Congratulations Soroptomists

Our hearty congratulations to the Soroptomists International Greater Victoria chapter!

These amazing women, celebrating their 80th year of service to Victoria, were honoured last night at the Victoria National Philanthropy Day awards with the 2012 Outstanding Philanthropic Service Club Award for their many projects supporting women in the city. 

Soroptimist, meaning "best for women," raises an average of $35,000 annually to support efforts such as The Cridge Transition House for Women, other transition houses in the city, holiday hampers for single-parent families, school supplies, bursaries and birth training. 

At The Cridge Transition House for Women, the Soroptimists provide 'Fresh Start' kits, providing many of the essentials of a home such as dish drying racks, mops, dish soap, and linens, that are so expensive to replace when a woman is fleeing domestic violence. These kits turn a shelter into a home. 

We're grateful for the commitment of the Soroptimists' support, and so happy to see them recognized for the difference they make for women in so many ways. Soroptimists International of Greater Victoria, you really are 'Best for Women."

 

Violence Against Women is Everyone’s Issue

This autumn will see a number of initiatives at The Cridge Centre to highlight the conversation around and educate people about violence against women.

  1. Orange Day – October 25, and the 25th of each month following, The Cridge Centre for the Family will participate in Orange Day, an initiative of the United Nations General Secretary Ban Ki Moon to end violence against women world wide. Orange t-shirts, orange candies, orange information posters and orange ribbons will ensure that the message – it is up to all of us to end violence – is loud and clear. To learn more about Orange Day initiatives, visit the UNiTE website. If you’d like to know more about our Orange Day activites, please contact Candace Stretch for more information.UPDATE: Enjoy these pictures from Orange Days at The Cridge Centre
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  2. White Ribbon  – The Cridge Centre will be coordinating a number of White Ribbon campaigns across the city. The campaigns will kick-off on November 25th, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and will culminate on December 6th, The National Day of Remebrance and Action on Violence Against Women. White Ribbon campaigns allow male leaders to take a pledge against violenece against women in all its forms, and encourage other men to do the same. The White Ribbon campaign reinforces that violence against women is a societal issue, not a women’s issue. To hold your own White Ribbon campaign in collaboration with The Cridge Centre, please contact Marlene Goley for more information.
  3. Dr. Jackson Katz – Renowned anti-sexist male activist Jackson Katz will be speaking Nanaimo on November 26th and 27th. Dr. Katz is an American educator, author, filmmaker and cultural theorist who is internationally recognized for his groundbreaking work in the fields of gender violence prevention education and critical media literacy. The three scheduled events are a special opportunity to hear Dr. Katz and learn from his innovative and successful work to end violence. The events are sponsored by The Haven Society, and include a free public evening session, a male leaders’ breakfast, and an afternoon session for those working in the social services field. To register of for more information, please visit The Haven Society website.

In the meantime, Dr. Katz has produced a list of 10 THINGS MEN CAN DO TO PREVENT GENDER VIOLENCE: Please read, talk about, and share the ideas on this poster with the men in your life.

 

God Will See You Through

At the October meeting of the Cridge Management Team, Marlene Goley, Manager of Women's and Family Services, shared this devotional by Brigette Weeks. We share it here, as posted on Guideposts, with the hope that it will help you see 'order in the chaos':

My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only He will release my feet from the snare. —Psalm 25:15

Riding a rented bicycle with marginal brakes into a four-way intersection on an unsurfaced road is no game for the fainthearted—and I am fainthearted. But while on a trip to Vietnam, that is exactly the situation in which I was horrified to find myself.

There are few motorcars in Hanoi and almost no public transportation, but there are hundreds of thousands of bicycles and small motorcycles racing around the city, guided by no apparent rules.

 
Taking a deep breath, I plunged into a dense and fast-moving morass of vehicles, all going in different directions, many with multiple passengers and alarming amounts of merchandise. “Please, God,” I gasped, “get me out of this alive.”
 
