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Strengthening Community

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Features: Mayor’s Message Page 3

Film Festival Page 4

Finding Family Page 6

Ignite Conference Page 7

Community Gardens Page 8

Stay Connected Page 10

Common Goods Page 11

Summer Camp Page 14

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we together - March 2016

ONE COMMUNITY - ONE VISION

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AiMHi

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Mayor’s Message On behalf of Council and the citizens of Prince George, I would like to congratulate AimHi on their inaugural edition of “we” magazine.

organizations. AimHi contributes to strengthening our community by providing advocacy, supports, and services to people who have special needs and their families. One of AimHi’s goals in publishing “we” is to celebrate the people and organizations within our community who work to bring about positive change. “we” highlights the efforts of many community organizations, and what they are doing to improve the quality of life for Prince George citizens, and in turn, hopes to inspire others to participate in our community.

The City of Prince George is committed to fostering a community environment that aims to improve the health and well-being of all Prince George residents, and shares the vision of building a stronger community with many other community

I encourage everyone who reads and is inspired by the stories in this publication, to participate in whatever way they can to bring about positive changes that allow Prince George to continue to grow and thrive. Mayor Lyn Hall

Proud Community Sponsor

we March 2016 - we together

PEOPLE HELPING PEOPLE

Our wonderful city of Prince George is the result of many people working together for more than a century to help each other survive and succeed. Citizens created this city and they will continue to cause it to grow and thrive. Our new, quarterly magazine, ‘we’ is a celebration of people and organizations that seek to bring about positive, sustainable change that makes Prince George even better for all of our citizens. Our purpose it to share information about who is doing what in the belief that there are many in our city who have an unrealized desire to get involved and make their contribution to our evolving city. We believe that as our publication relates stories of what is being contemplated or, is already happening, people with a passion for making a difference will recognize opportunities to align their efforts with those of others and become part of a collaborative adventure in community building.

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The publication ‘we’ is an initiative of AiMHi – Prince Association for Community Living. AiMHi seeks to have an impact on our community by recognizing and nurturing the unique value in each of us. It is our sincere belief that every person in our city can make their unique contribution to our development. While AiMHi is creating and managing this publication, as we move forward, future issues will not be solely about AiMHi. ‘we’ will include information about what many people and organizations in our city are doing to improve the quality of life for every citizen of our city. We hope that you will want to be part of we magazine. We encourage you to be one of the people helping people.

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we together - March 2016

AiMHi

ONE COMMUNITY - ONE VISION

AiMHi presents its own film festival Following in the footsteps of an already very successful film festival, AiMHi will presenting its own film festival in Prince George April 3. The local festival mirrors the Sprout Film Festival, hosted by Inclusion B.C. and the B.C. Self Advocacy Foundation, last year in New Westminster. The AiMHI festival will, in fact, be larger than the Sprout in that it will be presenting more films. Held at the Cineplex in Prince George, the AiMHi festival will give movie-goers a choice of our movies to watch: Blindside (starts at 9:30 a.m.) Sandra Bullock won a best actress Oscar in the film, which is the story of Michael Oher, a homeless and traumatized boy who became an All American football player and first round NFL draft pick with the help of a caring woman (played by Bullock) and her family. We Bought a Zoo (starts at 9:40 a.m.) Starring Matt Damon and Scarlett Johannsen, it’s the story of a father who moves his young family to the

countryside to renovate and re-open a struggling zoo. Rudy (starts at 9:50 a.m.) Rudy has always been told that he was too small to play college football. But he is determined to overcome the odds and fulfill his dream of playing for Notre Dame. The inspirational movie stars Sean Astin as Rudy. St.Vincent (starts at 10 a.m.) A young boy whose parents have just divorced finds an unlikely friend and mentor in the misanthropic, bawdy, hedonistic war veteran who lives next door, played by Bill Murray. Melissa McCarthy plays the mother in this award-winning movie. Before each feature-length movie, a couple of short films will also be shown. These are the films from the Sprout Festival and are entertaining and

memorable films featuring people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. (See listing of short films this page.) Admission to the AiMHi Film Festival is $5. Tickets are available at Studio 2880 or you can get them at the door at Cineplex on Sunday, April 3. Proceeds from the AiMHi Film Festival will support expansion of the Children’s Summer Camp program. So mark Sunday, April 3 on your calendar and take in one of the great films being offered during the AiMHi Film Festival here in Prince George. You’ll support a great cause, and you’ll see some great films. For more on the Film Festival, turn to page 16.

For more on the Film Festival, turn to page 16.


AiMHi

ONE COMMUNITY - ONE VISION

FamilyWORKS familyWORKs is a place for parents and other family members to get together to have an ongoing conversation about employment issues for people with disabilities. We meet to hear presentations, guest speakers, and learn from each other. All of the facilitators are parents of children with disabilities, and we believe that anyone, no matter the level or type of disability, can be employed. The Family Support Institute of BC (FSI), with the support of sponsors such as CLBC and AiMHi in Prince George, is facilitating familyWORKs chapters throughout British Columbia that bring families together to have open conversations around the different approaches in finding meaningful, paid employment for people with differing abilities. The Prince George chapter held its inaugural meeting in February, with plans to meet monthly on the second Tuesday of the month at 7:00 PM at the AiMHi office on Kerry Street. FSI believes that all people have gifts and strengths to contribute to society and that families have the power and responsibility to lead the way toward economic inclusion. The familyWORKs initiative, originally started by the Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion, was gifted to FSI in 2012 in order to bring the conversation back to families. Now the initiative is up to 8 family-led chapters across the province. We are striving to help create communities that use the knowledge and social capital of families to advance the inclusion of people with disabilities by inviting

families to lead the conversation. Often families are skeptical of employment services and have questions around every stage of gaining employment from even seeing it as a possibility to retaining a position. familyWORKs aims to address these questions and concerns by bringing families together to help families see possibilities, dream, believe, and share information about how to best work toward employment with their family members who have a disability. We invite you to come, join in, and have open discussions with other families on the subject of employment. Explore each other’s stories, learn, ask questions, and share concerns or passions about the best approaches to get employment for your family members. Please contact Gord Robertson, familyWORKs facilitator for the Prince George chapter at (250)564-5681, or trobertsonpg@shaw. ca for more information, or visit our website www. familyworksbc.com. We are also on Facebook at facebook.com/ familyworksbc/.

