Help Build Kindness in the World

With so many bad things going on in the world, it can seem like kindness is in short supply.

Yet an understanding listener or a word of encouragement can create waves of kindness that ripple throughout peoples’ lives, their families and the whole community.

It’s up to all of us to make sure we’re building kindness in the world around us, and Acclaim Health is providing an opportunity for you to make it happen in our communities through a variety of volunteer opportunities.

  • Volunteer at Acclaim Health – you’ll join an amazing team of wonderful, caring people working hard to make the world a better place.
  • Share this info with someone you think would make a great volunteer.
  • Attend an upcoming training session or choose another one of their other current volunteer opportunities

The two upcoming training sessions are free – check out the times and dates below:

Hospice Visiting Volunteer Training

One of the most meaningful volunteer experiences you’ll ever have.

Learn to companion a person with a life-threatening illness by listening, supporting and being present.

Next training session:

Thursday evenings from September 28 – November 30, 2017

6:00pm – 9:00pm

Acclaim Health, 2370 Speers Rd., Oakville

More Information | Apply Online

Bereavement Peer Support Volunteer Training

Have you experienced grief yourself and are now strong enough to help someone else move forward? Are you a caring and compassionate listener?

Help another through the grieving process by becoming a Bereavement Peer Support volunteer.

Next training session:

Monday afternoons from October 16 – December 4, 2017

1:00pm – 4:00pm

Church of the Nazarene, 320 Bronte Rd., Oakville

More Information | Apply Online

If you have questions about any of the volunteer opportunities, contact Dee Kearns at 905-827-8800 x2313  for more information.

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1940 Pounds of Food

That’s a lot of cans, bottles and packages to sort through for a team from WFH who spent Thursday afternoon sorting and boxing up donated food at Food For Life.

The need to feed families in Halton and Hamilton never goes away and the summer season doesn’t make the job any easier. Sarah Wolf, Community Engagement Co-ordinater at Food For Life noted that 1 in 5 families in Hamilton and 1 in 7 families in Burlington are “food insecure.”

Just a few hours of work can yield big results. By sorting through boxes, checking expiry dates, and categorizing food by type the team was able to accumulate 1940 pounds of food ready to be distributed to food banks and other pickup points across Halton.

Thanks as well to the WFH members who donated food – it was very appreciated!

Check out the video of our afternoon as well as some pics of the event!

 

Walking for Carpenter Hospice

Widowed Friends recently participated in Carpenter Hospice’s  9th annual Hike for the Hospice.

Carpenter Hospice offers both residential-based care to people in the last stages of their lives, and community-based programs for people dealing with grief or a life-limiting illness. It lets residents spend their final days together with loved ones in an environment that is peaceful, comfortable and meaningful.

Billy and Grace S missing from this pic!

Walking just 4.7 kilometres through neighbourhoods around the hospice,  the Widowed Friends team raised over $1000 for the organization.  The weather co-operated nicely and the crowd of over 400 made their way around the course easily, stopping  mid-way to add the name of a loved one to the remembrance wall.  Arriving back at Mountainside Recreation Centre, everyone was treated to lunch provided by a great team of volunteers.

Thanks to all the participants for coming out on a Saturday morning to support a great cause.

Chet & John through the finish line!
Memory Wall

How Partying With A Purpose Supports the Halton Community

Recently, we posted some information about Acclaim Health’s annual fund-raising event Party With A Purpose. We thought it might be interesting to chat with Patricia Blakely, Acclaim’s Director of Community Services about how funds raised at the event will be used to support Acclaim’s community programs.

Q. Many of us are familiar with Acclaim’s bereavement support programs; what other programs are available that support the Halton community?

A. Acclaim’s Community Support Services help frail isolated seniors through friendly visits and telephone reassurance calls.  We also offer a home exercise program that helps increase frail seniors’ strength, balance and mobility.  We provide volunteer visits to people with a memory impairment and support to their caregivers. Most of these programs have a wait list.  In our hospice program we provide emotional support, community referrals and visits to people living with a life limiting illness and their loved ones.  And of course you know our bereavement programs!

