Council helping people near and far
January 29, 2014 — Lisa Bailey
Streamway Villa residents understand what it is to give back, and act on it.
At their first meeting of 2014, members of the residents’ council were ecstatic to learn that council’s $300 donation to the Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts in the Philippines was matched by OMNI Health Care and the federal government.
The council also discussed the Christmas gifts they purchased for two local children in need through the Northumberland Mall Giving Tree program. The idea came from council vice-president Barb LeBlanc in consultation with other residents.
Supporting the Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts was sparked by an e-mail from OMNI president and CEO Patrick McCarthy.
Giving to both of these initiatives was made possible through the annual Christmas bazaar held at the Cobourg long-term care home as well as other fundraising activities benefitting the residents’ council fund.
“2013 was the first year that we’ve ever donated money back into the community,” life enrichment co-ordinator Christina Verleysen says, noting it’s because the community “gives so much to us.”
Family and community members support the bazaar as well as the yard sales, social teas and annual carnival. Many donations are also made by families when their loved ones pass away.
This support is a reflection of the closeness that envelops the small home and community as well as the desire to make a difference.
“Being such a small home in such a close-knit community, we’re very fortunate that we have the relationship of a big family rather than a long-term care home,” Verleysen says. “I have 59 grandparents here and it doesn’t matter whether they came yesterday or when I first started, they are grandparents to me. And that’s how a lot of our staff members perceive our residents as well so the care is above and beyond.
“We’re very fortunate that we’re able to give to community when we can and still have money to do what we need to do here,” she says.
This includes activities and outings that enhance residents’ quality of life. For instance, residents’ council has decided this summer’s trip will be to a Toronto aquarium and they’re looking for an educational program featuring exotic animals to make a return visit to Streamway Villa.
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