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we together - March 2016

Finding Rick’s Family Creek and spent time with him when he was young. Bobby drove a logging truck and Rick just loved that truck. To this day, he gets excited when seeing any logging truck, and there are a lot of them in this part of the country. Rick wrote a letter to Les in order to find out more about his family while I contacted his aunt and uncle to see if they wanted to meet Rick as an adult. At first they were excited to see Rick again. The aunt said she would make him a scrapbook and that he was welcome to come for a visit. But, when I called again to make the arrangements, she said, no, it was too much to bring up again. The pain of seeing him would be too great. She said she carried a lot of guilt for calling social services when he was young. She knew he had seizures and thought it was too much for Augusta to deal with, so she called and they came and took him away; he was seven years old. He lived in several foster homes in Williams Lake until he was 19, then was sent to Tranquille. After the institutions closed down, he was taken in by AiMHi and now lives in his own home with two roommates. I didn’t know what to do next. Most of Rick’s family wasn’t alive anymore or were unable to be contacted.

I met Rick in May 2001 when I started working for AiMHi as a manager. My previous job was with the Native Friendship Centre and I also taught for many years on different reserves around B.C. Being familiar with native people

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Rick had had so much hope for reconnecting with them and I wasn’t able to make that happen. Then, a very strange thing happened. My adopted daughter, Flora, spoke to her auntie and uncle who also lived in Soda Creek. She told them about Rick’s story and they said: “Well, you know, we are related to Rick’s aunt and uncle.” This made Flora a cousin of Rick’s. Rick became a part of our family, spending Christmas and Thanksgiving with us every now and then as he did have many other friends and invitations. My daughter, Flora, eventually grew up and moved away to Williams Lake, but even now, once a year or so, Rick and I drive down to visit them. She has two children and he enjoys them very much. I always think its funny how I went looking for Rick’s missing family and instead found a missing piece of my own.

Rick became a part of our family

it seem strange to me that Rick had no family. While looking through old papers of Rick’s I found out he was a member of Ashcroft Band. I called them and told the woman who answered the phone Rick’s story. It turned out she was a distant relative and told me to call her father, Les, who might know more and would possibly remember Rick. When I called Les and asked him if he knew Rick, he said, “You mean Dickie? I haven’t seen him since he was knee high to a grasshopper.” Dickie turned out to be Rick’s nickname when he was a child. Les was related to Rick’s father and knew Rick’s history. He told me that he had a disability since he was born and lived with his great grandmother, Augusta, in Soda Creek for several years as a child. Augusta had a book written about her called Days of Augusta. In the book, she talks about Dickie as the one they took away. His aunt and uncle lived near Soda

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March 2016 - we together

AiMHi to Ignite the Night in June

For 60 years, Inclusion BC has been at the forefront of change. That change is coming to north as AiMHi, Prince George Association for Community Living, is co-hosting the Inclusion B.C. conference and annual general meeting. IGNITE will be held at the Prince George Civic Centre June 23-25. Since its first conference in 1977, it has been connecting conference attendees to the latest information and resources on developmental disability, human rights, and full inclusion. It will spark new ideas and fuel conversations about current trends and issues to advance the rights and opportunities of people with developmental disabilities and their families. The Inclusion BC Conference annually draws more than 650 self advocates, family members, service providers, support workers, community leaders, advocates and allies of the inclusion movement together to explore and engage in discussions on inclusion, citizenship, innovation, supports and access, and leadership. “The last time we had it here, it was really successful,” said Angela Aubichon, an AiMHi manager. “It was one of their most attended conferences at the time.” Moving the conference to communities, such as Prince George, means attendees from outlying communities are likely to attend, which boosts attendance numbers. And that will likely be the case in Prince George as it will draw people from across northern B.C. AiMHi will be hosting the Friday night event at the conference, which traditionally is a dinner and a dance. However, things will be different this year. Ignite the Night will be held at the AiMHi building in Prince George (950 Kerry Street). “It’s like a big carnival, here at the building,” said Aubichon. “We’re going to use the whole building. There will be carnival games in the gym with prizes, music, and multicultural dancing. There will

be a karaoke room, plus a dance in another room. There will be a theatre arts group performing in one of the larger meeting rooms. GameQuest will be there running a gaming room. Outside there will be a large barbecue for the attendees. There will also be a Velcro-wall outside, mini-golf course, and sumo wrestling … and more. It will run from 5-9 p.m. on the Friday night, June 24. Aubichon says they are expecting about 500 people for the Friday night, Ignite the Night event. AiMHI is looking for volunteers to help with the event, which is free for conference attendees. As for the conference itself, dubbed IGNITE YOUR IDEAS, it will feature a series of keynote presentations and workshops. It will feature Catalyst Labs where research, best practices, and self advocacy initiatives that support inclusion in education, employment, and all aspects of community will be explored. Speakers at the conference will include: Joseph Boyden: His award-winning writing career has had a strong focus on the historical and contemporary experience of First Nations peoples. He is best known for his books Three Day Road, Through Black Spruce, which won the 2008 Scotiabank Giller Prize, and The Orenda, which was named the winner of CBC Radio’s Canada Reads 2014. Joseph’s work reflects the perils and inner strength¬s of marginalized groups. Torrie Dunlap: She is an educator who found her life’s

