Donor Profile: Heather McDowell

Updated: Jun 18

My journey started out very humble. I came from an unstable and at times, violent household; somewhere along the way that became my accepted norm- the best that I was worth. My relationship with partners was a different shade of the same hue that was modelled for me, and I turn was modelling that for my daughter. Something had to change.

We certainly faced food and shelter security concerns, which weighed heavily on me and from which I tried to sheild my daughter. Things got dire and I had no other choice than to ask for help and I got it from some folks that I call ‘gamechangers’. I made the most of those opportunities. After some time, I went back to school and got my real estate licence. I also met a fantastic man who I’m delighted to call my husband. My life, for the first time in my life, felt like it was actually mine.

Apart from paying it back, the reason that I support Optimism Place formally through membership of the Board of Directors and donating a portion of each 2021 commission is that while ours is a story of resiliency, it’s not a fairy tale. It’s places like OP that allowed us to write a better next chapter, to have enough breathing room to break the cycle of violence.

To anyone looking to fill their soul bucket, do all of things...each and every one of them to support the gamechangers at OP and like organizations. When we give them the tools, I can tell you from first-hand experience that they can and do change lives.

For any woman who feels like if one more brick is added to your load you’ll just collapse, now is the time to reach out for support. If you can just find one moment of courage to make a phone call, the game changers can give you a lifetime of hope.


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