Then I noticed the other bicycle riders kept his or her eyes glued to the four- or five-foot swath of road right in front of them. There was much swerving and weaving, but clearly you only had to take evasive action if another rider intruded into that space in front of you.
 
I’m a quick study in a tight situation. Eyes front, I told myself, and with one or two close calls I got across intersections without bodily harm for the next two weeks and, more important, without a trace of the ghastly sense of panic I had experienced that first day. God didn’t help me escape; God helped me to see order in the midst of chaos.
 
 

The Cridge Childcare children delight Governor General David Johnston

The pleasure on Governor General David Johnston's face as chidren from The Cridge Childcare Services demonstrated phycial literacy for him was more then clear. His Excellency beamed, clapped and high-fived the children who performed, clearly delighting in their energetic display of throwing skills. 

For the past several months, the children of The Cridge Childcare services from age 3-12 worked with instructors from the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence on age-appropriate basics of sport. Called the ABC's of Physical Literacy, the program is funded by The Victoria Foundation in response to a challenge from Governor General David Johnstone for community foundations to contribute to the creation of 'smart and caring' Canadians. 

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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.

The buskers are coming – AGAIN!

We are excited to once again be hosting  two international acts from the Victoria International Buskers' Festival.

Clients, society members, volunteers and community members are welcome to join us in the upper parking lot of The Cridge Village for two fun, family-friendly, and mind-twisting acts. 

Les Vitaminés
Wednesday July 25 @ 3:00 pm

Les Vitaminés are a pair of juggling acrobats who have made it their mission to dazzle people of all ages with their extraordinary abilities and burlesque-style staging. 

Mr. Spin
Friday July 27 @ 3:00 pm

Mr. Spin is a highly skilled, comic and vaudevillian-style street/circus act. He has a loveable, charismatic character that is a favourite with all audiences!

Come join the fun!

Camosun College and a partnership in caring

On June 12, 2012 Paula West-Patrick, Manager of Children's Services, and Shannon Whissell, Manager of Communications & Fund Development were honoured to attend Camosun College's presentation of awards to students in the Community, Family and Child Studies Department. The Cridge Centre for the Family, with 139 years of service to children in Greater Victoria, proudly sponsors three awards for students in the Early Learning and Care Program. 

The celebration was a reminded of how much The Cridge Centre gains from our partnereship with Camosun College, as students completing practicum placements at The Cridge Childcare Centre enrich the learning of both the children and the staff. The award winners for the 2011-2012 school year embody The Cridge Centre's focus on whole-child development, professionalism, caring, and going beyond the prescribed in service to children, families and other team members. 

The Cridge Centre for the Family – Ada Barner Award

Named for the long-serving and beloved matron of The BC Protestant Orphans' Home, this award goes to an Early Learning and Care Diploma graduate who has excelled in written, oral and practical work evidencing a comprehensive grasp of the nurturance of the whole child: spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, physically and socially; and the understanding of the vital partnership with the family in encouraging a child to develop to their greatest potential.

This year's winner is Lee-Ann "Annie" Erickson. Annie's mentor said that from the moment she met Annie, it was apparent that she is passionate about children and families. Annie supported the family-centred philosophy of the centre and enriched it. Her narrations were delightful and insightful. Annie's instructor appreciate her ability to incorporate feedback and learning into her practice. Annie thourghfully planned for the children in her care, noticing individual children's strengths and delights. Annie, you are a credit to the field of Early Childhood. 

This years recipient, coincidentally, is currently blessing The Cridge Childcare Centre by completing her special needs practicum among the preschool children. 

The Cridge Centre for the Family – Regional Award

This award is presented to an Early Learning and Care Diploma program student who excelled in all outcomes of each practicum, demonstrating professionalism and excellent practice.