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purpose when she taught a theatre class for children that included a boy with Down syndrome. This is also how she came to know the work of Kids Included Together, a national non-profit where she started as a volunteer and today is the Chief Executive Officer. Stephen Lytton: Stephen is a member of the Nicomen Indian Band within the Nlaka’pamux First Nation. Stephen lives with a disability (cerebral palsy), and is a residential school survivor having spent 13 years in the St. George’s Indian Residential School starting when he was a young child. Shelley Moore: Based in Vancouver, Moore consults locally, provincially and beyond. Her presentations include school, district and provincial professional development days throughout British Columbia, as well as various leading conferences throughout North America, including CEC, IRA and NCTE. Rhonda-Marie Avery: Rhonda-Marie founded the non profit organization, The Envisions Project, from a belief that it’s time to create a space for the dialogue of disability and sport. The Envisions Project is aimed at empowering ‘other’ abled athletes to achieve their own adventures. Sarah Garr: Having overcome her own challenges in school, Sarah passionately believes in the need to create inclusive, innovative school communities that support and celebrate all learners. Currently a vice principal at a high school in the Richmond school district, Sarah is privileged to have had opportunity to share her story through her TEDx talk, “What is Success?”, on the need to re-define traditional definitions of success to be more inclusive of all learners. Sarah is also able to share her journey in educational leadership through her blog, Writing My Way Into Understanding.

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we together - March 2016

A Brief History of the Garden

ONE COMMUNITY - ONE VISION

In April 2009, many volunteers came together from AiMHi and the neighbourhood to create the garden. First the ground had to be dug up by large machines and hauled away as it was mostly clay. This took a couple

By Debby Hill of long days and Marc Lawrence, the creator of the garden, volunteered to be ground supervisor. After the clay was removed, dirt and compost was trucked in. The volunteers shovelled it by hand and wheel-barrowed it into the plots. Then seeds and plants were set into the black dirt and we waited for a miracle. The Raised Beds The garden was planned so that it would be accessible to wheelchairs, especially the raised beds. The materials were donated as well as the labour to build the beds. A cement truck came over to help with the foundation. When the planters were cemented in, they were insulated with plastic, filled with dirt and compost, then painted and filled with flowers. Garden Party/Grand Opening The Community Garden Party on June 24, 2009 was a huge success. Neighbors, city councillors, funders, AiMHi employees and persons supported by AiMHi were all in attendance, and in big numbers. We served 250 meals at the barbecue and gave numerous tours of the garden. The lemonade stand, run by

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the daycare across the street, served soft drinks and candies for the kids. The rain attended the event for the first half hour and then left early; so the food was inside, but everyone was able to get outside to see how wonderful the garden looked with the new sign and hanging baskets prominently displayed on the side of the building. Marc Lawrence cut the ribbon for the grand opening while the cameras flashed and dignitaries approved. Natural Playground In 2010, a natural playground was created next to the garden by fashioning fun paths through the small pine trees. It took a lot of time and effort by several dedicated volunteers to cover the pathways. The path material was donated by FraserFt. George and spread onto paths winding around and through the trees. The children were excited to use the paths to play games when they were completed. Throughout the summer of 2010, the Child Care Resource and Referral Centre invited children from all over the city to participate in tours of the garden. They talked about the different plants and walked through the paths pointing out natural flora to the children as well. It was very successful with other 50 children attending over the summer. The Garden Mural – 2013 A mural was planned and created in the summer of 2013, the brainchild of lifeskills instructor, Leslie Warner. Plywood cutouts were painted by volunteers at a paint party, then were hung on the side of the building, a colourful reminder of gardens when seen in the dead of

winter.  The Garden Today The garden now has several partners who work hard to create growing things. The AiMHi Self-Advocates have planted several different kinds of produce and have been seen up to their elbows in dirt. They are all volunteers and spend a lot of time watering and weeding; they are happiest when picking potatoes for their dinner! Sunny Day Care brings the children over to work in the garden and play in the Natural Playground. Since they run their daycare all year round, they have had some success teaching children to work with growing plants in the summers. Last year they planted pumpkins and we were all excited to see how big they would get before Halloween. They also took the strawberries under their wing. Children’s Lifeskills have decorated their plots with round cement stepping stones that they made themselves. Family Support must have a master gardener to consult with because their plants look amazing. The Lac de Bois Kinder Garden class also grows spring flowers in their plot every year. Kinder Garden Lac de Bois, the French Immersion School directly east of the garden tried for a couple years to make a difference in the garden. The school schedule, which includes summer vacation, did not work out very well for harvesting. So, the Kinder Garden teacher had a brain wave. The children would plant flower bulbs. Bulbs, as you may know, are planted in the fall and


ONE COMMUNITY - ONE VISION

AiMHi

come up in the spring and this fits perfectly with the school schedule. The children worked hard to design and plant their garden plot with tulips of many different hues which have been admired by everyone walking and driving by. In May 2015, we partnered with the Telus Day of Giving for two days of prep for the garden season. Several people from Telus joined a group from AiMHi to weed, transplant strawberries and turn over the earth in the plots. Some of the accomplishments of those days were: Spray painting the logs around the garden plots, planting flowers in the raised beds, digging up the old strawberries and planting new ones, putting down gravel on the pathways in the Natural Playground. Both days were hot and sunny, with beautiful weather and beautiful work. Thanks to Telus for its generosity. Friendship Garden Who knows why or how friendships develop? What fate brings two kindred spirits together? In this case, two extraordinary women’s friendship blossomed over their shared love of gardening. After meeting at AiMHi, their relationship grew into a friendship and evolved into a shared garden. It’s a beautiful story that captures the true essence of friendship and what it means to have a friend.

