Luna and I had a great time visiting Okanagan College today as part of the Pets and People Visiting Society team. 6 handlers and 7 dogs got to spend some time at the student centre for their Paws and Pizza event to help with a little mid term stress busting! The students got to interact with the dogs, take some selfies and of course, get some cuddles. It was very rewarding to be part of the team and to hear so many students say ‘that made my day’ as they were walking away.
Look who stopped by for a visit! Global News Kelowna came by to talk to Shannon Christensen from Mamas for Mamas and students from Okanagan College about how they use Do Some Good to help make an impact in our community. Thank you for sharing your stories!
Last night the annual Young Alumni Awards were presented to two very deserving and active members of our community! Brea Retzlaff and Drew Vincent are two outstanding representatives of Okanagan College who have done great things to make an impact at a young age. Congratulations to you both, and thank you for all the good you do!
In celebration of National Volunteer week, we wanted to give a shoutout to the amazing student volunteers who have been dedicated to developing entrepreneurial projects, fundraisers and events. 49 Enactus students across all four of the Okanagan College campuses, have logged over 7400 hours, contributing to 7 projects that have directly impacted 900+ community members. Way to go team!
With the help of my friend/class mate we have donated the Mini Refrigerator to Okanagan College HCA class 2017/18. This refrigerator will be used by Students so they can keep there lunch so it won't go bad. So proud that I can help the community. It will be used by future students as well.
We had an awesome time chatting with students at the Okanagan College Winter Carnival Welcome Back Lunch today! It was great to meet so many students who are jazzed about giving back and making an impact in the community!
Donation was collected by the Okanagan College HCA students and was donated to the Upper Room Mission. Event was planned and organised by (Baljit Sandhu) girl who went to donate this stuff with me is Carissa Corrigan.
The reason for this donation is to help the ones in need and to encourage other students and community to donate as much as possible because the need is huge in our community.
We are continuing our relationship with Okanagan College by supporting the Women in Trades Training Program. This 12- week program is open to women of all ages, backgrounds and skill levels and covers a variety of trades. Les toured the current group around our homes under construction, giving the women an insight into how the trades work together to build your home. This Government funded program gives successful participants access to apprenticeships and direct entry to employment.
I have been involved with the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce for the past 14 years. I am passionate about LOCAL businesses and love helping them when I can. Having worked in the financial industry for the past 20+ years, I have been so inspired by entrepreuners and the amazing businesses they create.
My daughter Kailey became the first Kelowna Chamber Junior Ambassador in 2014. It has been great to volunteer together. We very much enjoy welcoming new businesses to the Chamber and hosting after hour events. We have particularily enjoyed the Ambassador Annual Expo events, including the Ambassador's led Wedding Expos in 2015 & 2016, which showcased the many Chamber businesses that work in the wedding industry. Kailey organized and led a photo shoot and fashion show each year. It takes a tremendous amount of work to host a successful event and the positive feedback has been amazing.
Which cause(s) are you most passionate about and why?
I care about local businesses as they are the foundation of our communities - KelownaChamber.org I care about well-being and want everyone to have a happy, healthy and fulfilling life; Kailey volunteers at Balance Well-Being - BalanceWell-Being.com I care about animals; They bring so much joy to the world. Kailey and I have volunteered at Arion Horse Therapy together, which is an amazing organization - ariontherapeutic.farm I care about students; As an alumni at UBCO - University of British Columbia Okanagan Campus and Okanagan College, I love volunteering to support students.
What impact have you seen the organization(s) you work with, and their volunteers, make in the community?
Throughout the organizations I have worked with, I have seen them help to create a place to connect and belong, lifting people and businesses up. I have also witnessed the creation of close teams of volunteers - a tribe, a family and have seen ambassadors out in the community creating awareness.
What support is needed by the organization(s) and how can people learn more or get involved?
As for all businesses, Awareness is KEY. People can help by spreading the word to reach more people. It is great that Volinspire is helping create that Awareness.
Is there a person, organization or caring company (e.g. employer) you would like to recognize that has helped support you to make a difference?
Laurie Bartley (from LinkedIn): Manager of Volunteers, Lifetime Member, 10-year Volunteer Central Okanagan Hospice Association 2005 – 2015 (10 years) Okanagan Valley, BC
I have been involved with COHA for 10 years, in the following capacities: - as a volunteer with families in need, - as the Board liason for the 'Holding Hands for Hospice' Campaign to build Kelowna's Hospice House, - as the Manager of Volunteers, responsible to train, support and grow the volunteer base, - currently a volunteer in the Vigil program, offering on-call companioning to those in their final moments of life.
To all the Okanagan College students, staff and alumni who give so generously of their time and efforts to so many organizations and good causes, thank you. Here's knowing that your dedication and devotion will continue to inspire us in 2017! Best of the season to you.
We are very excited to welcome Bellamy Homes to Volinspire! This caring company supports local children’s charities and initiatives through their Ride to Reach fundraiser and their support to the Wish Come True Society. They also donated $30,000 to Okanagan College for the new Trades complex.
Visit their profile to learn more about how they are helping our community and if you’re looking for a builder, Bellamy Homes will donate $250 on your behalf, to a charity of your choice!
