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Community Builders: Mélanie Stafford keeps Overbrook Community Cares on track

By United Way East Ontario on September 10, 2020


In August, United Way East Ontario announced eight new Community Builder Award recipients being honoured for their unwavering support to their communities in these challenging times. Check out the full list of recipients here and read on to learn about recent recipient Mélanie Stafford.

Mélanie Stafford is a thought leader in our community, and she conceptualized the Overbrook Community Cares project to protect the most vulnerable in her community.

Working closely with Danika Brisson, this project brought neighbours together to help and support one another. Mélanie does the labour-intensive work of connecting with people to understand their perspective and lift them up.

Mélanie Stafford, Community Builder Award recipient. Photo: United Way East Ontario.

As the conceptual leader for Overbrook Community Care, Mélanie has produced the media material, arranged program logistics, and worked tirelessly to get the project off the ground. She can always be seen with her phone in hand, taking calls at all hours of the day, working closely with fellow neighbours to make Overbrook Community Care a success. Mélanie says that the Overbrook community already knew how to take care of each other even before the pandemic, but she had the pleasure of facilitating and organizing the ways her community could step up and lend a helping hand during these difficult times.

Mélanie has a community-first approach and always scopes out a project beforehand to ensure that no inadvertent harm is being done to the community. She has a clear understanding of ‘help versus hinder’ and continues to make her community a top priority. Since the start of the pandemic — thanks to her hard work and dedication — hundreds of people in her community have received weekly meal and grocery deliveries, phone calls from neighbours if they are sick or isolated, and assistance with financial aid applications.