Recently, a long-time client of our Day Program passed away. She had lived in a very dysfunctional environment, but every time she came through our doors she always bore a ready smile. We were ‘that place that cared’; that saw her as a person, not a problem. Over the years, we have often been ‘the people who made a difference’ in the lives of both seniors and of their families.
Our organization grew our of a simple idea, originated by a group of caring community members who wanted to help their neighbours. This idea took root. So much so, that this year we provided 98,234 connections through our 25 programs: a 13% increase from last year. We have been growing consistently for years, thus illustrating the need in our community for a strong safety net to be in place to support our older community members and their families.
Time and time again, our organization has stepped up to address emerging problems. One example is our Peers Reaching Out Program, in its first year through our partnerships with University of Victoria’s Self-Management program and Fraser Health’s Cares program has had 63 referrals. As of June 2018 this number was up to 90. This program works with seniors who need someone to walk beside them toward a healthier life style and more independence. Their 20 trained volunteers describe their role as the most rewarding volunteer opportunity. This is operating thanks for a grant from the Peace Arch Hospital Foundation.
The last item to which I want to draw your attention, are the people who continue to build this organization and keep on growing it. Our volunteers, functioning in 317 roles, contributed 19,635 hours of time. No amount of words could express our gratitude and appreciation to this wonderful souls.
We all know that it is the people who make or break an organization. The people on our staff care about the people we serve. This is often demonstrated by their on-going advocacy initiatives, and with their follow up with clients, especially those in hospital or recovery, letting them know that someone misses them. On our exit surveys with caregivers and clients, we hear all about our excellent team and how much our programs and people have made a difference in their lives and that of their loved ones. The caring people on our staff are supported by our Board of Directors, a Board that donates their time and expertise to guide the organization and to help open doors for it. Our Board is comprised of amazing, community minded, souls who enrich our organization and keep me on the straight and narrow.
Thank you to everyone for their contributions in making Seniors Come Share Society such a success.