This year we extended our commitment to community by donating to the newly constructed Trades Complex at Okanagan College . Les believes it is important for industry leaders to support and encourage young people getting into trades careers, to maintain the quality and craftsmanship that goes into building homes. “We share a commitment to enhance the learning environment for the next wave of skilled workers who will keep this important industry strong in the Okanagan.” The new Trades Complex is one of the most advanced and sustainable trades training facilities in the world. As a model for sustainability, the goal is for the Complex to reach LEED platinum standards and have net-zero energy consumption. This is achieved through an on-demand air filtration system, heat recovery system linked to the Kelowna Water Treatment Plant, motion-detecting lighting and more. Not only are the students working within state-of-the-art technology, they are surrounded by nods to the Okanagan from beautiful reclaimed wood and glulam beams, to fruit trees in the grounds. Our $30,000 donation is helping the College build for the future and produce top-quality, hard-working tradespeople. Both our industry, our economy and our community benefit from these skilled workers. It is this dedication to skill, excellence and outstanding quality of work that drives Les. Combined with his ethos of giving back, Les was inspired to build Bellamy Homes as a company that focuses on customers, communication and team work.
Meaghan Barnard, Thanks for Doing Some Good!
What first inspired you to volunteer?
I love the idea that as an individual, you have the power to make a positive impact on someone else’s life. For me, volunteering is the perfect opportunity to break the routine and try something new. It is so gratifying to know that you can be a part of the change that you want to see in the world.
Which cause are you most passionate about and why?
I feel a sense of duty to give back to the people in our community, particularly with the generations before me. Silver Surfers was created to combat isolation amongst seniors, which is so common these days. Age should not be a barrier to accessing the technology that so many of us depend on every day. Our aim with Silver Surfers is to shrink the digital divide that prevents seniors from using online platforms to communicate with their loved ones. For somebody who has health or mobility issues, the benefits of using an iPad can truly open up the world for them. Social support has far-reaching benefits on a person’s health, which is why it is so important that we encourage positive social relationships for people in our community.
Which organization do you most commonly volunteer for?
I spend my time volunteering with Silver Surfers through Enactus Okanagan College . Our non-profit is made up of student volunteers from Okanagan College who walk seniors through the fundamentals of using an iPad. We have a four-week lesson plan that explains how to operate these devices, which includes using a step-by-step booklet created by our team. Our group of volunteers come in once a week to sit down on a one-to-one or one-to-two basis to get the seniors comfortable with using an iPad. As our team was designing the curriculum, we realized that showing seniors the Internet was very similar to opening Pandora’s box; consequently, we developed our lesson plans to also teach seniors about cyber-security and how to use the Internet carefully. For seniors, technology is not necessarily intuitive like it is for college-aged students, who have grown up using smart technologies, so we guide the seniors in learning the basics so that they can feel empowered to use their iPads on their own.
What does a typical volunteer shift look like for this organization?
Depending on the week, there are specific objectives set out for the seniors to work through with a Silver Surfer volunteer by their side. Each session is about an hour long, with plenty of time to answer questions throughout. Many seniors have iPads of their own that they bring, but we do have iPads that have been provided by TELUS and Odlum Brown Limited that we offer to anyone who would like to participate. Our volunteers are there to help with the learning process and get seniors more comfortable with using technology. After the four-week program is over, the seniors who participate in Silver Surfers are able to email and FaceTime with their loved ones, download apps, and explore the Internet safely.
The team of Silver Surfer creators include: Sam Jamieson, Rebecca Alfred, Daniel Alfred, and myself. Together we organize partnerships with retirement residences, create goals and strategies for developing the program, produce curriculum, and secure funding for Silver Surfers.
What impact have you seen volunteers make in the community?
Seeing the impact that our Silver Surfer volunteers have had in the community has been pretty amazing. Something our executive team never imagined was the incredible relationships that would form between the college students and the seniors. The fact that our volunteers are willing to take time out of their busy lives to help an increasingly isolated group in our community shows the goodness of human nature. Silver Surfers has facilitated the opportunity for seniors to share their experiences and stories with college students, a demographic that many seniors are often separated from, which has been extremely gratifying and I believe positive for our community.
What is the most memorable moment or experience you've had while volunteering?
Recently, a Silver Surfer volunteer and myself were working with a senior in our program, and whilst we were learning about downloading an app, a friend of his was calling on FaceTime. Using his newly learnt skills, he promptly answered the call, and here he was catching up with a family friend who he had not spoken to in quite some time. While they were chatting, we sat back and watched the smile on his face and listened to the excitement in their voices. I thought to myself, “This is why we are here! This is exactly what we hope to achieve with all our seniors!” It was just a wonderful moment to see these two friends have a face-to-face conversation and re-connect with one another, in a way they probably never imagined would have been possible when they were my age.
What support does your organization currently need, and how can people learn more or get involved?
We have been really fortunate to have the support of businesses, such as TELUS and Odlum Brown Limited, to get the program where it is today. Naturally, as a non-profit program we are always looking for partnerships and funding to keep Silver Surfers moving forward, especially as we move into low-income retirement communities with higher levels of isolation. If people want to find out more about Silver Surfers they can visit our Facebook page www.facebook.com/silversurfersoc or send our executive team an email at firstname.lastname@example.org We are always happy to hear from our community members.
Is there anyone else you would like to recognize that has helped support you to make a difference?
We are so grateful for the support that we have received from our Enactus Okanagan College faculty. Professor Devin Rubadeau, Dr. Kyleen Myrah, and Dr. Sheilagh Seaton from Okanagan College have supported us and mentored us throughout this entire process. We are also so thankful to our volunteers who give up their Saturday mornings to work with the seniors in our community.