Our Community: Ford donates trucks for automotive students; Habitat's door-art project

Ford donates trucks for automotive students

Ford Motor Company of Canada has donated two flood-damaged 2020 Ford F-150 trucks to Camosun College for its automotive service training program.

The donation is part of a nationwide initiative, with the company donating a total of 95 vehicles to educational institutions across the country.

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The donated vehicles were damaged in flooding last year and were not deemed suitable for retail sale. But they present a valuable opportunity for students enrolled in the Camosun College Automotive Service Technician Apprenticeship and Foundation programs to gain hands-on experience on the latest in-vehicle technology.

Local Ford dealers Suburban Motors and Glenoak Ford cleaned and detailed the vehicles prior to the donation.

In addition to the two vehicles, Ford of Canada is also providing students and faculty in the automotive service training program with access to its online Automotive Career Exploration training.

“These trucks are amazing,” said Mark Leroux, a fourth-year student. “It’s exciting to be able to work and train on new, updated technology like this.”

Walk Your Own Way, in May, to support Alzheimer campaign

People from around the province can join together to Walk Your Own Way in support of those affected by dementia.

The IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s is an online fundraiser that takes place throughout May.

Funds raised during the event help fund the Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s online programs, education and services for people in communities across the province.

While causes and treatments for dementia are still being researched, being physically active can reduce the risk of developing the disease. Those who exercise regularly are less likely to develop heart disease, stroke and diabetes — all risk factors for dementia.

“This past year has been full of unprecedented challenges, particularly for people living with dementia and their care partners,” said Barbara Lindsay, interim CEO of the Alzheimer Society of B.C. “Fundraisers like the walk help enable the society to continue providing support and resources, which are needed more than ever.”

After a month of activity, which can include walking, running or dancing, participants will be invited to an online celebration on May 30 to mark the occasion.

Early supporters of the IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s can double their impact, as a supporter has committed $35,000 to match all donations made until April 11.

For more information or to donate, register or set up a personal fundraising page, go to walkforalzheimers.ca.

Anti-racism initiatives help get the message across in B.C.

Resilience B.C. Anti-Racism Network has launched a new website to provide information, support and training for its members to respond to — and prevent — incidents of racism and hate.

The 36 members of the anti-racism network operate in more than 50 communities and include those delivering social services and community development programs, involved in the settlement sector, engaged in literacy, culture and the arts and involved in restorative justice.

The Resilience B.C. hub is managed by the Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society.

The site is funded by the provincial government.

“The expanded resources section will help people better understand what it means to be anti-racist, allowing them to stand alongside racialized communities as an ally against discrimination and hatred,” said Rachna Singh, parliamentary secretary for anti-racism initiatives.

Other provincial anti-racism initiatives underway include the creation of an Anti-Racism Act and legislation to allow the collection of race-based data.

Lisa Striegler of the Good Neighbours Committee-Nechako Healthy Community Alliance in Vanderhoof says the website allows communities in northern B.C. to connect with members to find resources and supports to help them understand the prevalence and impact of racism or how to go further along in their anti-racism work. “It also gives us a platform to share what work we’re doing on the ground and get our message across to communities in our region and beyond.”

The launch of the new website coincides with the launch of the province’s anti-racism awareness campaign, which encourages British Columbians to take action against racism.

Artists to share their visions in showcases at Habitat ReStores

Habitat for Humanity Victoria is opening the door to artists to share their vision of a brighter future during its Open a Door campaign.

Members of the community, including artists, designers and other creative individuals, are invited to reimagine a door selected from the Victoria ReStores.

Doors were chosen for the project as they represent transition — the opening of new possibilities and opportunities, says the organization.

“As we all look forward to reconnecting with our friends, family and each other, we want these pieces to demonstrate your hopes and dreams, expressed through your unique style and talent,” said Kelly King, director of communications and giving at Habitat Victoria.

The completed pieces will be showcased across the region, online and in Habitat ReStores before being offered in an online auction, with proceeds supporting constructing affordable homes for local families.

The door from the ReStore can be any size, material or type, with a value of up to $100. Participants can collect a voucher and choose a door before May 16, returning the finished work by May 22.

Artist registration is now open online.

The online auction takes place between May 28 and June 13. For more information, go to habitatvictoria.com.

Lecture on the changing face of Indigenous literature

Learn about the changing face of Indigenous literature at Canoeing Down the River of Contemporary Storytelling, a webinar lecture presented by the University of Victoria Faculty of Fine Arts on April 1.

Drew Hayden Taylor, a member of the Curve Lake First Nation and an award-winning playwright, novelist, filmmaker and journalist, will be the guest lecturer.

The lecture is made possible through funding by the Orion Fund in Fine Arts.

The lecture is free (capacity limited to 500). It starts at 12:30 p.m. on April 1 on Zoom.

Toonies for Tutoring drive supports literacy in Victoria area

The Victoria Literacy Connection is launching Toonies for Tutoring, an easy way for local book clubs to support literacy in Greater Victoria.

Book club participants are asked to donate a toonie — or more — at every meeting. The non-profit organization also suggests reading challenges, fines for not reading the book and silent auctions as other ways to increase donations among members.

“The book clubs that are already collecting toonies have made this a meaningful part of their book-club experience,” said Barbara Newton, board chair. “We know that there are many other reading groups in the region that would also find a lot of value in participating in this initiative. The groups often comment on what an easy way this is to help others improve their literacy.”

The Victoria Literacy Connection provides free literacy programs for children, youth and adults. Programs for adults include one-on-one tutoring, English conversation, computer literacy, inmate tutoring and a child-adult pen pal program.

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