What the job description doesn’t tell you – Joyce’s Story

Feb 23, 2024 | Crossing Guards, School Zone Safety

The weeks before Christmas were a somber time for Ottawa Crossing Guard Joyce Halladay. Having just lost her two dogs nearly a week apart, she found herself eagerly returning to her intersection to escape the emptiness in her home. Losing the dogs was not only heartbreaking, but a financially trying time as well, so getting back to work was the best thing she could think of doing. 

“I’ve been at my intersection for two and a half years – I know the community, the parents, the kids… they knew I was suffering an emotional loss. Their kind words of support meant so much to me.” 

While speaking with one of the parents Joyce knew well, they suggested the idea of a GoFundMe to raise money for the vet bills that had overwhelmed Joyce’s family right before Christmas. “I didn’t know how to go about doing that, so he said, “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of it, Joyce.” 

The Thursday before Christmas, Joyce went to work at her intersection and was surprised by that very same parent with an extra-special Christmas card. “When I got home, I opened the card… the parents had rallied together with other community members to raise money for me to cover the vet bills. I was shaking, it was incredibly overwhelming.” 

Joyce tears up as she tells her story: The kindness and generosity of my community is amazing. I really feel like they appreciate me more than I even knew they did. During my time working at my intersection, the cards and little tokens of appreciation given to me have been so unexpected – and all because I show up every day to help their children cross the street.” 

“Being a Crossing Guard has been a blessing. It’s given so much to me. Not only a community of people who would help their friend, their neighbour… but it’s given me a purpose. It has kept me active, both mentally and physically. It’s truly changed my life.” 

Joyce felt a strong pull to share her story with the OSC, to not only acknowledge the amazing community she is part of, but to also let people know what being a crossing guard is really like. Job descriptions can only tell you so much… but being a Crossing Guard is more than holding a stop sign. It’s making a difference in your community every day. Every time you step into the street to help a kid cross, you are impacting not just that kid, but their family, their friends, their neighbours… the entire community. 


Think you could be an OSC Crossing Guard? Visit www.crossing-guard.ca and apply today! We can’t wait for you to join us.