Caring for the Caregivers 2012

Parents' love for their child may never waiver but their stamina and abilities can. Raising a child with special needs presents ongoing physical, social, emotional and financial challenges that create a state of “chronic stress” and can leave family members feeling drained, discouraged, exhausted and isolated from their community. That's where The Cridge Respitality Service steps in. The Cridge Respitality Service provides a much needed relief for these parents who experience a much needed opportunity to refresh, restore, reconnect, and return to their children better able to continue their daily lives.

The Cridge Respitality Service provides a unique and innovative is a unique program through which hotels, resorts and bed-and-breakfasts in Victoria, Parksville and Vancouver provide a complimentary overnight stay for the parents or primary caregivers of a child with a disability while the child receives respite care at home.

A bountiful welcome basket greets the guests at their room, where they often find stay enhancements like a bottle of wine, meal vouchers, or spa treatment coupons. Parents have a chance to relax and restore themselves: sometimes the only break they get in a year.

When we tell people what The Cridge Respitality Service does, they generally understand that it has something to do with the parents of a child with special needs staying at a hotel and having a break for one night from the otherwise unrelenting task of caring for their child/children. In fact, this program could not exist without the accommodations and community partners who make a "Respitality break' so special. 

Donate Now Through CanadaHelps.org!For just $97.23, you can support a family's participation in the program for a year. In addition to a respitality break, families also receive the pricesless gifts of encouragement, support, and the strength that comes from knowing their community is behind them.  (Click the Donate Now link, and select 'The Cridge Respitality' from the Fund/Designation drop-down). If you prefer to give over the phone, call Shannon Whissell at (250) 995-6419

The Cridge Respitality Service is fully funded by generous private donations, including support from The United Way of Greater Victoria.

Dance, Make Merry, and Send a Family to Camp Pringle

The Cridge Dovetail Services

The Cridge Supportive Transitional Housing/Dovetail Services is excited to be have been selected for a local fundraiser that's focused on celebrating family fun. The goal of the evening is to raise enough funds to send a family (or families) who couldn't otherwise afford it to Camp Pringle this summer. 

Camp Pringle, located on beautiful Shawnigan Lake, has an incredible array of fun activities for campers, from rock climbing to water sports to the arts. Programmin includes kids camps from ages 8 to 15 as well as family and parent & child camps. 

For many families in The Cridge Supportive Transitional Housing, activities like attending family camp together are simply beyond the means of the budget. By attending this fun evening with your own family, you will contribute to a family's opportunity to play, laugh, and build great memories together. 

“Joie de vivre” family dance and fun night fundraiser!

Join us for an evening of dancing and fun activities for all ages!

Pizza, hot dogs, FUN non-alcoholic drinks and baked goods for sale!
 
Where: Strawberry Vale Community Hall, 11 high street at burnside
When: June 30th 2012, 6 – 11 pm
Tickets: $10.00 for adults, $5.00 for kids, $30.00 for families 
 
Kids 3 and under free
 
Tickets are limited! For more information call: Helene @ 250-213-6550 or  Stephanie @ 250-686-8844
 
Click here to view, download or print the event poster

*Our sincere thanks to the event organisers, and to Camp Pringle for their support of this opportunity for our client families. 

POSTPONED – Four Great Voices – One Great Night!

The planning team for this event has made the difficult decision to postpone it until further notice. If you purchased tickets, please contact Shannon Whissell at (250) 995-6419 or by email at swhissell (at) cridge (dot) org

Victoria is blessed with a bevy of talented women, and few are more talented than the foursome of Maria Manna, Miranda Sage, Maureen Washington and Melinda Whitaker. These great ladies of jazz are all accomplished songstresses and recording artists in their own right and combined they create a night to remember.

The Cridge Centre for the Family is blessed to have them joining forces to raise the roof of Alix Goolden Hall– and support for The Cridge Respitality Service – on Friday, March 30, 2012. All proceeds from this high-class concert will support the families of The Cridge Respitality Service, now in its eleventh year of service to the community!

