by babies | Dec 10, 2015 | blog
Photos and credits for our volunteer photographers.
Founding Board Member and Treasurer
Sam Raza is a Project Management professional with a passion for community, travel, and family. Having her permanent address in Ottawa her entire life, Sam has also had the opportunity to have temporary assignments for work in England, France , Germany, United States, China, and in Northern Manitoba. She has been able to couple her love for cultures and languages through work and travel. Being of Pakistani heritage Sam instantly connected with Babies Who Volunteer, as growing up she was constantly around the elderly, families, babies and children on a daily basis. Sam has always gravitated towards seniors as she didn’t have the chance to grow up with grandparents herself. Getting involved with Babies Who Volunteer with
having her first child , has allowed her to connect back to her roots while having the opportunity to be involved in a community that has given so much to her and her family.
Founding Board Member and Chair
Michelle is an aviation security expert and seasoned people leader, working to keep the travelling public safe at the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA). As the Chair of the Board of Directors, Michelle woks closely with Jessica and contributes to the strategic development of the organization.
Michelle joined the Babies Who Volunteer Board after experiencing first-hand the positive impact the program has when volunteering with her three daughters, Mila, Alyssa and Sienna. Having visited her own grandmother in a long-term care facility, she understands how isolating and depressing it can be for residents to be separated from their families, and how much happiness ensues when young children visit.
Prior to joining CATSA in 2005, Michelle worked in the Office of Public Diplomacy at NATO Headquarters in Brussels and spent 10 years in the Royal Canadian Navy as a Reserve Intelligence Officer. In 2009, Michelle took a leave of absence from CATSA to work for the UN in Beirut, investigating the assassination of the former Lebanese Prime Minister, Rafik Hariri. She holds a Masters degree in International Relations from Dalhousie University and post-graduate certificates in Counter-Terrorism and Homeland Security.
As a full-time working mother of three, Michelle understands the challenges of finding time to give back to the community without missing out on important family time. Volunteering for Baby Days allows her to spend quality time with her husband and three daughters while instilling important life values.
” Once a baby comes into a home, they are embraced wholeheartedly by all those who have come to meet them. They are grafted into the fabric of that little community of seniors in such a way that they truly become part of the family. It is truly magical to see the babies and seniors come together at each visit”. Michelle Peralta
Founder/President and CEO
Jessica Turner is the Founder/President and CEO of Babies Who Volunteer Inc. She is responsible for the strategic vision, daily operations, and overall management of the organization. Jessica is a firm believer in the magical powers of babies and through her strong leadership, the magic is continuing to spread.Jessica has a passion for helping people and started volunteering at a long term care home beside her house when she was only eight years old. This experience at an early age had a profound impact on her and lead to a life-long commitment to volunteerism and to giving back to the community. Jessica has volunteered in a variety of settings with seniors, as well as children with special needs.
Jessica graduated with Honours from the Developmental Service Workers program at Algonquin College and since 2010, has been a Educational Assistant for the Catholic School board. Although she loves working with children in the classroom, she has a special soft spot for seniors and babies. When she isn’t at a long-term care home with her little one making the seniors smile, or working behind the scenes with her team, she is spending time with her three amazing kids, Aiden, Hope and Amelia. She also enjoys nature and animals.