To provide support to people with physical and mental disabilities by developing and implementing outdoor and wilderness recreation programs in order to promote independence, assist with integration, reduce isolation and improve mental well-being.
United Way Central & South Okanagan/Similkameen was proud to facilitate five full Days of Caring last week which produced over 180 hours for local non-profits! Last week, UBCO - University of British Columbia Okanagan Campus students once again generously volunteered their time to help local charities through the United Way Day of Caring® Program. More than 55 students signed up through the UBC Okanagan Community Service Learning Program, and donated 180 hours of time saving the agencies valuable time and resources. Projects included indoor cleaning, painting, event support, sorting resource kits and compiling housing kits.
We would like to congratulate Ryan Lancaster from Scale My Life for having the most impactful volunteer spotlight of December 2016. For sharing his inspiring story with us, Volinspire has given Ryan a $250 gift card to donate to a charity of his choice. Here are a few words from Ryan about where he has chosen to give:
"I have chosen Inn From the Cold - Kelowna because they are making an incredible impact to homeless individuals in our community who are dealing with mental health and addiction issues. IFTC puts shelter first at the forefront of the healing process and that not only gives people a place to go when they have no other option but helps give them the safety and security they need to get back on their feet.
IFTC focuses on treating everyone with compassion and respect no matter what their situation. They build a strong community of positivity and support and follow that through with programs to make sure individuals get the care they need over the longterm. "
For those living with disabilities in the Okanagan, CRIS Adaptive Adventures provides more than just outdoor recreation. It facilitates social interaction, breaks barriers, and makes the impossible possible. “Our programs allow participants to get away from the clinical environment, that so many of their days take place in,” explains Crystal Davidson, Logistics Coordinator, “and our trips give our participants something to look forward to. The mental health benefits are substantial.”
The organization provides access to adaptive sports equipment like TrailRiders (hiking chairs), tandem recumbent bikes, tandem kayaks, and sit-skis so that participants can get out into the great outdoors regardless of their level of ability. Volunteers who are passionate about the outdoors assist those with disabilities by paddling, pedaling, or pushing equipment, but even more importantly, by building relationships. Davidson also notes that “the ripple effect to their family, friends and support teams is phenomenal” as well. Living with a disability presents many challenges, but CRIS Adaptive Adventures is working to make it easier for participants to experience all the benefits nature has to offer.
Coming up on Sunday June 26, the West Kelowna Fire Rescue Paid On-Call Association will be hosting the first annual Boucherie Grind. Registrants can walk or run at their own pace to complete the new RUSH trail and enjoy the fabulous views from Mount Boucherie. TrailRiders will be supplied for those who need them and everyone will get a finish line photo and their official “Grind time”. Funds raised through registration fees go directly to CRIS Adaptive Adventures.
The CRIS Adaptive Adventures provides support to people with physical and mental disabilities by implementing outdoor recreation programs in order to promote independence, assist with integration, reduce isolation and improve mental well-being of these individuals. Since 2001, Troy Becker has helped enrich the lives of dozens of people with physical and mental disabilities, both inside and outside the Okanagan. Over the last 15 years, Troy has volunteered over 5,000 hours of his time towards facilitating and carrying out trips throughout the Okanagan, and as far away as Alberta and the U.S. Under Becker’s guidance, CRIS has grown in leaps and bounds and has served close to 100 individuals in the last year.
Thank you Troy and all the staff and volunteers at CRIS!