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Toronto, Canada

312 Adelaide Street West, Suite 301
Toronto, Ontario - M5V 1R2
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Rad Dads, Bomb Moms, and Everything in Between: You’ve Gotta Read These Thank You Letters

Written by Connor Briggs-Morris

To celebrate parents that come in all shapes and sizes, we’re featuring some of our favourite letters from Thank You Mom & Dad.

We know that no family is the same and we love reading all of your different stories out there. Got two parents who support your dreams? Wicked. Proud of your single parent who kicks butt? Awesome. Raised in a cave by a wolf? That’s cool too, write your wolf-mom a letter (seriously, we’d love to read that).

To celebrate Parents’ Day (it’s a real holiday, look it up), we’re highlighting some of our favourite letters about all different sorts of parents, families, and important adults.

She raised him while studying at university, now he’s finding his own calling.

Cole’s mom went through university while raising him. University is hard enough as it is, throw taking care of a baby in the mix and we start bowing down. Along the way, she met his stepdad who embraced him like his own. We love reading stories about families like this who ‘choose’ each other, especially when one of those family members ends up building a sweet basement music studio (for real, read the whole letter).

“When I was a baby, my Mom was on her own. She was going to University, and raising me at the same time. She was always beside me, making sure I had everything that I needed. When I was a toddler, my mom met my Dad, and he took me on as his very own, and was always in front of me, showing me how to grow into the man I am today.” – Cole Pawlak

They moved from the Philippines to give her a better life in Canada.

We hear this a lot in Canada, stories of parents immigrating here for the chance at a better life for their kids. In this case, it’s clear that moving from the Philippines was not easy for Sofia’s parents but they did it anyways. It sounds like her parents have gone through almost every hardship in the book but we bet they’d say it has all been worth it when they read how much it has meant to her.

“In the year of 2000, you made a decision to move our family into Canada. Leaving your home where you grew up in, into a whole new country where everything was a mystery and taking the risk not knowing what the future holds. You wanted a better life and future then what we had. You wanted us to not go through what you both went through.” – Sofia Silva

They got him to every sports practice…and his other four siblings too.

Any student with extracurricular interests knows the extra mile parents go to get them there. What makes Devin’s letter so relatable is how any student, whether they’re participating in dance, sports, theatre, or any other activity knows what it takes from parents in time, money, and emotional support. This letter is for everyone with parents who have sacrificed something to allow them to enjoy being a kid.

“Now if you’re familiar with being an athlete or supporting one, you know how time consuming and emotional it can be, not to mention costly. I come from a very busy family. I have four other siblings; a younger brother, younger sister, and two older sisters. Never once have I missed a practice or game, unless for medical/health related reasons. Somehow, someway, my parents always found a way to make it work.” – Devin Hewitt

She, you know, gave birth. That’s pretty important.

Here’s one everyone can be thankful for: being born. Points to Lauren for writing a super unique letter about being grateful for day one. We admire all the parents who go through hardships to support their children, but there’s still plenty of room for everyday parent heroes who do all the little things right.

“Mom, thank you for me. You carried me for nine months in hot summer weather at the expense of your back and your bladder, you suffered long and sleepless nights, insane hormone fluctuations, and all of the countless pains of pregnancy for me. At that point, you had every right to despise me for messing up your body and being the selfish unborn creature that I was, yet you still read to me, talked to me, and sang to me.” – Lauren Smith

They spent five years apart to better provide for him and his brothers.

One common theme we find across so many letters is how much parents sacrifice to give their children a better life. In this case, Oluwatobi’s parents had to literally spend five years apart from each other in order to be able to further their children’s education. That is true dedication to their children’s futures and we’re so happy to see it recognized and celebrated.

“I want to thank my mom and dad because they have sacrificed so much for me to be able to attend one of the world’s top universities: the University of Toronto. Your sacrifice of spending 5 years physically apart, to ensure that my younger brothers and I get the best education and future possible is truly remarkable.” – Oluwatobi Edun

They took her in and raised her like their own when her parents couldn’t.

Let’s give it up for the foster parents out there. In Lacey’s case, these are two adults who stepped up for a child in need when her biological parents couldn’t. This kind of love and dedication is what it’s all about. They’ve been there every step of the way since entering her life, recently walking her down the aisle at her wedding. Family is what you make it and Lacey and her parents have made it something truly remarkable.

“I want to thank my foster mom and dad because they accepted me into their home with loving arms when I had no place else to go. They stepped in and took care of me when my biological parents weren’t there to do so. They loved me and cared for me and treated me as if I were their own. For 15 years, they were there for me every step of the way, from graduating elementary school and high school to walking me down the aisle at my wedding last year.” – Lacey Barnes

Want to say thanks?

Now it’s up to you. After seeing all of this love, do you feel like spreading some of your own and recognizing something great a parent or adult in your life has done? Just write from the heart and there could be $20,000 in it for you.

*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.