An enduring legacy

Justin Dickie
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Michelle Margarit bidding farewell to Maggies Place

Michelle Margarit is leaving Maggies Place after 12 years, but not without leaving a legacy behind.

Shes like the momma of the house. Shes the one that I always go to when I get stumped and I dont know what advice to give or take, said Sarah MacIntosh, childcare information and support coordinator at Maggies Place.

An enduring legacy

Michelle Margarit is leaving Maggies Place after 12 years, but not without leaving a legacy behind.

Shes like the momma of the house. Shes the one that I always go to when I get stumped and I dont know what advice to give or take, said Sarah MacIntosh, childcare information and support coordinator at Maggies Place. Shes very open minded. Shes got a lot of years of experience and a lot of life experience behind her.

Margarit started at Maggies Place in January 1995 as a volunteer before getting hired full-time that April to start organizing the toy landing library. Shes now the program planner.

Her most notable achievement was getting the preschool outreach program underway in 2000 after the Community Health Board and The United Way provided funding. The program has two Maggies Place workers travel to eight communities once a week to provide support for families and children. One hundred and thirty families including 270 children participate in the programs each week in Advocate, Parrsboro, River Hebert, Oxford, Springhill, Northport, Pugwash, and Wallace.

Born in Algeria, Margarit immigrated to France in 1962 to get away from the insecure, terrorized Algerian environment. She earned a bachelor of education, majoring in early childhood studies in France before moving to Alberta for work in 1968.

She said in her 12 years working in Amherst, shes gained advocacy and facilitation skills, been able to help many parents and children, and developed her English speaking and writing skills.

Shes very proud to see how Maggies Place has evolved over the years.

I dont think I made this a success, I think the community made this a success. I was just a tool to put it together, she said. It nice to see how families are growing and I hope they become stronger.

Shes moving back to Alberta soon where she will continue to work in community development. She said shes had lots of job offers, but hasnt decided yet. Shes done at Maggies Place on June 29.

She wants to move back to Nova Scotia someday and get into municipal politics here to give the government a voice on what families here need.



jdickie@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Community Health Board, United Way

Geographic location: Maggies Place, France, Alberta River Hebert Oxford Pugwash Algeria Amherst Nova Scotia

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