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The Beau Dodo project: what a gift

This fall, Saint Paul University hosted around 50 guidance counsellors from the region. To spoil their guests a little, our recruitment officers prepared a very special gift for them: aloe plants purchased to benefit Beau Dodo Gatineau. Launched by Josée Martel, a mother who wanted to work for social justice, this initiative distributes very special packages to families in need. Learn more about this charitable organization that we fell in love with.

A basic need

Making sure young children have a good sleep in wintertime was Josée Martel’s concern. So a few years ago she came up with an initiative to give young children items to help create a healthy bedtime routine that would benefit both the parent and the child. “The Beau Dodo package,” she says, “contains everything they need to create a sense of comfort, from a pair of warm pyjamas to personal care products, not to mention storybooks and, of course, a warm and fluffy blanket!”

On Wednesday, November 21, 53 children who are mostly ages six and under received a Beau Dodo package. “The families we serve,” notes Ms. Martel, “are selected by two not-for-profit organizations in the region: Espoir Rosalie  and the Centre d’animation familiale de l’Outaouais, which also support families with particular needs.” A dozen extra packages and around 30 reading kits were also distributed.


A baby aloe plant = a warm little child

To finance the packages, Ms. Martel counts on donations and… her green thumb! “I have a lot of ‘mommy’ aloes at home,” she tells us. “So I decided to pick the ‘babies’ and sell them via social media to raise funds.” The result: Saint Paul University purchased 50 aloe plants for the guidance counsellors, and the proceeds paid for 53 pairs of warm pyjamas. “The little plant in some ways represents the little child who is also called to grow, surrounded by loving care.”


Looking for students

Beau Dodo Gatineau is made possible through the dedication of many volunteers, donors and partners. But there is A LOT more to do, and Ms. Martel is looking for permanent helpers! Given its popularity, Beau Dodo will continue to meet urgent requests throughout the winter, and beyond. “My new baby aloes are already in their cradles and will be for sale in the spring,” she says. “Each plant will be given the name of a child recipient and will allow for the purchase of a pair of pyjamas.”

Would you like to benefit from a rewarding social communication experience and support children in need? Feel free to contact Josée Martel on social media or by email at

Note: This article was written in collaboration with Aude-Flora Malouangou Maroundou, a third-year student in the BA in social communication program and a student ambassador.

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