March 2016 - we together

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ONE COMMUNITY - ONE VISION

As they say in the movies…”stay connected” ☺

This story was written with the total perspective of the person supported, as per his “method” of communication and ability to talk in sentence quotes from movies. Well I joined an agency not so long ago … again. You see I have been involved with others throughout my short life (I’m only 21 years old), and here we go … a NEW worker … NEW things to learn … NEW rules … NEW expectations … NEW … NEW … NEW. Yup I’m so overwhelmed and my anxiety is through the clouds.You see I’m a person with autism and with that comes a very, very high level of anxiety and unpredictability for me.You see I like things to be routine and more importantly, I like things my way. When I’m feeling anxious and overwhelmed, I have many ways to express: “Hey!!! …this is not OK,” and I do have a tendency to “talk” in sentence structure I have learned from movies. I love watching movies and can easily memorize the lines and lead roles of the actors involved. One day I could be famous, and you may be watching me on the big screen, look out Oscars here I come. I could have had the starring role for The

Revenant, I’m much better looking than Leonardo, and already have the “look” required for that starring role. So with my anxiety, my loud silver screen voice tone (yup, even including the swear words), my appearance, and not to mention I’m a strapping “six-foot-plus-a-little” tall male … handsome I know, but maybe not to others. I have come to this NEW agency, meet my NEW staff and we set up these thingies called “goals.” What do I want to do? Seriously, what DO I WANT TO DO? My staff is letting me decide … what do I want to do? ME! I can make choices, I can decide, what I want to do? Well, as they say in the movies … ”that’s easy my friend”… I want to go shopping at the Dollar Store, one of my favourite places on earth. I love the dollar store, I love CDs, I love music, I love stationary, I love pens, I love … the Dollar Store, and I’m very excited. But you see there is a slight setback to what I want to do. I can’t go in staff vehicle, as I have a tendency to break/wreck others’ belongings, and I might wreck the car. Wait! I can still go to the Dollar Store? But I may have to walk, seriously? And as they say in

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the movies “it’s probably not a good idea.” I hate walking! But I want to go to the Dollar Store, my staff and I discuss that maybe one day I can go in her car.Yaaayyy! We make this one of those “goal” thingies, I’m excited ‘cause I wasn’t told “no.” My first trip to the Dollar Store was … well, as they say in the movies, “this is so unbelievable,” and they also say, “what were you thinking?” I walked with my staff to the Dollar Store and back to the office, I bought music CDs. I survived a walk … and as they say in the movies “it wasn’t so bad matey,” but I would rather go in the car. My staff and I talk about those “goal thingies” and I’m reminded one day it can happen, I can go in the car. However I am doubtful, is this just another one of those… ya-ya ‘one day’ things, and as they say in the movies, “I hope this isn’t BS.” Over a period of time, and working very hard, on my self-control, going over those NEW rules, I think I’m more than ready to go in staff’s car, to the Dollar Store. I am so stoked, excited and can hardly contain my excitement.You see I’m one of those people who don’t like to be touched but, as they say in the movies, ”I just need a hug.” I reach out to my staff for a hug, not sure who is more shocked … me or my staff. Now ready to go in the car, to the Dollar Store. My staff and I go through a check list, we are not calling those NEW thingies “rules” anymore, I don’t like rules, they cause too much anxiety and confusion for me. But as they say in the movies “check

mate.” I explain MY “check mate” list, step by step as follows to my staff. Check mate (list). Open door … get in car … sit down … put seatbelt on … don’t touch anything (not my stuff in car, belongs to staff) … close door … don’t hit dash … don’t hit window… don’t touch staff while driving (it’s not safe, you must pay attention to the road) … (I decided on my own step-by-step list and even added a few more steps. As they say in the movies, ”just to keep you on your toes.)” It’s all good, and we are on our way …. Dollar Store here we come … get out of car and go shopping … to the Dollar Store … I’m in the car … so excited. Arrive at dollar store, I’m so excited as they say in the movies … “your smile is fantastic” (well in this case, its actually MY smile). Staff gets out of the car, closes the door … and … well … I sit … in the car … watching my staff … I’m not moving … just sitting here in the car … chilling … with a big smile … yup … just relaxing … staff has a puzzled look on her face … I continue to smile … staff waves her hand … I know what she means … but I’m going to … sit here … in the car … and smile … staff opens her car door and as they say in the movies, ”what are you doing?”And as they say in the movies, “it’s obvious, just sitting here.” Staff says … aren’t you getting out of the car? And as they say in the movies, ”you didn’t say to open the door,” GRIN GRIN … an eruption of laughter from the audience, the door is opened … I proceed from the car … and as they say in the movies “onward mates”… shopping at the dollar store.

I’m quite outgoing, when I want and when I feel comfortable

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AiMHi

March 2016 - we together

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Keeping one million pounds of material out of the landfill AiMHi Common Goods Program in partnership with Saver’s is a fundraising campaign to raise funds to support people with special needs in the community. Not only does the common good program raise

By Joanna S. and Joy M. funds it is a great opportunity to provide skills, training and paid work experience that will be transferable to obtaining paid community employment. The Common Goods program helps to recycle quality used clothing and gently used household items. In 2015 they were able to prevent over 1,158,491 pounds

of material from ending up in the local landfill. AiMHi currently has 42 clothing bins placed in various locations in and around Prince George. The Callers: Five people currently are training in the Common Goods Program as telemarketers. Their duties are to call households in the community asking for donations of clothing and gently used household items and provides a convenient way for the community to donate items with door to door pick up of donations. Skills learned in this program are numerous and include professional phone mannerism, customer service, data base management, and time management. Daily quotas are assigned to each caller and guidelines and tools are developed to assist the caller to be successful and meet their individual goals. One-onone job coaching, mentorship assists this program to be as successful as an Employment Training Program. The Swampers: Eight swampers accompany the IES driver, who is also the supervisor, to go out into the community to pick up items that have been donated through the calling program. Skills learned by the swampers that are in this work training opportunity are work safety proper lifting techniques (PPE), customer service, following direction, and working as part of a team. The program supervisor works side-by-side with each person to learn the skills required for this career grouping. Clothing Drives: Another initiative of the Common Goods fundraising program is clothing drives. Organizations throughout the community can collect donated

