Please do not think I would even consider making light in a situation with a potential client.

Sounds like we have some more investigating to do were Beginnings is concerned, we need to make sure all avenues have been considered before committing to one specific umbrella. I''m totally on board when mentioned that Linda R be made director, she seems to fit the bill perfectly. Linda VW you are deffinitly one to do more of the hands on stuff.

This is working ladies, we are doing it R2G is going to grow and grow and grow!


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Never too much to handle

Hey ladies

Something that has been going through my mind throughout the day that we should try to remind girls of (Christian or not). God has promised never to give us more then we can handle, he knows our limits better then we ever could. I know there is a verse in the Bible relating to this but I am not sure where. Many if not all of the girls we meet up with will be exteremly overwhelmed with all that is on their "plate", feeling like they can't be able to handle it all. We need to reassure them that God has it all under control...

Just my thoughts,

Mind In High Gear

Hey Ladies

I woke up last night at 1 and my mind started working overtime, all the different scenarios from yesterdays meeting were replaying. What an amazing teaching experience that was for us, thanks Linda for thinking of it and setting it up for us. It went so well and just reaffirms in my heart that we are on the right track... I finally had to stop and pray myself back to sleep, it took great effort to shut it all off. God helped though!!


Sunday, January 30, 2011


It is now after midnight...and once again, I cannot sleep.
I am thinking about Pastor Ron's sermon this morning about the Cadet theme. " A cord of three strands is not quickly broken'. This made me think about our mission.
The Bible says that "Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken"
The young women who seek our services may be overpowered by the overwhelming news of an unplanned pregnancy. We are there to defend defend her against Satan's power to terminate the pregnancy, to put herself in a vulnerable situation, to feel worthless, to feel unloved and lost, to let others convince her that she is too immature to be a good mother etc. etc. etc.
But, we know of a third strand........the power of Jesus and the fact that He will be there to guide and protect them both (the mother and the child).
We must follow this. We know that God will not let us be quickly broken. We MUST stay strong and united with God and each other. We are all meant to do this.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Hey, did you read the Clinton paper under Londesborough News? Nice advertising for us. Apparently, in the Blyth paper the Londesborough headline says "New pregnancy centre opening" and in the Goderich paper has a letter to the editor published. Lots of good free advertising.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Edited settings

Hello everyone, I have edited the settings, so you will receive an email when a new post is made on the blog. Please add to it as you is for all of us

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Kerry Vandergrift, the Executive Director from Beginnings, will be meeting Linda and I on Friday January 28 at Room2Grow. She wants to see our centre and talk about joining their agency. This would be wonderful! Beginnings is a recognized agency with ties to all denominations. I had someone ask me just the other day since we do not receive any government funding, we don't we go into "The dutch used store". While I honestly do appreciate that Clinton CRC is giving out tax receipts, it is not our goal to be known as another "Dutch school, dutch church, dutch used store"
This centre can only be successful if we join hands with all denominations. We are thankful that this is happening.
So, ya, pray for us on Friday that we make a good impression and Kerry realizes that we are a team of very dedicated Christian women.
We thank you all for all your efforts, hard work, networking and dedication. This centre is truly a blessing.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Londesborough UCW

Well, I spoke to 22 women last night. They were very receptive to our mission. They were also very surprised that there was such a need here (not in my backyard syndrome) I requested prayers, support and asked them to spread the word about Room2Grow. There a minister from the United Church in Seaforth there as well, she wanted a poster for her church too. So the word is being spread. Check Clinton paper under Londesborough news, Brenda Radford will be writing an article about it too.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Training today

Wow, what an amazing training session today! To have someone talk so openly and honestly about adoption was truly a miracle. And just when we were in training session part about We learned so much from her, to truly understand how she felt.
Thank you Laurie for making a list of questions to ask, I know that will truly be a wonderful teaching tool.
Thank you Michelle and Laurie for the lovely Thank you cards.
I have ordered a sign for the front entrance. They are coming tomorrow to measure and it likely be done by the end of the week. Exciting!
All the best tomorrow Linda V !
Linda R

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Privacy in the blog

This blog has been set up so the support team can make posts. But, the young women can certainly add comments to your posts. An email will be sent to me before the comments are posted, this will give more security and confidentality to the site. (Something like a password)
I value your comments on this, please feel free to let me know what you think.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Well, God has been awesome! Room2Grow's doors are open at 9 Rattenbury Street Clinton. The training has begun and the community support has been amazing. There has been no negative feedback at all.
The goal of this blog is for the peer workers to support each other with prayer requests. As well, this could be a more private website to let everyone know what the needs are of the women we are supporting.
I hope that you feel free to post your joys, frustrations and questions. No one is expecting you to do this mission alone
May God bless you all
Linda R