How to do heart-led programming

Meet WCK Board Chair Leslie Grover and read about her heart-led approach to her work

Leslie with a four-year-old boy on her lap, both smiling at the camera

Do you know our incredible Board Chair, Leslie Grover? Her warmth, kindness, and love for WCK families is such an inspiring example for us, and her strategic smarts are invaluable to the organization. Learn more about who she is and what the work at WCK means to her.

What do you do at WCK?

  • Connect with families—hear their stories and learn what they need, check in with them, and sometimes just sit with them.
  • Bring connections to the team to help build out the programs.
  • Work alongside Shannon (Executive Director) to develop new relationships for program development, fundraising, and WCK awareness.
  • Create spaces where all Board Members can contribute to supporting the staff team.
  • Board development, succession planning, committee growth, fundraising, awareness raising…so many things, it’s hard to list them all!

The WCK food programs are about showing our love and support by showing up with meals, as well as making sure bellies are full and nourished. What is the most meaningful meal you have had?

There isn’t one particular meal—there’s always just been significance in bringing our family together to eat. The tradition around holiday meals has always given a purpose to gatherings. The people that gather to eat a meal are what makes it special. It’s never been so much about what the food was than that it was a reason to be together. Food has kept us at a table together for longer.

What would be your ideal Sunday?

I'd start the day with a cup of coffee and some quiet. The day would definitely involve being outside and getting into the woods. I’m not sure how the middle looks, but the end of the day would be a family dinner. There’s nothing that brings me more joy than to have my people under one roof.

Why do you serve as the Board Chair of WCK?

I’ve never felt as drawn to or connected to something as I do to the purpose of WCK. Helping a community to feel heard, and being part of providing solutions to support that, is life-altering.

What has been your favourite WCK moment?

There are so many. The ones that stay with me the most are when I get to connect with a family and they share their story. My favourite moments are when a family shares their most intimate feelings about the journey they’re on. It’s so powerful when they let us into their world and we can help to provide practical things that make their day a little easier. I love the language that we’ve found where we’re not requiring people to spend energy problem solving their own solutions: “Would it help if we send some food?” “We’re running Hangouts if your kid needs a break and to have fun.”

Why is the personal connection with families so important?

Because the programs are heart-led. Through conversation, connecting, and treasuring that intimate piece of understanding people’s experience, we know how to provide support that makes a real and meaningful difference. As we work to grow our impact to support more families with more things, we never, ever want to lose that. I’m always impressed at the generosity of families sharing—we couldn’t do what we do without them letting us into their experience. I also hope that the conversations provide a space for them to talk about things with no feeling of emotional burden.

How do you feel about your work at WCK?

WCK is every day for me. I don’t want a day to go by where I haven’t helped us move forward in our work. I love what I get to do and never take it for granted.

Kelsey Merritt

Get involved!

Ready to be part of the WCK community? Check out our volunteer listings and reach out to Volunteer Coordinator Kelsey Merritt at kelsey.merritt@wckfoundation.ca or call +1 (604) 394-2029 ext. 2.