Volunteers are the heart of Community Living North Bay and play a vital role in our mission to ensure the people we support are living fulfilled lives. Read how our volunteers inspire possibilities and help people live their dreams.
Mr. Spiess has been and continues to be one of the Ontario Early Years and Inclusion Support Programs favourite volunteer!
He is known as “Mr. Fix It” as there isn’t a toy or piece of specialized equipment he can’t repair. He has keen carpentry knowledge allowing him to modify various toys; tweaking broken ones so that they can continue to be used safely and creating ‘new and improved’ versions enhancing their use.
Every Saturday he collects the Blue Boxes for our programs and for the building next door (SIL program). He also peeks in the centre to say ‘hi’ to the staff and check in for our list of repairs.
A special ‘Thank You’ also goes out to Mr. Spiess and his lovely wife, Mary. Every year they host our yearly staff celebration in July. They both open their home and swimming pool, which allows us to relax, to rejuvenate, and to rejoice!
Our program, staff, children and their families benefit from the dedication Mr. Spiess has bestowed upon us. We owe him a great deal for all his generosity and continued commitment.
Nikita and Stephanie (sitting in front) have been an absolute joy to have as student placements at the Home Style Café. Both ladies instantly became part of our team and developed a great rapport with staff and trainees, making lasting friendships. Nikita excelled in the computer skills area, while Stephanie excelled working hands on with the trainees in the kitchen. It is great to see young people with the drive and determination to go places, and the desire to get there.
Nikita and Stephanie never hesitated to jump in and help, and eagerly completed anything and everything asked of them. These two fine young ladies never complained and tackled every job with a smile on their face with ease and professionalism. We are extremely pleased with their performance and would highly recommend them for employment.
I am personally grateful for everything they have done to assist me and the Home Style Café during their placement with us. Nikita and Stephanie are always willing to go that extra mile and they both volunteer to assist with the Annual Best Buddies Banquet here at FJ April 1st. I would also like to thank Jo-Ann Wilson for organizing and recruiting such great people.
I am looking forward to the next group of volunteers, but I definitely am not in a hurry for this placement to end.
Our Student Placement from Canadore College Mikayla sharing her love for art with Gayle at our Adventures in Art on April 8th, 2016.
Mikayla engaged Gayle earlier in conversation, which sparked Gayle’s imagination. Gayle’s concentration shows how interested she was in actively participating in the group art activity. We really appreciate the extra touches our students provide while on placement.
Shannon Johnson, Community Links
Transition Services has had the pleasure of working with Melanie Nadon-Langlios a student from Canadore College for the past few weeks. During her placement Melanie has assisted the Transitions Department in completing various projects. Melanie has spent countless hours on a project creating a resource kit that will help our youth learn the driver’s manual and prepare to write a G1 test. Melanie has also worked directly with our youth during our March Break Experience where she helped facilitate trips to the Aero Space Museum, and other activities such as grocery shopping and cooking. The youth really enjoy her positive attitude, outgoing personality and ability to make others feel valued and welcome. Melanie is truly a great addition to our team and we are lucky to have her.
A Big Thank You to Jo-Ann, Mackenzie, Scott, Amy and Julie who this year planned, organized and gave their time for over 100 people we support and their family and friends to enjoy a Christmas dinner/dance celebration. These wonderful people give lots of their time to provide a supportive, fun filled evening.
Community Living North Bay participated in bingo fundraising for the past three years. Our time slot was not ideal and we were required to work Tuesday night bingos from 9:00pm – 1:00am. We had a solid group of volunteers that didn’t shy away from the late nights! Each and every volunteer showed up to work Wednesday morning with a smile on their face.
With this wonderful group of volunteers, we were able to raise thousands of dollars for Community Living North Bay’s outcome fund. This fund is available to financially assist people we support to achieve their goals and dreams. So many people we support have benefited from this fund throughout the years. Without the generosity of our bingo volunteers, we wouldn’t have been able to assist as many people through the outcomes fund. Our generous volunteers provided a total of over 1000 hours to this great fundraising initiative.
Thank you to all of the bingo volunteers over the past three years. We couldn’t have done it without you!
Donna is a volunteer and Lois is a part of the SIL Program. They have been friends since May 2015, just an example of how volunteering can turn into a wonderful and fulfilling friendship.
Donna and Lois have a great friendship.
We had lots of fun in the sun!
We stopped at the Cove to swim and pick some rocks for painting.
Donna and Lois spend their time visiting and meeting for coffee.
We cook and garden and chat on the phone.
We have been hiking at the falls and often walk at the waterfront.
We are looking forward to the summer days!!
Faith Maki came to us as a student in the Social Service Worker program at Canadore College.
She began her placement at the Ontario Early Years Centre-Nipissing (OEYC), on January 11th, 2016.
Faith volunteered full time, splitting her time between programs at One Kids Place Child and Family Centre, the Military Family Resource Centre and the OEYC. This provided her with great opportunities to interact with children and their families. Volunteering in these settings provided her with exposure to a variety of family dynamics, cultural diversity, and the ability to network with community partners. One of her favourite placements was at One Kids Place CFC. The routine, environment and interactions with both the children and parents were gratifying.
Faith assisted with the Stir-it-up evening program at the OEYC. The program taught her the dynamics of how to introduce new foods from the four food groups to both the children and parents. She learned the importance of modeling and how your facial expressions, comments and actions influence young children. Faith reluctantly ate muffins made of cranberries and whole oranges – peelings and all! By smiling and eating some of the muffin, she encouraged the children to try them. They really enjoyed this snack, but for Faith…not so much.
Faith felt she was part of the team and one of the staff. She felt safe, respected and accepted by everyone; forming special friendships with everyone.
Being part of the OEYC team helped her in building and understanding unique relationships with children, family members, other students and volunteers as well as professionals in the community.
We all wish her success in her future and will miss her warm and wonderful smile.
WOW! THE THRILL OF A LIFETIME
“Here is one thing off my bucket list”
Jon’s wish was to see how radio shows were produced. Jon revealed this to Ryelan his Best Buddie, who is a radio buff as well. Ryelan arranged for Jon to tour Canadore Panther Radio Station and meet his favorite radio personalities. Jon discussed his interests in radio production and hosting and surprise he was asked to host a show!!
“Jon has a perfect radio voice, says Ryelan”. Arrangements are in progress now for Jon to host his own show and maybe more in the future!
Community Living North Bay would like to extend a thank you to all the Canadore College/Nipissing University Students who are Best Buddies. The Best Buddies Program fosters one-to-one friendships between College and University students with an adult with an intellectual disability. The Best Buddies program provides the opportunity for people with intellectual disabilities to be involved in their local campus and community life.
The summer of 2015, for the Property and Maintenance Department, was greeted with an eager student volunteer Kameron from Algonquin Secondary School (just finished grade 8 and going into grade 9). His primary role was to assist with the lawn care for the Residential sites within Community Living North Bay.
As his familiarity with the staff and programs increased ,his tasks evolved into assisting with many other duties including pressure washing a gate, fence and helping out with the Friday BBQ’s.
Shredding is a constant item on everyone’s to do list so again he was eager to jump in and shred away!!!
His placement in the Property and Maintenance Department demonstrates that volunteers, at any age, can contribute in a meaningful way, even if it is behind the scenes.
John, Leo, Albert and myself would like to thank him for his commitment for a job well done and I am also proud to call him my nephew!
Manager-Property and Maintenance