 

Q. How many people do you serve within Halton?

A. Through all of our volunteer based visiting programs we supported over 1200 people last year.

 

Q. Is Party with a Purpose in support of these programs?  How will it help the Halton community?

A. Party with a Purpose will support all of the programs in Community Support Services. Funds raised will support our volunteer recruitment, training, engagement and retention. With more volunteers, we will be able to provide services to more clients and reduce wait lists. We also would like to offer new services such as complimentary therapies.

 

Q. What volunteer opportunities are available to members to support the community programs?

A. Widowed Friends of Halton are welcome to volunteer in any of our Community Support Services programs.  There are also volunteer opportunities in our Alzheimer Services.  Here is a link to our volunteer information on our website.  We welcome any WFH member who might like to spend a few hours a month helping out in the community.

 

Q. Do you envision the programs growing and expanding over the next few years?  What might they look like in the future?

A. As the population ages, we expect that there will be an increasing need for our programs.  We also are always looking for opportunities to benefit our clients.  We would love to expand our Hospice programs to provide more caregiver support and wellness programs.  In our Bereavement programs, we would like to offer a drop-in support group.  In our Friendly Visiting and Memory Visiting programs we are also interested in providing wellness programs and opportunities for group activities.

 

Q. Are there still tickets available for Party with A Purpose?

A. Of course! Check out more information about the event here. Tax receipts will be issued following the event. We look forward to seeing you – it should be a great, fun evening!

 

 

 

Party With A Purpose For Acclaim Health

Many of us are familiar with Acclaim Health and the wonderful services they offer to over 24,000 clients in Halton annually.  Some of us might know them best from their bereavement counselling services, but the organization also offers a wide variety of other services to the community including assisting isolated seniors, preserving the independence of those needing help at home, and providing relief for caregivers.

Like so many charities, Acclaim is in need of financial support to continue offering its wide array of services to the community.  That’s where the fun comes in.  Party with a Purpose  on May 5th is an annual fundraising event, featuring cocktails, food stations, live and silent auctions and dancing.

A group from Widowed Friends of Halton is registered to go, so if you’d like to join us, please let us know on Meetup and we can attend together.  Individual tax receipts will be available following the event!

Look forward to seeing you there!

For more information about Acclaim Health, check out this client testimonial video.

 

Widowed Friends Group Donates Time & Energy To Food For Life

WFH members were a diligent and industrious crew at Food For Life today. Arriving mid afternoon, the crew worked hard to sort and separate cans and packages and fill boxes with food to be redistributed to the hungry in Halton.

Food for Life is the largest food redistribution network in Halton, providing food for more than 200,000 meals per month – the equivalent to 2.5 million meals annually. As a charity that serves other charities, it supports more than 80 food banks and community food programs in Halton.

In just one afternoon, WFH volunteers sorted enough food to provide 2357 meals across Halton – an amazing feat considering it was only an afternoon’s work.

When all the food had been sorted and boxed, many of the volunteers retired to the local Artisano’s for a chat and light meal, feeling good about all they had accomplished in such a short time.

The next volunteer opportunity will probably be in June when large amounts of produce will be coming in to the Food For Life warehouse for redistribution.  Watch for more details on meet up, if you’d like to participate then!  Here are some pics from the event.

 

The Glitter & Ice Dance Party

November is half over and Christmas is on its way!  What better way to kick off the festive season than attending the Glitter & Ice Dance Party on December 3rd at the Knights of Columbus in Oakville!
Each dance over the past few months has focused  on supporting a Halton charity. In October,  following the Halloween Dance, Halton Dance Party  provided a  $1200 cheque to Carpenter Hospice!

firefightersThe Glitter & Ice Dance is supporting the 24th annual Oakville Firefighters Children’s Toy Drive . The goal of the toy drive is to ensure every child in the area receives a gift on Christmas morning, so we hope attendees will dig deep and support the cause.  The firefighters will use the money raised to purchase gifts, so no need to bring a gift, just come with a little extra money for raffles, a giving tree and more.

Please ensure you purchase your tickets for $20  as soon as possible.  We are expecting a full house and want to ensure tickets are available to everyone who wants them.  For more information, check out this site or speak with Dorothy or Stephanie about purchasing your tickets.

