For many families, the start of school is a difficult and expensive time of year.

But for the past thirty years, struggling families in Laval have been able to rely on one woman to help make ends meet.

Elizabeth "Betty" McLeod has spent decades donating her time to her Notre-Dame Street-based "Agape" charity.

"We take care of food, clothing, furniture for needy families who arrive here," said McLeod.

She puts in 60 hours a week, and doesn't make a cent, but for McLeod, nothing she does is about the money.

Despite being rewarded with medals from the Queen and the National Assembly, McLeod says her true reward is the look on a child's face when she gives him a bag of new school supplies.

"They go through the bags as if it was a Christmas present and they go oh, I got a new eraser," said McLeod.

McLeod has been giving of herself for so long that very often, people she has given a hand up to in the past are able to return, and offer their own help to the charity.

"My greatest joy is to see a family come in and say listen, I've done well this year, I'm bringing in a bag of school supplies."

Kate Scott now volunteers at Agape, but she originally came under McLeod's wing when she was in distress.

"I was out of money, and didn't know where I was going. She got the gears rolling for me there."

On top of it all, McLeod also helps run a daycare, all work she's happy to do.

AGAPE is located at 3952 Blvd Notre-Dame, Laval, QC.

phone: 450-686-4334