items and, in turn, receive a monetary incentive to do so. Currently Common Goods picks up clothing drive donations from Rotary Hospice and The Thrift Store in Mackenzie. This program makes a difference to the community and the money raised from the Savers Common Goods program to support the IES work training programs as well as other AiMHi programs. A caller’s story Linda: A Value Village Caller Hello, my name is Linda. With the help of my employment counsellor, I applied to be a Value Village caller and got the training opportunity! It was a very new venture for me! I had never tried to market anything on the phone before. Would I be good at it? Would people yell at me? I took it slow at first and took some time with my co-workers to see how they speak to people on the phone. Eventually, it was time for me to phone people in Prince George and ask them for donations. Within a few calls, I got my speech down and I was booking Value Village pick ups. I like talking with new people and giving them an opportunity to help the community. Some people have said to me that I am polite and know my stuff, this is a big help and very encouraging. Thank you Prince George. This training program helped Linda to find employment in the clerical field

Making a difference in the community

Life Out Here.

TM


12

we together - March 2016

AiMHi

Connections take time “Not yet” “She likes me”

This story was written from the perspective of the person supported. I have grown up within AiMHi, have had many workers over the many years, but have always kept myself grounded in my preferences. I have always been actively involved in the community and taking part in events and most importantly hockey. Not just any hockey though, the P.G. Cougars are “my boys.” I believe I am their No. 1 fan, attend every home game, and often talk of how I’m married to one. I will even show you my ring, not just any ring, I mean “the ring.” The favourite player may change from year to year, but the marriage and ring does not. I’m quite outgoing, when I want and when I feel comfortable within my surroundings. Hockey is a definite passion of mine, I also love, and I do mean love, shopping at thrift stores. I have my favourite hockey team and thrift store, what more could a gal ask for. Life can be simple at times, and a great pair of shoes will make my day. I am a fashion guru and have been referred to as a “diva.” I judge the clothing by “what not to wear,” and if it doesn’t make the “wear it” stage, it stays on the rack.

I have been attending my favourite thrift store for some time now, one of the ladies who works there always speaks to me, however I am not comfortable enough to respond. Sometimes she is “annoying” and I just stay close to my staff, feel secure and continue to shop. The lady continues to talk to me, I wander away to look at a pair of shoes, I look and see the lady is talking to my staff, oh great, my staff is talking … they like each other … oh, great ... to the lady … hey look at those shoes over there. The lady has approached my staff and asked if I am able to talk … yes … but when I want and I don’t want to …”not yet.” My staff explains to the lady she has not said anything wrong, and explains I need time to feel comfortable, and will talk when I’m ready to.Yeah right, one day maybe. This same routine goes on for weeks, months and even well over a year. I have gone to the thrift store with my family, and that same lady talks to me, but … ”not yet.” On a certain day, along with staff and my

ONE COMMUNITY - ONE VISION

friend, we have decided to go to the thrift store, that same lady is there and talks to me. She said “hi,” today is the day, I bravely said “hi” to the lady, and go along my way to the shoe section. For some reason the lady was so happy, her face lit up like fireworks, was it the way I said “hi.” She hugged my staff and said, she talked to me. Each time we went back to the thrift store, the lady and I exchanged “hi” greetings, which went on for months. I now talk and laugh with the lady. We talk about shoes, and clothes, and one day I’m going to talk to her about hockey. The relationship took over two years and is now well established. When I go to the thrift store with my family, my staff, the lady and I are friends, and I often say “she likes me”.

I’m quite outgoing, when I want and when I feel comfortable

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AiMHi

March 2016 - we together

A daughter’s AiMHi years The years have flown past and the future we hardly dared to dwell on seems to have arrived in the blink of an eye. Our daughter has gone from a gap toothed seven-year-old, crying desperately with every goodbye, to a remarkably confident 26-year-old, while we were still trying to understand what her diagnosis would mean. Sometimes we felt like we could not possibly deal with one more problem, could not find one more way to help her to fit into her world. Often the difficult behaviours seemed insurmountable and we were too tired to do more than just get through the day. We feared the day when we would not be there to act as a buffer between her

and the world at large. Who would care enough about her to be sure she was treated kindly, even when she could not overcome her own fear and confusion enough to act kindly to others? Who would see that she was safe, warm and fed, and all her needs from shelter to affection were met? We hoped and prayed we’d find ways to deal with the problems we couldn’t yet see or even imagine that were sure to be a part of her life. We weren’t alone in our efforts though. We had the help of a number of patient and enthusiastic AiMHi employees over the years.Young life skills workers found many ways to help our daughter to be a part of her community. They helped her begin to learn street safety, that treats must be paid for before leaving the store (or eating them), and most importantly, that the world was full of potential friends. Our shy little girl learned that she could have fun without us by her side. The young women who took her out and about a couple of afternoons a week and played with her at AiMHi’s summer day camp program not only helped us by giving us time to catch

13

our breath, but made a lasting change in how she saw the world. Time went on and high school graduation came and went. A little girl became a young woman and Children’s Life Skills was a thing of the past. Changes are hard and no school meant goodbye to friends, teachers and aides. Goodbye to the routines of her life for as long as she could remember, but AiMHi remained a constant. When it was time for this now young adult to leave home, AiMHi not only found her a perfect new home, but made the transition as easy for her as they could manage. Now her life is busy. Full of fun and responsibilities, dances and visits with friends. Learning to cook is a boost to her self-esteem and her obvious pride when she can invite us to eat something made by her own hands makes us smile. Time spent helping out at The Snack Shop and other small jobs help her feel like a contributing member of her community. Everywhere she goes it seems she is known. Her smile leads the way and even without words she makes her friends feel valued. She has become a social butterfly, out of her cocoon at last and free to spread her wings, with AiMHi always there to give her the lift she needs to reach her goals. We worried over our daughter’s future as parents do, but now we watch in wonder as she continues to accomplish more each year. She is safe, has guidance and acceptance from those who help her with her day-to-day life. The dedicated individuals who make up the agency are always prepared to share their knowledge and time. They have become an extension of our daughter’s family, and through her ours, and our concerns are lessened by knowing there are caring people to help her and advocate for her even when we cannot.

