All posts by Crystal Carswell

A Volunteer Story

Lorraine’s Story


In June of 2007 my family and I put our house up for sale and decided to move back to St. Catharines.

We had previously moved to the East Coast for better job prospects for my husband. At the time, I lived in a terrible environment and had been blinded by verbal abuse for 20 years.  I had gone to a lawyer in New Brunswick and all she offered was more fear. She told me to go back home before I lost more. She was referring to the most valuable people in my life, my kids. I felt trapped and had no one to turn to for help. Thking-street-2014_21-225x300e area I lived in did not have a YWCA or anything like what is offered here in St. Catharines.

My journey to St. Catharines with my children was long and exhausting. My husband was travelling the next day alone. At 11:00 pm I had reached the outskirts of Toronto with a torrential rain storm in action. I had called my husband to inform him of the bad weather and that I would be arriving in St. Catharines within the next few hours.  This is when the bomb was dropped.  My husband had planned to not allow us access to our new house, and we were now homeless.

Thankfully ,I have a strong support system in St. Catharines and they were there with open arms when I arrived at 1 a.m.  Without the support of my family I would have been at your door.

I have worked hard throughout the past 6 years to build a safe and healthy life for my kids and myself.  Today I thank my ex-husband for releasing me from a life of hardship.  I currently have a full time job, I own my own house, a car and I am currently making my sons’ dreams come true with their career choices.  At the beginning of last year I had decided to do more volunteer work for my community.  I chose the YWCA to be there for those women and children who do not have family support.

How did I get to where I am today?

Every day I wake up and asked myself, “What small thing can I do today to make my life better?” Eventually, all the small things amounted to very big results. I would like to thank all of you for allowing me to be a part of the YWCA. Being a volunteer has only added to my amazing life!


Creative Corner-Father’s Day DIY Ideas

OK, Father’s Day is this Sunday, and it’s time to stop procrastinating!  All ri
ght, I may be projecting, but I can’t be the only one out there who tends to leave gift ideas to the last minute. I found this great site via Pinterest (of course), which offers some great DIY ideas, and links to printables. For the traditionalists, there’s even one for a tie! Go forth and craft!

36th Avenue

Friday Find- June 12

Welcome to the Future of Technology!

I have to admit that I am not one who
normally gets excited by new computer technology. This funky addition may have converted me though. Remember every futuristic movie you’ve ever seen where people controlled their computers with sweeping gestures, and finger flicks? Shades of an orchestral conductor, it was mesmerizing. Well, the Leap Motion Controller has made it a reality.

By simply plugging in the interface, the computer can read what your hands are doing, and apply it to your screen, making you your own conductor!

Anything that allows me to channel my inner Sci-Fi geek gets a thumbs up from this girl.

Leap Motion Controller