Discovering Rachel Lapierre - Quebec's Mother Theresa
Rachel Lapierre is a nurse by profession with a very special background. At the age of 40, she began her training to become a nurse after getting the urge for humanitarian aid when she returned from her many trips to foreign countries. She now wishes to continue the work of Mother Theresa, whom she greatly admires.
Le Book Humanitaire
This is why she created Le Book Humanitaire in 2011, in order to help the population of Quebec as well. It is in 2013, during her weekly grocery shopping in Saint-Sauveur that the unexpected happened. Rachel is rewarded by life and is now able to honor her promise and take care of others; she wins the lottery, which allows her to have a weekly salary whilst dedicating her life to her organization, which she is slowly propelling to the top of the organizations in the Laurentides.
Rachel's motto is: "We change the world one gesture at a time" and that "every gesture counts". That's why she feels it is important to compile all the good deeds in a book and add them up at the end of each year. In 2021, the Book Humanitaire and its large family of volunteers accomplished 458,000 good deeds. That is without compiling the ones Rachel makes it her mission to do every day. According to her, a good deed can be holding the door for someone or greeting your neighbor with a smile. In brief: anyone can do hundreds of thousands of good deeds a year! There are no limits, no restrictions; only a desire to make a difference, to want to positively impact the lives of people around us.
There is no stopping her!
To continue her mission, Rachel recently launched her new baby, the Book Humanitaire MEDICAL RV in the year 2022. This RV allows for the practice of basic care for vulnerable people who may not visit the hospital, mainly refugees awaiting status, First Nations people, domestic violence centers, people suffering from mental health problems or the homeless. It is completely functional through the kindness of the volunteers.
There are currently seven volunteer physicians, a nurse clinician, a psychologist, three nurses and several others who help with the smooth running of the medical unit. This RV travels from Montreal to Mont-Laurier and currently offers one scheduled day per month, per key location. Patients are sometimes transferred to an inpatient facility, the unit remains available for emergencies and basic care only.
A Day in the Life of Rachel
We asked Rachel what kind of stories come up for her on a day in the RV. She shared, "There are many, but I'm thinking specifically of a 3-year-old brought in by his parents, he was very sick and undocumented, so he couldn't go to the emergency room. We treated the emergency and the volunteer pediatrician present agreed to see him in her office the following week. Now he is doing much better."
This project allows her to bring direct support to vulnerable populations, but also to reconnect with her pleasure of healing and she does it in her favourite scrubs: (we are not biased!) the ones from Garde-Malde in the colors of the Book Humanitaire.
Knowing that our uniforms travel, move, save and change lives with you is the greatest achievement for us. Thank you for making Garde-Malade such a beloved and lovable company.