Young life skills workers found many ways to help our daughter to be part of her community

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we together - March 2016

Ahhh, summer time. A time of sun, fun and adventure! Did you go to summer camp when you were a child? If so, the experiences you enjoyed likely have stayed with you into adulthood. Do you have a child, or know of a child who has experienced the enjoyment of what camp can offer? Wouldn’t you like all children to have this same opportunity? For some children, this is the first time away from their parents where they get a first experience with a different kind of independence. What fun, what excitement! For many children with special needs, this opportunity can be somewhat challenging. For some families, their children need a little extra support and flexibility in order to participate in the wonderful opportunities and experiences that summer camp offers to children. AiMHi has always been excited in offering a camp throughout the summer where children with various abilities are welcomed and supported to participate. Some of the children require a little extra help or special considerations to support their participation in all of the activities. AiMHi tailors each camp to meet the specific needs of the children that are reg-

AiMHi

Summer camp

istered, this often includes the choice of activities, wheelchair accessible transportation or extra camp leaders to support specific needs. Many of the opportunities provide new

of their product – especially at Dairy Queen.Visits to the Fire Department are always a hit! Families of children with special needs can often face additional challenges

ONE COMMUNITY - ONE VISION

with other children to develop friendships with peers, and to have meaningful and fun filled opportunities throughout the summer. When you have an opportunity to get to know someone with an intellectual disability and develop a friendship A few words from one of our Camp learning about animals at Noah’s Ark, and with them, you really begin to learn that Leaders who was new to the summer rec exploring the Fur Trade Post in Fort St although all people are different, we really camp experience: James. are the same in so many ways. ProvidI was lucky to receive the opportunity AiMHi’s Summer Camp program proing an opportunity for children to learn to work as a Summer Recreation Day vides a great opportunity for the children about others and experience the joy of Camp Leader for children at AiMHi. This to learn new things, practice social skills friendship and fun with other children of was the most fun and rewarding job I have and build lasting friendships. The children all abilities develops our community at a ever worked. I was able to do so many and Camp Leaders grew together, they different level. This experience provides exciting activities with the children, I often taught me as much as I taught them, if not learning opportunities through natural life forgot I was working at all. more. experiences that cannot be achieved in We went out into the community daily Working with AiMHi will be an experiany other way! to do different activities such as; bowling, ence that I will never forget, and I hope AiMHi’s Summer Camp operates in outdoor crafts at Forests for the World, AiMHi’s Summer Recreation Camp continJuly and August with day camps running ues for years to come. walks and picnics outdoors in the park, Monday through Friday and hosts a wide variety of activities to approximately 95 experiences they may otherwise not have with child care throughout the summer 100 children each summer. an opportunity to do, such as visiting a months. For a child with special needs, Last summer the children had fun visitlocal ostrich farm, which is not only fun attending summer camp can be costly as ing a local ostrich farm where they did but educational, tours of local restaurants some may require an attendant be procrafts and learned about ostriches. The where they get to see people in action, vided to support the child with any special campers toured places like Dairy Queen, making food, working together as part of needs. AiMHi understands this and wants Save On Foods and Earls Dining. In each a team and the best part is the sampling kids to have the same opportunities for tour the children were encouraged to fun in the summer as other kids do. We participate in hands on learning. Making also know that for those families having a personal ice cream cone and preparing both parents working, taking the sumchicken fingers was a hit.Visits to the BC mer off to care for their child is just not Northern Exhibition, Noah’s Ark, Explopossible. Childcare for families of children ration Place, Fort George Park, Huble with special needs can be difficult to find, Homestead, Forests for the World, Black securing adequate and affordable options Spruce Farm, Railway Museum, Ospika ■ Fire can present additional challenges for these Fire Hall tour, or the local Rainbow Berry ■ Odour Control families. AiMHi knows that offering this farm to pick berries provided new experiopportunity to families in our community ences and opportunities to make lasting ■ Sewer Backup lends positively to planning an eventful memories. ■ Water Extraction summer for their children while they are AiMHi thoroughly enjoys being able to our Control at work. provide this opportunity to the commu■ Structural Drying wer Backup A few years ago AiMHi decided that this nity each year. The parents and children er Extraction ■■ Mould Fire Decontamination Proud to be Canadian camp needed to be offered to&all children, always appreciate the activities and know re Drying uctural owned operated. not just those with special needs who that we will modify the activities as ■ Odour Control uld Decontamination Proud to be Canadian ■ Fire dour Control owned & operated. were referred to AiMHi through Minisneeded to allow all children to participate. 