 

October Round-up

It’s been a busy month with Thanksgiving and Halloween and lots of Widowed Friends of Halton events!

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Great meals at Sotiris, Nino’s, Symposium Cafe, and Olive Press ( with thanks to John D for his endless supply of mints)
  • Many thanks to Dominic for cooking up a storm at his home
  • Wonderful turnout at Hampton’s – congratulations to Dianne W for winning the raffle basket of goodies
  • Latin dancing with Julie

Thanks also to Anne, Linda, Bob C, Shirley R and Frank for hosting our daytime coffee’s while Stephanie and Dorothy were away.

 

Stephanie and Dorothy present cheque to Carpenter Hospice
Stephanie and Dorothy present cheque to Carpenter Hospice’s Karen Candy

The Halton Dance Party Halloween dance was a huge success – many thanks to our sponsors who provided food – Ricky’s Grill, Hampton’s Restaurant, and Fortinos and to members Billy G for supplying Tim’s coffee and Judy S for speciality liqueurs added to prizes.

The dance was in support of Carpenter Hospice and we are delighted to report that we were able to provide Carpenter with a cheque for $1250.  Thank you to WFH members as well as our many attendees from around Halton.

Do you have some favourite recipes you’d like to share?  We are putting together a recipe book of members favourites – we’ve received a few recipes already -thank you to those who have contributed.  We’d like to include lots more though, so please feel free to let Dorothy or Stephanie know if you have a recipe or recipes to share.

November will be another exciting month with lots of events planned – look forward to seeing everyone soon.

 

5 Questions with Acclaim Health’s Melissa Cameron

This post was first published last May. We are reposting it in case any of our members or friends of members might be interested in the great volunteer opportunities provided by Acclaim Health.  Now is a great time to sign up for Fall and Winter volunteering!


Many people have asked us about volunteering opportunities and how to get involved with an organization to find out what is available.

We asked Melissa Cameron, Acclaim Health’s Director of Marketing and Development for her thoughts on volunteering and she generously offered to share information about her organization’s programs.

Acclaim Health has been in the Halton community for 85 years and has offices and partnerships across the entire region. Its focus is on providing people with quality, community-based health care solutions.

Q. What volunteering opportunities does Acclaim Health offer?

A. Acclaim Health offers a variety of rewarding volunteer positions. Some people prefer the quick convenience of calling isolated seniors in our Tele-Touch program, some prefer to meet their clients face to face as in our Friendly Visiting, Memory Visiting, Hospice Visiting, Bereavement Peer Support, Home Support Exercise Program and Adult Day Programs. Either way, our volunteers often say they really enjoy their time with their clients – it feels incredible to give back and help someone in need. Click here for the full list of the current volunteer opportunities, along with brief descriptions.

Q. Do you provide training for each position?

A. We do provide initial and ongoing training for all of our volunteers. For the Tele-Touch and Friendly Visiting programs, the initial training is fairly minimal – as the most important skills the volunteer needs are to be able to listen and be friendly!

Max & Antonio
Max & Antonio

Roles that require some specialized knowledge, such as our Memory Visiting, Hospice Visiting, Bereavement Peer Support, Home Support Exercise Program, all have initial training sessions that run for a few hours a week for 3 – 10 weeks. We also offer lots of interesting, free workshops on a variety of topics throughout the year that are open to all volunteers.

Q. What is the time commitment?

A. The time commitment for most of our positions is 1-2 hours a week.

Q. What do you look for in a volunteer – what characteristics ensure a volunteer is a good match for the position?

A. If you’re a warm, caring person and a good listener – than you’ll make a perfect volunteer!

Bonlyn and Tina

I’d add that sometimes people are reluctant to volunteer because they aren’t sure they’ll be able to emotionally handle the challenging situations our clients are sometimes in, but once people go through our training, experience the wonderful support they receive from our staff, and meet their client in person, these worries tend to melt away. We currently have over 650 very happy volunteers on our team – some of whom have been with us for decades, a testament to the extensive support our volunteers receive from us.

