A multi-faith approach has helped bring a little warmth to people on Victoria’s streets.
Representatives of Congregation Emanu-El Synagogue and CARTS (Christian Actions Reflecting the Spirit) Outreach came together to hand out donated socks, along with coffee and caring words, on a walk through town that started at Victoria city hall.
With a total of 7,560 pairs of socks to distribute, many other agencies also pitched in to get them to the people who need them most. McGregor Socks has provided close to 50,000 pairs of socks since 2007 to help the region’s less fortunate.
Congregation Emanu-El’s social-action group, Avodah, has been the driving force behind the sock-distribution initiative, said Don McTavish of the Victoria Cool Aid Society, which also supports the effort.
A pair of clean, warm socks can always be used by someone in need, McTavish said.
“It’s one of those lovely things that if you have you take for granted,” he said. “When you don’t have it is when you miss it.”
The family of Catherine Clarke will be joined by members of the local triathlon community and others Jan. 5 at a memorial service for the popular athlete.
Clarke died in a Nov. 1 traffic accident while on holiday in New Zealand, where she had just turned in a personal best at a triathlon in Auckland. The service will take place at St. Patrick’s Church at noon.
For anyone who can’t make the service and would like to make a donation in Clarke’s memory, the family suggests the 9-10 Club, a local soup kitchen where Clarke volunteered in high school — and which remained special to her for the rest of her life.
The 9-10 Club, which operates out of St. Andrew’s Cathedral, can be contacted at 250-884-4459.
A website billed as a “one-stop shop” for seniors and their families has been established by Beacon Community Services.
BeaconConnects.ca is a goldmine of information about services geared to enhancing seniors’ quality of life and maintaining their independence, along with services for seniors with disabilities. The site is divided into 13 categories where seniors can find out about things like home care, meal services and pharmacies that provide delivery of medications.
Also on the site are lists of seniors’ activity centres and housing opportunities, as well as links to financial information.
Beacon Community Services, a not-for-profit community agency, has been working with the region’s seniors for close to 40 years, so the website was created from a wealth of experience. The agency currently partners with the Vancouver Island Health Authority in a home-support program for more than 3,000 clients, and also runs the SHOAL (Sidney Health Options for Active Living) Centre in Sidney.
VIHA, the Family Caregivers’ Network Society and Seniors Serving Seniors were also involved in creating BeaconConnects.ca.
An early Christmas present from Down Under has made its way to the Victoria Society for Autism.
The local organization has been mistaken for being in Victoria, Australia in the past, but this time, the confusion brought a $750 cheque to its doorstep. Society president Lori Frank said the cheque was mailed from the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court in Melbourne, Australia.
A letter that accompanied it said the money was part of diversion plan in which a first-time, low-level offender was required to make a donation to a charity. Frank took the cheque to Coast Capital Savings to make sure everything was on the up-and-up, and Coast Capital staff contacted the Australian court.
This is the written response that came back to the society:
“Upon further investigation, it appears the cheque was intended for Autism Victoria in Australia, however the way we record these donations makes it hard to trace the original payee. The state diversion co-ordinator has agreed that you can deposit the cheque and enjoy the benefit of the donation in this instance.”
Frank said the surprise contribution will be put to good use.
The latest round of grants from the Victoria Foundation totals $862,700, which has been given out to 56 non-profit groups around Vancouver Island.
The grants brought the 2012 total distributed by the foundation to $9.3 million. A final round of grants for this year is pending.
One of the biggest grants was $42,500 for Saanich Neighbourhood Place. The money will be used to add child-care spots to the agency’s Full of Beans preschool, including 20 half-day spaces, 25 full-day spaces and eight infant-toddler spaces.
Among the other agencies receiving support are Steps to the Future Child Care Society in Sooke ($10,000), Peninsula Streams Society ($10,000) and Together Against Poverty Society ($14,862).
“Each year, we have the pleasure of inviting and reviewing grant requests from the many wonderful non-profit organizations in our communities,” Victoria Foundation CEO Sandra Richardson said in a statement.
“Our thanks go to all of the applicants, advisers, committee members, donors and board members for their enthusiastic participation in this busy cycle of 2012 community grants.”
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