The Wild Nellies are grateful for The Denise House Development and Volunteer Manager, Melanie Guy collaborating with us for The Wild Nellies event at The Robert McLaughlin Gallery on April 8, 2018 . Born in Montreal, she’s lived in Oshawa for over 40 years. She began her involvement with The Denise House with a co-op placement in 1988, in the Children’s Program. Following this she volunteered and was hired as the Secretary in 1989. She worked in that role for 5 years, at which point she had her first of two daughters and chose to stay home to raise them. During that time she did some volunteer work again with The Denise House, and took online courses in Volunteer Program Management. In 2003 she returned to employment at The Denise House and became the Development and Volunteer Manager.
Prior to returning to The Denise House to work in 2003, she did some supply work with the Durham Catholic School Board working in offices as various schools throughout Durham, and also worked for a short while at Frontenac Youth Services.
Melanie recruits, trains, and supervises all of the Volunteers who provide friendship and support to women and children residing at the shelter, looks after our donation centre, and assists with a multitude of other tasks from cleaning and cooking to events in the community. She also does a lot of work with regards to donations, fundraising, community events, and assists with the overall management of The Denise House, and looks after the website and social media as well.
Her daughters are 24 and 20, and she has two dogs, Shi Tzu’s, Sephira and Micah. Although she doesn’t find the time often enough, Melanie loves horseback riding. She enjoys reading, puzzles, playing euchre, scrabble, movies and live comedy–returning often to visit relatives in Montreal and attend the Just for Laughs Festival.
The highlight of her days at the shelter is when a child wanders into her office, and she stops her work and spends time chatting with him or her. No two days are ever the same and while the work can be challenging and difficult at times, it can also be very heartwarming and encouraging!
You can support The Denise House by donating at Canada Helps.