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Meet the Donors: Jeff & Diana Kerbel | Brampton Brick

“If you can do it, you’ve got to do it.” That’s the mentality that sets Diana and Jeff Kerbel apart and has made them two of the Nanny Angel Network’s most dedicated supporters. “We have been fortunate, and want to make sure that others can feel the same,” Diana says. Diana and her husband, Jeff, President and CEO of Brampton Brick, have given the Nanny Angel Network a new understanding of the word philanthropy through their generous contributions to the organization. In 2015, Brampton Brick donated $100,000 to NAN – the largest amount the organization has ever received from one donor.

Brampton Brick’s support is critical to NAN’s expansion across the GTA. “Jeff and Diana Kerbel are truly Guardian Angels of our organization. Their investment in the Nanny Angel Network is changing the way moms and their children endure the stress of a cancer diagnosis,” says NAN Founder, Audrey Guth.

If you ask Diana and Jeff about why they chose NAN, they’re quick to answer. “My mother had cancer and I saw what it cost for her care. I can’t imagine how young families do it. There are people there for palliative care and other services, but no one else is out there looking after the families,” says Jeff. The Kerbels emphasized the importance of organizations like NAN in their community and stressed their ongoing commitment to support the growth and success of the Nanny Angel Network.

After volunteering on the Angels & Heroes Event Committee for the inaugural gala, Diana joined NAN again in 2017 as a Co-Chair. “I had been to so many charity events over the years and part of so many committees, I wasn’t looking to do any more, but Audrey kept pursuing me. She would not let me go,” says Diana, laughing as she recalls Audrey reaching out. “It’s been a rewarding experience.”

When asked what they would want to share with people who are just learning about NAN, Jeff answered. “NAN is a great organization. I would love to see people make space for NAN in their giving.” Their interest in sharing NAN with their community has been monumental for NAN’s growth and development. At the inaugural Angels & Heroes Celebration, Diana and Jeff Kerbel were recognized for their outstanding contributions to the organization.

Meet our Nanny Angel of the Year 2015: Leigh Scholl

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Angels like Leigh are what set the Nanny Angel Network apart. NAN provides so much more than just childcare, our Angels are passionate and highly educated caregivers who go above and beyond to support families, and create a safe space where kids can just be kids.

Leigh has worked and volunteered with children since she was ten years old. Babysitting jobs evolved into volunteer positions with a local church classroom which turned into working at the ER of her local children’s hospital. Along with a background in education, Leigh received a BA in psychology, and a BScN. She’s currently a nurse in the Child & Family Program at VHA Home Health Care.

Leigh first discovered the Nanny Angel Network in 2014. Her three passions are healthcare, children, and volunteering so NAN could not have been a more perfect fit. She applied immediately, and was accepted and placed with a family.

A typical visit with her family begins with NAN’s famous Green Bag, filled with toys and games from the closet at the Nanny Angel Network head office. Leigh visits with a three-year-old boy and a five-year-old girl, who loves crafts. Leigh likes to plan seasonal crafts to get the kids excited for holidays. Often times the kids will initiate medical play, where Leigh acts as the patient while the kids pretend to be doctors. Leigh explained “If they want to talk about cancer they know that I’m a safe person to talk to, but I never push them to talk about it.”

When asked about her role as a Nanny Angel, Leigh shared the responsibility she feels to ensure the children are made to feel safe, and have fun. “I support the kids on their terrifying roller coaster ride, offering answers when I can, and being a comforting presence the rest of the time.” While some days as a Nanny Angel can be difficult, it can also be incredibly rewarding, Leigh explains.

“I think the best experience would have to have been when my then 2-year-old looked up at me with big brown puppy-dog eyes and said to me, ‘I wuv you in my heart.’ That got me right in the feels!”

In an interview with the mother of the children Leigh visits, the mother shared the impact Leigh has had on her children. “Leigh, when she was younger, she would say “goodnight, sleepy angel” to her sisters growing up, and she does that with my kids, and so they say it to her. They don’t say it to us – they only say it to her! If she doesn’t say if first, then they’ll make a point of saying it and she has to say it back. So it’s really nice to see that they have their own thing together.” Having Leigh visit also provided the mother with some much needed time to rest. “When I was at work, it was nice to have one night where I could come home and not parent – and just sleep.”

NAN was excited to name Leigh our 2015 Nanny Angel of the Year for all of her hard work, passion, and dedication. She was presented with one of our Angel Wing Necklaces by NAN Board member Joyce Frustaglio on June 23rd. Thank you so much Leigh, for everything that you do for NAN and for mothers with cancer in your community.

The Nanny Angel Network could not be possible without people like Leigh volunteering their time out of their very busy schedules to provide the specialized care the children of mothers affected with cancer need. The Nanny Angels support the children’s development and provide a safe environment for discussion so that the children do not feel the need to suppress the numerous emotions they feel under the circumstances. Nanny Angels build relationships with their clients and genuinely care about their well-being. The kind of support they offer is extremely hard to find in the childcare market today, much less offered at no cost. This ensures that mother is not left without help when she is going through such a difficult time.

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Text: Mia Shulman      Photos: Omar Duragos, Nanny Angel Network