A very special guest for the evening will be Sky Mundell, the 2011 winner of Vancouver Island’s Got Talent, whose family benefitted from The Cridge Respitality Service. Sky was born with cerebral palsy, but despite being blind and hearing impaired, has become a champion jazz pianist. We’re honoured and excited that he’ll be part of the concert.

The Cridge Respitality Service makes a real difference for families. As one grateful mom recently wrote after experiencing a Respitality night,

“Checking in was like walking into a dream. Everything was beautiful, quiet and calm. For 24 hours, time stopped. We actually relaxed (and slept) for the first time in months. It was a magical interlude. Now our batteries are recharged enough to face the next set of 'adventures'.”

The divas in their gowns and gentleman musicians in their tuxes promise to make One Great Night a concert to remember, as they showcase some of the greatest ballads and standards of the last century. Jazz lovers and community supporters alike are promised a great night out!

This fun evening of music and celebration is a great value, as adult tickets are only $20 and tickets for seniors (65+) and youth (18 or younger) are just $15.

2nd annual look good : do good cut-a-thon

The second annual look good : do good cut-a-thon sponsored by headstart hair design will take place Sunday, March 4, 2012 from noon until 4 pm. 

This great event is sponsored by salon owners Chris & Garry Preston. Salon manager Megan, along with 8 other professional stylists, will provide great basic cuts for a minimum suggested donation of $15. With refreshments, door prizes, and an information table about The Cridge Respitality Service, the event is a fun, family-friendly time. 

Last year over $1,500 was raised at the event, and with more stylists this year promises to be an even bigger contribution to the families who rely on The Cridge Respitality Service. 

Details:

  • Sunday, March 4, 2012
  • Noon – 4:00 pm
  • headstart hair design – 1315 cook street
  • haircuts by donation (suggested minimum $15)

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United Way Grants $55,000 for Three Years to Cridge Centre Programs

 

     
 
 
 
The Cridge Centre for the Family
Media Release, December 19, 2011
 
The United Way Supports The Cridge Centre Services for Families in Need
 
Just in time for Christmas, the United Way of Greater Victoria announced two significant grants that, for the next three years will provide expanded support and service for clients of both The Cridge Young Parent Outreach Program and The Cridge Respitality Service.  
 
The promise of $35,000 per year for three years is transformative for The Cridge Respitality Service, which for the past ten years has relied on the generosity of private donors and the support of the hospitality sector and other business partners. The core of Respitality is complimentary hotel stays for parents who need a break to restore themselves from the ongoing stress of raising a child with special needs. These stays are donated by accommodation partners here in Victoria, as well as in Vancouver, Parksville and the Comox valley. However, for families who are not able to leave their children overnight, we can also arrange ‘dining with Respitality’ or theatre, sports events, or other evenings out. 
 
One of the most important aspects of our service though, is our coordinator’s commitment to listen to families and meet their needs whatever is going on – sometimes that may mean a package of cupcakes delivered to a burnt-out mom at the pediatric ward of the hospital, or an hour on the phone listening to their worries. The Cridge Respitality Service provides respite, advocacy and support services for more than 425 families of children with special needs. Stable funding means that staff will now be able to focus on expanding services to clients on the waiting list, and investigate related services to support the challenges faced by families with children with special needs. 
 
The Cridge Young Parent Outreach Program (YPOP) is a youth-centred program supporting young moms (ages 16 to 24 years) to create stable, safe, healthy lives for themselves and their children.  It previously received innovation funding from The United Way of Greater Victoria which allowed the Young Parent Outreach Worker to support an extra 10 clients throughout 2011. That funding was set to expire December 31, 2011 and the timely announcement of $20,000 for three years means further expansion to the program. 
 