Q. What other services does Acclaim offer the community?

A. We also offer home Nursing and Personal Support (through the Community Care Access Centre and privately), Caregiver Support and Education for families caring for a loved one with dementia, and Palliative Care Consultation for medical staff in Halton, Peel and Dufferin regions.

To learn more about Acclaim’s volunteer opportunities check out the website or email volunteering@acclaimhealth.ca

What are your thoughts about volunteering? Let us know in the comments box and we’ll post your ideas.

 

Introducing The Rosie Fund

There’s one thing we know for sure. When tough times arrive, it’s nice to have a friend.

At Widowed Friends of Halton, we understand tough times and we know that connecting with each other helps us take the first few steps towards finding new ways to continue on our journeys.

Some of us however are held back due to financial issues, feeling that we can’t participate in events or be a part of the crowd due to budget limitations.

With this in mind, Widowed Friends of Halton created The Rosie Fund, named in honour of our first benefactor, Dr. Flavia Ceschin’s mother.

The Rosie Fund has been created to help out those who have limited resources but still want to be part of our community. Dr Ceschin has generously started the fund off with her contribution and we are hoping that others will follow her example and donate to those in need of financial support, so they can be a part of our community too.

To contribute to the fund or to find out how to apply for funding, please contact Stephanie or Dorothy and they’ll provide further details.

 

 

 

5 Questions with Acclaim Health’s Melissa Cameron

Many people have asked us about volunteering opportunities and how to get involved with an organization to find out what is available.

We asked Melissa Cameron, Acclaim Health’s Director of Marketing and Development for her thoughts on volunteering and she generously offered to share information about her organization’s programs.

Acclaim Health has been in the Halton community for 85 years and has offices and partnerships across the entire region. Its focus is on providing people with quality, community-based health care solutions.

Q. What volunteering opportunities does Acclaim Health offer?

A. Acclaim Health offers a variety of rewarding volunteer positions. Some people prefer the quick convenience of calling isolated seniors in our Tele-Touch program, some prefer to meet their clients face to face as in our Friendly Visiting, Memory Visiting, Hospice Visiting, Bereavement Peer Support, Home Support Exercise Program and Adult Day Programs. Either way, our volunteers often say they really enjoy their time with their clients – it feels incredible to give back and help someone in need. Click here for the full list of the current volunteer opportunities, along with brief descriptions.

Q. Do you provide training for each position?

A. We do provide initial and ongoing training for all of our volunteers. For the Tele-Touch and Friendly Visiting programs, the initial training is fairly minimal – as the most important skills the volunteer needs are to be able to listen and be friendly!

Max & Antonio
Max & Antonio

Roles that require some specialized knowledge, such as our Memory Visiting, Hospice Visiting, Bereavement Peer Support, Home Support Exercise Program, all have initial training sessions that run for a few hours a week for 3 – 10 weeks. We also offer lots of interesting, free workshops on a variety of topics throughout the year that are open to all volunteers.

Q. What is the time commitment?

A. The time commitment for most of our positions is 1-2 hours a week.

Q. What do you look for in a volunteer – what characteristics ensure a volunteer is a good match for the position?

A. If you’re a warm, caring person and a good listener – than you’ll make a perfect volunteer!

Bonlyn and Tina

I’d add that sometimes people are reluctant to volunteer because they aren’t sure they’ll be able to emotionally handle the challenging situations our clients are sometimes in, but once people go through our training, experience the wonderful support they receive from our staff, and meet their client in person, these worries tend to melt away. We currently have over 650 very happy volunteers on our team – some of whom have been with us for decades, a testament to the extensive support our volunteers receive from us.

Q. What other services does Acclaim offer the community?

A. We also offer home Nursing and Personal Support (through the Community Care Access Centre and privately), Caregiver Support and Education for families caring for a loved one with dementia, and Palliative Care Consultation for medical staff in Halton, Peel and Dufferin regions.

To learn more about Acclaim’s volunteer opportunities check out the website or email volunteering@acclaimhealth.ca

What are your thoughts about volunteering? Let us know in the comments box and we’ll post your ideas.