24 HOURS ■Control Sewer Backup PRINCE GEORGE 250-596-2855 24/7: 250-640-9105 try of Children and Family Development The program includes a focus on learnEMERGENCY SERVICE ■ Odour 24 HOURS ewer Backup 250-596-2855 24/7: 250-640-9105 EMERGENCY SERVICE (MCFD). Many ourinformation employees’ children ing and skill development, particularly in Forof more visit www.winmar.ca THE PROPERTY RESTORATION SPECIALISTS ■ Water Extraction ■ Sewer Backup SPECIALISTS For more information visit www.winmar.ca THE PROPERTY RESTORATION Water Extraction hadwork opportunities the Policy *the of social skills, independence, EARN 1 AIR MILES®† reward mile* FOR EVERY $20 PAID ON ANY OF THE FOLLOWING: • Your Insurance Policy Deductible • Any unisured portion of your Claimhave • Any Private you have done that isthroughout not covered by any Insurance Termsareas and ®† reward mile* FOR EVERY $20 PAID ON ANY OF THE FOLLOWING: • Your Insurance Policy Deductible • Any unisured portion of your Claim • Any Private work you have done that is not covered by any Insurance Policy * Terms and Conditions■ 1. AIR MILES®† reward miles offers are valid on the payment for any of the above 3 categories 2. There is a limit of 1000 AIR MILES®† reward miles for any to one assignment 3. Offersin areevents subject to change or expire without notice. ®†™† Structural Drying ILES®† reward miles■ offers Water are valid on the payment for any of the above 3 categories 2. There is a limit of 1000 AIR MILES®† reward miles for any one assignment 3. Offers are subject to change or expire without notice. ®†™† years participate and celself-reliance and daily living skills. Natural Extraction Trademarks of Winmar AIR MILES International Trading B.V. Used under license by LoyaltyOne, Inc. and Winmar Franchise Corp. Trademarks of AIR MILES International Trading B.V. Used under license by LoyaltyOne, Inc. and Franchise Corp. tructural Drying ebrations with people accessing services learning environments create opportuni■ Mould Decontamination ■ Structural Drying through AiMHi.Proud These to experiences have Proud tiestoforbea Canadian fun way to develop new skills, Mould Decontamination be Canadian owned & operated. left them with memories andtoa be lasting owned & operated. ■ Mould Decontamination Proud Canadian would you agree? owned & operated. impact on their lives. They have grown AiMHi would like to offer our Sum24 HOURS to understand what it really means for mer Camp programming to children and 24 HOURS EMERGENCY SERVICE HOURS everyone to be a part of24 our community EMERGENCY SERVICEfamilies in our community again this year! For information www.winmar.ca 250-596-2855 24/7: 250-640-9105 EMERGENCY SERVICE THE PROPERTY SPECIALISTS RESTORATION SPECIALISTSregardless of our differences. We more wanted If you visit are interested in supporting AiMHi Proud to be Canadian For more information visit www.winmar.ca THE PROPERTY RESTORATION toportion provide an opportunity toyou allvisit children ourbyefforts of creating sustainability in more www.winmar.ca EARN 1 AIR MILES®† reward mile* FOR RESTORATION EVERY $20 PAID ON ANY OF THE FOLLOWING: •& Youroperated. Insurance Policy Deductible • Any unisured of yourFor Claim • Any information Private work have done that is not in covered any Insurance Policy * Terms and THE PROPERTY SPECIALISTS owned LES®† reward mile* FORConditions EVERY $201.PAID ON ANY OFreward THE FOLLOWING: Your Insurance Policy Deductible Any above unisured portion of 2. your Claim Any Private you have done thatmiles is notforcovered any Insurance Policyare * Terms andto change or expire without notice. ®†™† AIR MILES®† miles offers•are valid on the payment for any of• the 3 categories There is a• limit of 1000work AIR reward anyparticipate onebyassignment 3. Offers inMILES®† our 3.work community funsubject provision EARNreward 1 AIR MILES®† reward EVERY $20 PAID ON ANY OFabove THE FOLLOWING: Your Insurance Policy Deductible • Any unisured portion offor your Claim •assignment Any Private youare have doneto that is not covered by in any the Insurance Policy * Terms and of this program annually please AIR MILES®† miles offers are mile* valid FOR on the payment for any of the 3 categories•Trademarks 2. There is of a limit of 1000 AIR MILES®† reward miles any one Offers subject to change or expire without notice. ®†™† AIR MILES International Trading B.V. Used under license by LoyaltyOne, Inc. and Winmar Franchise Corp. Conditions 1. AIR MILES®† reward miles offers are valid on for any of theTrading above 3B.V. categories 2. There is a limit of 1000 AIRInc. MILES®† rewardFranchise miles for any one assignment 3. Offers are subject or expire ®†™† AiMHi at aimhi@aimhi.ca. You will Trademarks of the AIRpayment MILES International Used under license by LoyaltyOne, and Winmar Corp. and exciting adventures thatto change happen at without notice. contact Trademarks of AIR MILES International24 Trading B.V.HOURS Used under license by LoyaltyOne, Inc. and Winmar Franchise Corp. AiMHi’s summer camp. be contributing to the lasting memories EMERGENCY SERVICE The children and their parents enjoy created by all of the children who access For more information For more informationvisit visitwww.winmar.ca www.winmar.ca SPECIALISTS this opportunity that creates experiences AiMHi’s Summer Camp.

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AiMHi

ONE COMMUNITY - ONE VISION

March 2016 - we together

What is Planned Giving?

Planned giving, sometimes referred to as gift planning, may be defined as a method of supporting non-profits and charities that enables philanthropic individuals or donors to make larger gifts than they could make from their income. While some planned gifts provide a lifelong income to the donor, others use estate and tax planning techniques to provide for charity and other heirs in ways that maximize the gift and/or minimize its impact on the donor’s estate. Thus, by definition, a planned gift is any major gift, made in lifetime or at death as part of a donor’s overall financial and/or estate planning. By contrast, gifts to the annual fund or for membership dues are made from a donor’s discretionary income, and while they may be budgeted for, they are not planned. Whether a donor uses cash, appreciated securities/stock, real estate, artwork, partnership interests,

15

remainder unitrusts and annuity trusts are individually managed trusts that pay the beneficiaries either a fixed percentage of trust income or a fixed dollar amount. What are the tax benefits of planned gifts? Donors can contribute appreciated property, like securities or real estate, receive a charitable deduction for the full market value of the asset, and pay no capital gains tax on the transfer. Donors who establish a life-income gift receive a tax deduction for the full, fair market value of the assets contributed, minus the present value of the income interest retained; if they fund their gift with appreciated property they pay no upfront capital gains tax on the transfer. Gifts payable to charity upon the donor’s death, like a bequest or a beneficiary designation in a life insurance policy or retirement account, do not generate a lifetime income tax deduction for the donor, but they are exempt from estate tax.

