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The beauty of a rising son

Like any loving father, Zsolt Luka works tirelessly to succeed in the biggest role of his life: raising his two-and-a-half-year-old son, Tivadar. But, if lone parenting isn’t difficult enough, Zsolt realized that Tivadar was struggling with severe language delays, affecting his learning and his life. Zsolt had nowhere to turn. “I was lost,” he says.

Unfortunately, for too many reasons, thousands of kids in our city fall through the cracks in terms of development, leaving parents to their own devices (and deductions) to set the path straight. That is, if they don’t discover community agencies like College-Montrose Children’s Place, a United Way–funded agency that has been serving families in west Toronto for more than 30 years.

It was here that Zsolt found the assistance he desperately sought. “College-Montrose Children’s Place became my compass,” he says. “They helped me find a speech pathologist and other help Tivadar needed. They helped me refocus myself as a dad.”

This is just one of the ways that United Way, thanks to your generosity, helps children like Tivadar get a better start in life. At the same time, Zsolt and other parents are gaining techniques and tools to better encourage their children’s success, from doing well in school to growing into independent adults.

To this end, College-Montrose Children’s Place (among our 200-plus agencies throughout the city) remains a vital hub for neighbourhood families—for gathering, learning, and connecting with other residents.

How vital? Zsolt sums it up accordingly: “My son is a lively, vibrant, happy child. He’s made dramatic progress. In the past year and a half, he’s basically caught up three years—as if he’s turbo charged!”

And, speaking of turbo charged, Dad’s a little better off and a whole lot happier, too.