“Growing up, we all learned to give of ourselves – not only financially but to always give of our time,” says Wendy Albert, who runs the Leonard Albert Family Foundation along with several family members, including two of her sons. The Foundation was originally dedicated to children’s charities. However, in the early 2000s, when Wendy undertook an internship at the Cummings Centre volunteer department, she saw new possibilities for her father, as well as for others.
“My father, he is so sharp,” says Wendy, “he is wonderful. We keep him active – it is a responsibility and also a pleasure. He is a “glass half full” kind of person – the most positive person I know.”
Leonard, now 89, started coming to the Wellness Centre each morning, working on building up his strength and increasing mobility. “I met wonderful people,” says Leonard, “and it was very enlightening. I started to realize that the underprivileged people in our community were not only children, but also the aged.”
The family began to support different programs at the Centre through the Cummings Centre Foundation, including the Virtual Library, a resource that continues to benefit thousands. “It really thrills me to see what happens after we give a donation,” says Wendy, “I love it. When we donated to the Virtual Library we had no idea how many seniors would be able to take advantage of it due to Covid.”
Wendy’s love of music also inspired the Foundation’s gift to the Music Therapy program. After Cummings staff member Linda Strohl passed away from cancer in 2019, Wendy and family honoured her by purchasing new instruments and creating “Linda’s Music Corner” at the Centre’s Day Program. “You donate with your heart and then you stay connected,” says Wendy, “We can always make sure that our seniors are take care of.”
“You meet all kinds of people along the road, and you look out for a route sign that you are going the right way … The Cummings Centre has always been the route sign for me,” says Leonard.
“When my parents started the Foundation, it was an incredible gift – more for me than for the people we give to,” says Wendy, “Cummings is an amazing gem in our city.”
Leonard agrees: “With Covid, the constant in our lives has been the Cummings Centre. And I say this without reservation – you haven’t missed a beat!”
THE CJCS FOUNDATION raises funds to enrich and safeguard the quality of life for the growing senior population served by the Cummings Centre. Learn how you can help provide a safety net of programs and services for seniors in our community by contacting us at 514.734.1825 or [email protected].
The Cummings Centre’s mission is to empower and enhance the quality of life of adults age 50 and over by providing dynamic and innovative programs, social services, and volunteer opportunities in a vibrant, respectful, inclusive and compassionate environment. Building on its Jewish heritage, Cummings embraces people from all ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds.
As the hub of Montreal’s 50+ community, the Centre touches the lives of 10,000 people on an annual basis.
For more information, please contact us by phone at 514-343-3510, online at www.cummingscentre.org or in person at 5700 Westbury Avenue.