Kathy Joslin

In Her Shoes YW Program volunteer tells us why she loves to give back

Kathy Joslin is a tenant at our supportive housing facility on Lincoln Rd.  She regularly drops by the office with bags of donations for In Her Shoes, YW’s employment and entrepreneurship training program.  Her donations include new or gently used clothing, accessories, bags and jewelry.

“Giving back to the community makes me feel good,” says Kathy. “It makes me feel that I am doing something right.”

Kathy came to Lincoln Road 25 years ago.  “It is my happy place!” she says.  She decorated her apartment beautifully in a teal, coral and smoked salmon colour scheme. “I enjoy participating in BBQ’s, card night, bingo, Christmas dinners and the bus trips are always fun.”

Kathy’s difficult past had once left her feeling as if she couldn’t do anything right or like she wasn’t good enough. Now, after raising 3 children through difficult life circumstances, who have given her 8 grandchildren and 10 great grand babies, Kathy now feels empowered to help others.

She is no stranger to hard work.  She has held up to 4 jobs at a time.  As a child care worker, Kathy cared for 7 children during the day before working nights at Hi-Way Market, a local department store.  She earned just 90 cents an hour. Far below the hourly wage of $16.35 that the Ontario Living Wage Network calculates a person needs to make to support themselves in the Waterloo region.

During a different grueling employment period, Kathy worked 12 hour days, 5 days a week at the Sun Magic tanning salon and spent her weekends working at Sears. When she got home at 10:30 pm she also did the laundry for Sun Magic. Up to 200 towels a night.

At one time Kathy picked marigolds in Wingham, Ontario on a 20-acre farm.  The marigolds were used to extract lutein, a type of vitamin, for degenerative eye diseases.

Later Kathy started her own business and had a boutique at Lulu’s Roadhouse. She also took a makeup course in Toronto at the Jean McDonald Studio.

Kathy has since spent her time helping women at the YW Kitchener-Waterloo with accessorizing, decorating, colour coordination and makeup.

She enjoys having Jenny, the Support Service Coordinator, on site to support her at times.

“I enjoy giving to In Her Shoes because I am lucky to have nice things that I can pass along to others,” she says.  “I feel very blessed that I can enjoy my home and family in good health.”

“The day you find out who you are is when you look back and realize that it was never the words, rather your actions that defined you.” ― Shannon L. Alder


Thank you for your generosity Kathy!


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