The Cridge YPOP provides responsive support that is entirely client directed and is not restricted to young parents from any one school, childcare centre or agency. This is a different model of service to young parents than is offered by the supported daycare model. The generous funding from the United Way of Greater Victoria will allow us to extend this support to more parents, making a significant difference in the lives of young parents and their children. The ever-growing demand for support for young parents will be alleviated to some extent through this grant.
 
The Cridge Centre for the Family is grateful for their cooperative partnership with The United Way of Greater Victoria as both organizations work to support families and individuals in need across the region. 

 

A Blessed Respitality Morning

This morning we held the first annual 'Stuff the Stocking for Respitality' fundraiser, and what an event it was. When you schedule a community event from 7:30 – 10:30 in the morning, it's a bit of a question as to who will show up. And when it's a brand new, never tried before event, the question looms ever bigger as the opening moments approach. Once again, the community and our generous and faithful supporters came through.

Guests enjoyed the beautiful music performed by Pat Shumka, pianist from Cordova Bay United Church, and Elizabeth Skilling, a classicaly trained opera singer. These women gave so beautifully not just of their time but also of their talents, and it was appreciated over and over again. So many of our guests intended to donate & run, but lingered to enjoy the music. 

The delicious Christmas treats were a hit, of course – from a bagel with cream cheese to a decadent brownie, or perhaps just some fruit and yogourt donated by Country Grocer and accompanied by hot apple cider or fresh coffee donated by Caffe Fantastico. 

Two beautiful gift basket door prizes were also a hit, and we're certain that the winners will enjoy the many treats from Bungalow and Butchart Gardens especially in the coming weeks. 

But the real magic of the morning was in the joy of giving and sharing. There was amazing energy in the room as staff, clients, society and board members, volunteers and our invaluable community supporters all came together for one purpose – to make a difference for the 400+ families supported by The Cridge Respitality Service. 

At the end of the day, more than $7800.00 – that's enough to support 83 famlies in the program for one year – was given. What better way to celebrate the season than to make a difference for so many families.

Our special thanks to all of the event sponsors who made the event so successful

And thank you to representatives from the Chateau Victoria and the Harbour Towers, two of our invaluable accommodations partners whose support year round – as well as on this special occasion – makes such a difference.

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What is “Philanthropy”?

 

Today I attended the local National Philanthropy Day events: a breakfast, a workshop, and an evening gala. In the morning workshop, Andrea McManus, one of Canada's top fundraising professionals, made great distinctions between philanthropy, development and fundraising, and she emphasised how important it is that we focus on the former.

It sounded good, but I honestly didn't quite understand her point. This evening, as I watched the awards presentation and listened to the gracious recipients, the penny dropped, and I suddenly realised what "philanthropy" truly is. 

When we think about philanthropy, we tend to think of the Carnegies and Rockefellers who created the first libraries, concert halls and museums across North America. More recently we think of Bono, Warren Buffet, and Bill Gates – men who have made large amounts of money in their chosen fields, and now are re-focusing their energies on redistributing that wealth in humanitarian works that matter to them. That is one style and form of philanthropy, but only one very narrow interpretation. 

A quick linguistics lesson that had me understand: the word "philanthropy" is composed of two Greek roots philos and anthropo. Philos is one of three Greek words for love: agape, God's love for us; eros, physical love, and philos, brotherly love. Anthropo is the Greek word that refers to humans as a group, as in Anthropology. Philanthropy, then, is a brotherly love for humanity – not individual people, but people on the whole. 

Suddenly, I realised the theme of the day, and how we live it out each day at The Cridge Centre. The National Philanthropy Day theme of 'Change the world with a giving heart" is completely consistent with our guiding thought "… Because Love is the Bottom Line." Without love, all of our actions, all of our services, all of our events and communcation are meaningless. 

It also gives me a whole new reading of 1 Corinthians 13: 1-3

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

We appreciate your gifts of time, of talent, and of treasure. And we accept them all as gifts of your love.