We had the good fortune of connecting with Renae Regehr and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Renae, what is the most important factor behind your success?
This is a great question because behind every success in our charity, Care For Women there are a team of people who have helped make the success happen. We have a strong leadership board who know how to agree and disagree respectfully so all ideas and options are thought through together, and we have also created a network of advisors we can call on and lean into their expertise when we have questions – be that branding, to finances, to organizational structure. We are also very aligned in our vision of who are target audience is and why we want to serve them. Everyone on our team has a united passion and share a similar value system, we really believe in what we are doing and so we each strive for excellence and doing the best we can in the roles we have been assigned.
What should our readers know about your business?
Care For Women began as an idea in my heart many years ago. It began with ideas jotted down in a note-book a few weeks after my 2nd son was born. My mom had came over and was a huge source of support and strength, she fed my toddler daughter and took my oldest son to school. She cooked meals and helped clean. I was very supported and yet I felt so overwhelmed. I kept thinking, “how do single mothers do it?” Having a newborn and healing from delivery is hard. And doing it alone is every harder. No one is meant to do parenthood alone.
After Googling what supports were available for postpartum mothers in Canada I was shocked to find that there were none, aside from physical support or postpartum depression. Where was the practical help that a mother needed after she brought her baby home from the hospital?
I felt called to create an organization where women knew they and their newborn babies mattered and weren’t alone.
So after sharing these ideas with other women, it resonated with others who are the other co-founders Kenzi Dirks and Amanda Adamson. And over the next 1.5 year we brought Care For Women to fruition. We opened operations in 2020 just before the pandemic hit with Kenzi and myself being the first mentors to support a mom through the program. And now 2 years later, with a team of over 20 volunteer mentors and over 60 families supported, we are the first registered charity to offer our services, free of charge to mothers who feel alone or aren’t supported.
We offer 1:1 dedicated mentorship up to 4 weeks where mom and baby will be helped practically in the home by a volunteer mentor; perhaps mom wants to take a shower, or needs to nap. Her mentor may hold baby so the mom can do those things. Our mentors are a source of practical help, a listening ear and voice of encouragement during a vulnerable and difficult time. We also provide professional meals and cleaning so mom doesn’t have to think about cooking and cleaning for the first few weeks. And we provide transportation to and from newborn medical appointments. No should have to take the bus alone or be in the recovery room alone after giving birth.
I’m proud that we are the first charity to offer these services to mothers – free of charge. And on a personal note, as a mother to both biological and adopted children, though we are supporting biological children and mothers now, our goal is to expand and support foster, adoptive parents as well. We all need a village of support around us.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
One of the things I love the absolute most about the Fraser Valley in British Columbia is that you are only an hour away from ocean, city of Vancouver or mountains. My kids are all between the ages of 1-11 right now so I can’t imagine (nor do I want to) be away from them for a week-long trip! I’ve been pregnant or had a nursing baby for the past 5 years now and on top of that there has been a pandemic for the past 2 years do I seriously haven’t got out a lot.
But all that being said, some of the best things to do are local hikes like Elk or Cheam Mountain, biking along the Fraser River for miles and miles. If it was summer I would want to visit my parents blueberry farm and eat delicious big-juicy blueberries off the bush. And then in the evening maybe head into Vancouver to have dinner by the ocean, and then walk along Stanley Park taking in the beautiful views.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are so many people who have surrounded me as a source of support. My husband of almost 12 years, who has been my partner-in-crime through other ideas has been a such a support. He believed strongly in Care For Women when I felt God calling me to start brainstorming how to bring this concept of caring for new mothers and babies to fruition only 3 weeks after our 3rd child was born. He strongly believes in what we are doing and so he’ll watch our 4 kiddos when I need to attend meetings or events. He wants to see Care For Women succeed and plays a big role in how he can in making that happen.
My sister, Jenelle and parents are also a huge source of support. My sister has been a sounding board as I have bounced many ideas off of her over the last decade – some not so great ones, and she’ll tell me when ideas need to be dropped or revised and encourage me in the ones that have potential. My parents are supportive and cheer me on which is encouraging.
Other friends and family have also been very encouraging and interested in helping Care For Women succeed, in showing interest, investing their time and or resources to ensuring our success.
And a special shout-out would go to Kenzi Dirks, my co-founder and Director with Care For Women. We are both striving to follow the path we believe God has called on us in creating Care For Women and she is a fountain of wisdom, encouragement, honesty and wit.