It was a pleasure to present the award to Nadely Wilkinson. Nadely's instructor noted that her skill in working with children was far beyond that of a second practicum student. She was competent, working seamlessly with child care staff taking on the role of a professional early childhood educator. Her mentor said that she demonstrated a high level of professionalism and dedication, and was always friendly, opan and approachable. Well done, and well deserved, Nadely. 

The Cridge Centre for the Family – Pursuit of Excellence Award

The recipient of this award has shown a commitment to professional excellence. During their first year this student will have practically demonstrated a knowledge of professional behaviour and exhibited intuitive respect for children.

Although she was unable to attend the ceremony, we are pleased the award went to Aracelli Orozco Morales. Araceli has completed the first year of her ELD diploma program. At the end of the first year, her instructor said that it was a pleasure to have Aracelli as a practicum student. She excelled in both practica, easily assuming the role of a professional educator. The mentors for both of her practicum placements appreciated her competent and sensitive manner while working with the children and their families. Araceli, you bring many gifts to the profession. 

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All photos are copyright of Camosun College, and are used with their generous permission. All photos from the event are available on the Camosun College Flickr stream. 

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. 

Society Member’s Breakfast 2012

The Cridge Centre for the Family, like all non-profits and charities in Canada, is truly owned and answers to a committed volunteer body, the society members. In the case of The Cridge Centre, society members provide support in many ways, including expert advice, volunteer activities, and prayerful support. High on the list of member benefits, and one of the ways we annually try to thank these committed guides is with the Society Member's Breakfast. 

Planning start early in the year to ensure that as many board members and management staff are on hand to thank as many society members as possible. It would be impossible to over-state how important our society members are to the ongoing growth and service of The Cridge Centre. The breakfast is an opportunity to connect, to inform and always to thank.

The morning of, Chef Nik and his team roll out of bed early to prepare a delicious breakfast – this year the choices were between a tasty spanich omelette and a healthy fruit and yogourt parfait. An opening grace, an opening welcome, conversation over the meal, and a special presentation about one of the programs is always part of the morning. This year, Nicole Andrews of The Cridge Young Parent Outreach Program shared the microphone with both a current and a past client to give a sense of the difference that program is making for young moms in the community. 

The members of the society are the spine in the body of The Cridge Centre. Christians interested in finding out more about this opportunity to contribute to The Cridge Centre should contact Pat Bailey by phone at (250) 995-6410 or by email at pbailey@cridge.org.

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The Gift of Love from Adore’s Dream Women

The Cridge Dovetail Services

What’s a manicure worth? What about a haircut? Time for yourself? Now – what price would you put on an evening of pampering, complete with professional hair, make-up and nail treatments and a decadent dessert tea, all while your children are safely cared for nearby.

For the women of The Cridge Dovetail Services, that priceless evening was provided this week by the Dream Women at Adore Victoria, a congregation that meets at Glad Tidings church whose purpose is to love God, build community, serve the church and send prepared disciples. This was the second evening of pampering that the Dream Women, “A network of women of all ages who dream for their God, their church and their city,” have provided for Dovetail clients, and the gift of time, attention and fellowship is one that is hard to translate.

For many of us, getting a haircut is as routine as paying the electricity bill, but for some of our clients struggling with poverty, getting a haircut never quite gets to the top of the budget. For other clients recovering from abusive relationships that kept them isolated, an evening in a safe place with a group of friends old and new relaxing, connecting, chatting, and just being themselves is a gift beyond measure.

Marlene Letendre, the Dovetail staff person who attended the evening, said , “it’s hard to put into words what this evening means for the women. You can see them transform as they move from the manicure station to getting their hair and makeup done. It’s not just the outside changing. Some of the women said they couldn’t remember the last time someone paid so much kind attention to them.”

The first evening the Dream Women hosted Dovetail clients was in November 2011, and the clients continued to remark on what a special evening it was for more than a month afterwards. In their gracious generosity, their giving spirits and loving actions, the Dream Women of Adore truly embody the admonition of John “My little children, let us not love win word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:18).