personal property, life insurance, a retirement plan, etc., the benefits of funding a planned gift can make this type of charitable giving very attractive to both donor and charity. What are the three types of planned gifts? First, outright gifts that use appreciated assets as a substitute for cash; Second, gifts that return income or other financial benefits to the donor in return for the contribution; Third, gifts payable upon the donor’s death. What gift plans return income to donors? Charitable gift annuities make fixed payments, starting either when the gift is made (an immediate-payment gift annuity) or at a later date (a deferred or flexible gift annuity). Some organizations maintain pooled income funds, which commingle donations, pay beneficiaries variable depending on the earnings of the fund, and generally operate like a charitable mutual fund. Charitable

Leave a legacy Every day, people are helped and lives are enriched by the work of registered charities and foundations, and other notfor-profit organizations in our communities. Meals for isolated seniors, summer jobs for disadvantaged high school students, funding for mental health or cancer research or a live performance by a local arts organization are just some of the ways not-for-profit organizations improve our lives. Canadians give for many different reasons: for some it is a way to ensure their memory lives on, for many it’s a way to ensure that their favourite charity is able to continue its important work, while for others it represents a way to facilitate the tax implications that come with the transfer of one’s estate to surviving relatives. Provide Support Financial assistance is essential to support and sustain charitable work. Many people generously give their money, time and energy to their local not-for-profit organizations and are unaware that by leaving a gift in their will or estate plan to the charitable groups of their choice, they can continue to help people in need or promote a favourite cause. We wish more funding were available for medical research, for domestic abuse shelters, or a treasured arts or music program. Charitable organizations need financial assistance from people like you to continue their work. By making bequests and other “planned gifts,” you can continue to help organizations that are making an important difference in your community. What better way to thank

the people or organizations that have had an impact on your life, than to make a contribution from your estate through a bequest? Leave a Memory Choosing to leave a gift from the heart brings meaning, dignity and purpose to a life well lived. Your gift is your opportunity to participate in the charitable and community work most meaningful to you, in a way that allows these important causes to be well supported now and long after you have gone. Personal Philanthropy through a will can be an additional way to ensure that your memory lives on. Surprisingly, a gift can also be a very practical addition to a financial or estate plan when tax issues are taken into consideration – even for those who think they may not have tax issues. In most cases, the tax burden left to relatives is lifted significantly. Your professional advisor can teach you how giving may actually benefit your family after you’re gone. Together we can make a difference – the difference these days, is that you can impact the causes you care about by including them in your will or estate plan. A Contribution for the Future Personal philanthropy can help contribute to the sustainability of a not for profit organization or charity of your choice. In life, many of us require some kind of assistance, whether it’s physical, financial or spiritual. Perhaps a local organization or charity has special meaning to you. Maybe you were given a scholarship that made the dream of college possible. You or a loved one may have been

and help uphold programs for personal enrichment. By leaving a gift in your memory you are making a significant contribution to the future sustainability of those charitable and not for profit organizations that you value most.

shown especially compassionate care in the hospital during an illness or injury. It is during life’s many endeavours, that we are often reminded that more could be done to continue personal philanthropy which support humane acts of kindness,

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obligation: BURCEM-A, $10562, 1.49 % OAC. Northern Climate packages, license, insurance, $394 admin fee and applicable taxes are extra. Purchase price includes freight, pre delivery and levies. LimitedGitis et etur, consed quiam, culloremque at hari dolupta tiusdae necaboria ipsunt et ilicimi libeaquis maximus et aborum hicatio ratur, consequos core conectate plibust invenis sint reicit voluptat aborrum incipit, omnis ipid que premperum dit la cupist volor as vitia corpor aut ut ut id quid qui inusanim hit, voles et esequod ex es ut officimperia consecatur, tecum, sin cullam quaecuscid moluptat lit ut dessed quuntis si conet esequam, que peligen estiume nimus. Agnate qui omnissitatis conseque quam nis cone veri audipit dolloribus doluptae nonsecus sum facitasperum quossin ulpario imolupita quae eaquiatem erionec usapita inus exerro ei. *Based on IHS Automotive: Total New Vehicle Registrations for the Polk Canadian Compact Segment and Polk US for the Non Luxury Traditional Compact Segment and IHS Mexico Sales data for the Compact Segment during Rolling year to Oct-2015.

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®Aeroplan and the Aeroplan logo are registered trademarks of Aimia Canada Inc.

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16

Family Film Festival AiMHi

we together - March 2016

Admission $5 per person. Tickets available at door at Advance tickets: Studio 2880

ONE COMMUNITY - ONE VISION

AP

RI

3

L

Cineplex on Sunday April 3

Blindside:

We Bought a Zoo:

The story of Michael Oher, a homeless and traumatized boy who became an All American football player and first round NFL draft pick with the help of a caring woman and her family.

Set in Southern California, a father moves his young family to the countryside to renovate and re-open a struggling zoo.

Stars: Quinton Aaron, Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw

Stars: Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, Thomas Haden Church

start time 9:30am

start time 9:40am

BONUS! A selection of Short Films from Sprout Film Festival will be shown before each movie

Rudy:

St Vincent:

Rudy has always been told that he was too small to play college football. But he is determined to overcome the odds and fulfill his dream of playing for Notre Dame.

A young boy whose parents have just divorced finds an unlikely friend and mentor in the misanthropic, bawdy, hedonistic war veteran who lives next door.

Stars: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty

Stars: Bill Murray, Melissa McCarthy, Naomi Watts

start time 9:50am

start time 10am

we

The proceeds from the festival will support expansion of the Children’s Summer Camp program. Proudly brought to you by:

PEOPLE HELPING PEOPLE

One community One vision

we Magazine  

The publication ‘we’ is an initiative of AiMHi – Prince George Association for Community Living. AiMHi seeks to have an impact on our commun...

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