Christine Gordon Manley
Helping Parents Support their Families with PEI MFRC
Prince Edward Island Military Family Resource Centre (PEI MFRC) has a long standing history of providing military and Veteran families with support in their times of need. For Christine Gordon Manley’s family, that support has proved vital. A self-employed editor who works from home, Christine has been married to Major Allan Manley for 16 years, and has been by his side as he served for 17 years. Together, they have two children, and understand the sacrifices that come with being a military family.
But it’s not all negative – Christine recounts the benefits that come with being a military family, one of which includes having a stable income during the pandemic with so many struggling across Canada. Her children, Kait (grade 8) and Danielle (grade 3), agree that the military has provided them with opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have had, adding that they’ve made many great friends along the way with children from other military families.
“PEI MFRC is the connector for military families. It provides opportunities for families to come together and to feel less isolated.”
This summer, Kait and Danielle were able to attend a local farm camp, due to funding provided by True Patriot Love and through the Summer Camp program facilitated by PEI MFRC. The two participated in numerous fun outdoor and indoor activities, including interacting with horses and other animals. Kait also had the opportunity to gain some leadership skills in leading tours around camp and in being invited to work at the camp next summer. The farm environment allowed the children to play safely outdoors, which is an important concern for parents these days, and allowed Kait and Danielle a chance to forget about the stresses of the world and just be kids.
Much like other programs True Patriot Love funds, PEI MFRC allows parents to provide their children with interactive activities that have a positive impact on their learning and development. In Christine’s words, camps like this provide “peace of mind” for parents as they take away the stress of having to plan similar activities on their own. In other words, they provide support. For the children, it’s difficult when their father is away, and for Christine, it means having to depend on herself a lot more.
“I learned I could handle many things on my own,” said Christine. She went on to speak about the isolation military families like her own sometimes feel when they are unable to relate to other civilian families. “There’s a lot of sacrifice involved,” she continued, citing the various absences, missed birthdays and anniversaries, and the frustration that can arise with having to put her husband’s job first, always.
“I just want to say thank you,” Christine remarks when asked what she would say to donors. “Just thank you.”
To provide more families like Christine’s with support, donate here.