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GoFundMe to support Tom Sidney

By Celina Ip

Tom Sidney is an active community member, a kind soul and a beloved friend to many in Pembroke.


The Renfrew resident is known for his work with Operation Go Home, as a counsellor at local schools such as Bishop Smith Catholic High School, and for his work with the Robbie Dean Family Counselling Centre.

“Tom has been with the Robbie Dean Centre since its inception. He is responsible for developing and implementing the walk-in clinic model that we use. Tom is our Clinical supervisor and brings with him years of experience helping families,” said Monique Yashinskie, executive director with the Robbie Dean Centre. “However Tom's biggest accomplishment is not his credential and titles, it is his ability to connect with people. He is able to reach people who have a hard time opening up and combine this gift with his heart that is the size of this County and that is what makes the Robbie Dean Centre such a special place.”

Unfortunately, on Sept. 1, Sidney was involved in an accident which caused traumatic injury to his spinal cord. After being rushed to the Ottawa Hospital, he underwent emergency surgery.

Sidney now has limited movement of all extremities and will need extensive rehabilitation in order to correct his immobility.

On Sept. 6, Emily Drew – a good friend of Tom Sidney and his wife Shelly – launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise $7,000 to help pay for the extensive travel and medical costs associated with Sidney’s rehabilitation.

“Many of you have asked what you can do to help, well I think this is a great start. Tom and Shelly need our help to survive during this difficult time. Right now, their main priority is Tom's recovery, so they are both obviously unable to work right now and probably for a while. If we can help them financially for now, I think that would make a world of difference in their lives,” wrote Drew on the GoFundMe Page.

Within six days, 64 people donated to the GoFundMe page and raised $4,130.

“We are totally overwhelmed and forever grateful for the wonderful amazing support our family, friends, and community have shown us. You are all angels and we want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for helping us get through this difficult time,” wrote Shelly Sidney, Tom’s wife, on the GoFundMe page.

With the hope of reaching the $7,000 goal within the next few weeks, the campaign will continue on and all are encouraged to spread the word over social media.

“Tom works tirelessly to change the lives of those who are suffering and the Centre is truly blessed to have him as part of our team. The mental health support community has rallied up to help the Centre continue business as usual until Tom can return and until then, we are praying for his recovery and look forward to having him back,” said Yashinskie.

For more information and to donate to the GoFundMe campaign, visit 

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