Serving his community up-close and personal
By Aaron Krause / March 1, 2017
Steven Daigle energetically walks into a big conference room within the Bank of America's downtown Ft. Lauderdale financial center. Almost immediately, his dark-brown bearded face bears a big, charming smile and he's joking around. The 37-year-old's demeanor instantly betrays a friendly personality belonging to an overall nice, giving guy.
One might think that's why the Parkland resident is so involved in his community and in his work. Daigle offers a different answer to the question of why he's involved in charitable work: He's a Christian and realizes there's a difference between pitying people and showing compassion. Daigle prefers to display the latter, which he said involves actively empathizing with someone - not just being kind and understanding from a distance without getting involved in helping people.
Daigle serves as senior vice president, operations market manager for Bank of America's south Broward County region. As part of his responsibilities, he oversees 25 financial centers throughout south Broward.
Still, the married man with foster and biological children finds time to serve on The Pantry of Broward's board, involve himself with the March of Dimes, coordinate employee community service events with Feeding South Florida, and help for the homeless organization LifeNet4Families as well as volunteer at his church.
Daigle said he derives strength to do all he does from God. The Lord's help, a pack of protein bars for the week, and high-intensity training keeps his stamina up for often long days.
The work of March of Dimes' is personal for Daigle and his wife, Kim. In July, the couple of more than five years had twins, who were born 34 weeks premature. March of Dimes is a U.S. non-profit organization with a mission of improving the health of mothers and babies.
The Daigles had been trying to have children for four years, but "it just wasn't happening," he said.
The idea of foster care sprang into his wife's mind. Daigle said at first he was hesitant, but eventually felt Kim had a "calling" to foster children and he agreed.
The couple took fostering classes for three months, beginning in January 2015 and were licensed by May of that year. Seeing a foster parent and the relationship that person had with the foster child - as though it were a biological child - helped solidify Daigle's decision, he said.
"You would never know it was a foster child," he adds.
The same day the Daigles became licensed, his wife received a call that a child was waiting to temporarily live in a home. "There's so much need out there," Daigle said.
While he concedes he was somewhat shocked, Daigle said the process played out smoothly. When he first lifted the then 6-month-old, the child started crying. Once the couple brought the girl home, she became a "most calm and happy baby," Daigle said. The Daigles had her for four months, treating the child as though she were their own.
"It was upsetting for sure to give her up," Daigle said, "It was one of the hardest things I had to do in my life." The girl, who referred to Daigle as "Da Da," was reunited with her parents, but the Daigles continue to be in touch with them.
The couple fostered two more boys and should be able to adopt them by May. With their biological twins, the Daigles have four children - that's one child for each of the four years they tried to conceive.
With family members willing to babysit, Daigle said he was able to keep up with his busy schedule. Under Bank of America's parental leave policy, his wife returned to work in February while he settled down just to be a dad for a while.
Daigle said he chose to live in Parkland due to its quality schools, great parks, and its family-friendly community.
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