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Our Community: Volunteers to interview long-term care residents

Office of the Seniors Advocate is looking for volunteers to interview those in long-term care about their experiences; gently used donated shoes from all over B.C. are heading to those in need overseas

Volunteers are needed to survey seniors in publicly funded long-term care homes in Victoria to help ­determine their quality of life.

The goal of the B.C. Seniors in Long Term Care ­survey, conducted by the Office of the Seniors A­dvocate British Columbia, is to hear about their experiences and care in the facilities, both locally and provincially. The last survey, the first of its kind, was undertaken in 2016/2017.

The survey project is managed by the B.C. Office of Patient-Centred Measurement and Providence Health Care. There are more than 29,000 residents in B.C. ­publicly funded long-term care homes, with 1,900 of them living in 14 care homes in the City of Victoria.

Up to 50 volunteers are needed to visit the ­residents, see what it’s like in long-term care and conduct a ­structured interview, which takes between 30 and 60 minutes each.

• For more information, go to To apply online, go to

>>> Let the music play, with donations to Rainbow Kitchen

Enjoy a night of big band music at a fundraising event to raise money for Rainbow Kitchen, at the Victoria Event Centre, on Monday.

A community big band called JIVE (Jazz In Victoria Ensemble) is teaming up with the Bayside Big Band for a night of traditional and very much not traditional music. Admission is by donation to Rainbow Kitchen. Doors open at 7, and the show starts at 8 p.m. at 1415 Broad St. Minors allowed when accompanied by someone 19 and older. There is no food at the event but outside food is allowed.

>>> Quilters’ works feature Colours of the Salish Sea

Victoria Quilters Guild has put two of its quilts, with the theme of Colours of the Salish Sea, on public display at Tillicum Mall to commemorate International Quilt Day, March 18.

The five-foot-long, six-foot-wide quilts are made up of a collage of one-foot-square blocks made by guild members through 2022.

Members were asked to come up with a design based on a theme of underwater, rocks and beaches, forest and trails, ocean waves, views, vistas, sky, animals or boats.

The goal was to create a pictorial representation of the colours of the Salish Sea.

The two quilts can be found in a storefront in the lower level of Tillicum Mall, near the base of the ­escalator, at 3170 Tillicum Rd. The display is expected to remain until March 31.

>>> Shipping containers packed with shoes for overseas

Volunteers were busy packing a 40-foot shipping container with gently used donated shoes from all over British Columbia last week.

Industra Construction and the Davey Tree Expert Company have been working in partnership with a­ non-profit organization called Soles4Souls since 2009.

Industra’s local office has been the sole collection location for Soles4Souls on Vancouver Island, receiving daily shipments of shoes.

It has taken over a year to amass approximately 27,000 pairs of gently used shoes to fill the container.

Last week, volunteers from Industra Construction and Davey Tree packed the container, which will be transported to a Soles4Souls location in Ontario.

There, the footwear will be sorted into winter and summer shoes, with the winter shoes are going to people in need in Europe (including Ukraine) and the summer ones going to north Africa.

Soles4Souls has collected and distributed 26 million pairs of shoes to those in need in 127 countries around the world since 2006.

• For more information, go to

>>> Suzuki Foundation looks to catch ‘butterflyway rangers’

The David Suzuki Foundation is looking for bee and butterfly enthusiasts to become part of a national network of “butterflyway rangers” creating habitat gardens that provide food and shelter for wild bees and butterflies.

Rangers’ projects vary, but all are focused on creating a “butterflyway” — 12 or more habitat gardens close together. Other activities include hosting and participating in seed swaps, plant sales, community plantings and seasonal fairs.

Over the past six years, butterflyway rangers in hundreds of communities have established more than 7,000 habitat gardens and 91 butterflyways in their neighbourhoods.

The goal of the project, which launched in 2017 in Victoria and three other cities, is to boost wild bee and butterfly populations in neighbourhoods throughout Canada.

“Since 2017, butterflyway rangers have created and cared for thousands of native plant gardens that support pollinators, beautify neighbourhoods and connect communities,” said Winnie Hwo, senior public engagement specialist with the David Suzuki Foundation. “They are a powerful force for good.”

Rangers receive support and training from David Suzuki Foundation staff and experts via monthly webinars and online resources, and connect with one another through online meetups, social media and in-person gatherings.

Since the project launched, more than 1,200 volunteer butterflyway rangers have planted more than 100,000 native wildflowers and grasses as well as approximately 2,500 trees and shrubs in 7,000 habitat gardens.

For more information, or to apply, go to Deadline for applications is Feb. 13.

>>> $100,000 mark reached by Filling Bellies and Feeding Souls

The Root Cellar Village Green Grocer celebrated the 10-year anniversary of its participation in Rainbow Kitchen’s Filling Bellies and Feeding Souls project with regular donations that reached the $100,000 mark last week.

For a decade, the grocery store has provided the Esquimalt-based Rainbow Kitchen with 500 pounds of fresh produce every week. The fresh vegetables go into the pot to make the kitchen’s free in-house meals or are packed into food hampers for those in need.

In addition to weekly donations of fresh food, the Root Cellar has matched customer donations during holiday-season campaigns at its two store locations, on McKenzie Avenue and in Cook Street Village, with a combined total of more than $100,000.

“We are thrilled to have been able to make such a positive impact in our community through this partnership,” said Daisy Orser, owner of The Root Cellar Village Green Grocer. “We look forward to continuing our work with the Rainbow Kitchen for many years to come and are excited to see what the future holds.”

Patrick Johnstone, executive director for the Rainbow Kitchen, said he’s incredibly grateful for the support of the Root Cellar Village Green Grocer over the last decade. “Their commitment to providing healthy and locally sourced food has been a major contributor to our ability to feed those in need in our community.”

>>> District of Saanich adds two electric trucks

The District of Saanich has added two all-electric pickup vehicles to its fleet, to be used within the municipality’s parks and public works departments.

“We are excited to add these electric trucks to our fleet,” said Harley Machielse, director of engineering. “Not only do they align with our commitment to sustainability, but they will provide significant cost savings in the long term.”

The units feature a power onboard system that allows the vehicle’s traction battery to power and charge tools on job sites, reducing crews’ reliance on generators at work sites — and bringing Saanich closer to its goal of being carbon neutral by 2040.

The trucks will go into service this month.

To date, electric cars make up approximately 13 per cent of the municipality’s fleet vehicles.

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