Dance for the Royal Lepage Shelter Foundation

The Royal Lepage Shelter Foundation is a major donor each year to The Cridge Transition House for Women, with money raised locally by the Royal LePage Coast Capital team. They're hosting a new, fun fundraiser this year – an afternoon of dance lessons – on Sunday, April 28 fro 3-5 pm. 

Cost is a suggested donation of $10 or more, and to register email shayla.attfield AT royallepage DOT ca

Bringing the Victim into the Room

A Survivor’s Voice on Breaking the Cycle of Domestic Violence

The Cridge Centre for the Family is proud to present two free community training opportunities to stem the tide of domestic violence in our region. Speaker Kamal Dhillon, author of Black and Blue Sari and recipient of the 2012 Courage to Come Back Award, will share her very powerful personal story of surviving abuse, and work with attendees to ensure they have the tools and knowledge to support victims of relationship violence.

Kamal’s powerful personal style and workshop format ensure that all attendees are engaged in bringing the dark issue of domestic violence into the light.

Kamal will be presenting at two events in Victoria: the first will focus on the needs of Professionals and Policy Makers, including social service staff, social workers, counsellors, police, emergency responders and politicians. During the second event, Kamal will speak to leaders from across the faith community; victims of violence frequently speak first to their faith leaders, and this session will ensure those leaders feel equipped to respond when the need arises.

Cory Heavener, Director of the Provincial Office of Domestic Violence will open both events with brief remarks. Both events will take place at the Marriott Inner Harbour – Victoria, our generous hosts. Attendees will receive a meal, invaluable training, and community resource information packages.

For more details on Kamal Dhillon and her amazing message of empowerment, hope, and freedom through forgiveness, visit blackandbluesari.com.

If you would like to register for either event, select the appropriate link below.

For more information, or if you would like to be a named sponsor for this event, Shannon Whissell via email or phone (250) 995-6419.

Professionals and Policy-Makers
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Noon – 4:30 pm
Marriott Inner Harbour – Pacific Ballroom
728 Humboldt Street, Victoria
Includes Lunch

Sold Out – Join Waitlist

 

Faith Leaders
Thursday, April 18, 2013
8:00 am – 12:30 pm
Marriott Inner Harbour – Pacific Ballroom
728 Humboldt Street, Victoria
Includes Breakfast

Event Sponsors: 

Giving Back in the Giving Season

 

In this past Season of Giving, I know we were all focused on the huge responsibility of providing for our clients: ensuring that we were making the most of Christmas fundraising opportunities so that we can run our programs effectively throughout the year, working to provide Christmas gifts and hampers to our clients in financial need, providing fun and festive entertainment to clients who need some Christmas cheer, and giving our staff the special acknowledgement that they deserve during the Christmas season.
 
In the midst of the busy-ness of ensuring that all of our clients and staff were well provided for during the past several weeks, I was both touched and humbled by the examples of many of our clients who acted in their own unique ways to “give back” to the programs of The Cridge Centre. Some of the things I observed included 
 
  • Beth, the Dovetail client, who saw Louise struggling to unload the Cobs Bread donation during the week before Christmas, when staffing was lean. Beth dropped everything that she had to do and took the time to not only help unload the many bags of bread, but also to help sort and put it on the shelves. OR,
  • Kathy, the former CTHW resident, who lovingly prepared little gifts for each of the Transition House staff that had worked with her during her time at the House and who called on Christmas Day to wish our staff a Merry Christmas. She even shared that “this had been the best Christmas she had had in 40 years.” OR,
  • Jamie & Leah, the YPOP parents, who recognized that a fellow YPOP mom had a received a Christmas hamper that did not include a gift for her child, and pooled their collective “hamper resources” and gave their friend a few gifts for Santa to give her child. OR,
  • Sue, the Respitality parent, who despite the incredible challenge of raising a child with special needs, gave of her time and energy to volunteer at the Stuff the Stocking event where she was an invaluable part of the kitchen team, ensuring that food and beverages were flowing for all who attended.
What an amazing opportunity the Christmas Season brings – an opportunity for us to show Christ’s love to our clients as we work to provide wonderful gifts 
and memories for them. But, also, an opportunity for us to see the truly remarkable ways that our clients give back to us and to each other, and what a lovely gift that is!
 

In silent stillness lay

Christmas is, and always has been, a magicial time at The Cridge Centre for the Family. Back in the days of The BC Protestant Orphans' Home, children who lived here remember "Christmas was a big event. There were many special times during this season of the year … for deprived children, it was an unbelievably happy time…"

And so it is today, for many of our clients, that Christmas is both a busy and a happy time. Sometimes, though, that busy-ness can become a distraction from what we're really here for. 

This afternoon, as I sat at my desk busily clearing the way for my own time off over Christmas, I heard a sound that put me in mind of the angels that sang in Bethlehem. It was the choir from Saint Patrick's School, who had come to sing for our seniors. Beautiful young voices in harmony singing classic carols as well as a few Christmas songs slowed the whole world down momentarily. 

The children were followed by a handbell choir comprised of eight of our senior residents. They've been practicing all year to share their own Christmas songs with the residents and staff, and they played beautifully. A colleague waved to me from where I was taking pictures, and was going to rush off again, when I urged her to wait and listen to the handbell choirs last song. 

Sitting and listening – tt's one of the most rewarding activities of Christmas. In all the shopping and baking, the decorating and the bustle we can so easily forget, "The world in silent stillness lay to hear the angels sing." May you find silent moments this Christmas, moments filled with peace, with love, and with gratitude. 

The Twelve Days of Cridge-Mas

It can be a challenge during the Christmas season to know just what to buy, whom to support, and where best to spend your precious time, talent and resources. Here's our helpful guide to make your holidays just that little bit easier, updated each day from December 10 – 21: 

[toggles title=”12 Days of Cridge-Mas” active=12 speed=500]
[toggle title=”Day 1: Fill a Hamper”] All clients who receive hampers have now been spoken for. Thank you for your generous response.

[/toggle]
[toggle title=”Day 2: Stuff a Stocking”]On Friday, December 14 drop by The Cridge Village Senior's Centre Grande Lounge between 7:30 and 10:00 am for warm drinks, tasty treats, lively music, and to Stuff the Stocking for The Cridge Respitality Service. As well as a lovely morning break, you'll be providing much needed support for families raising children with special needs.[/toggle]

[toggle title=”Day 3: Transfer a Security”]Nothing says “I Care” like the gift of a stock transfer. While they may not top the list for your family members, a gift to the organization of stocks or other securities will mean we are able to help even more people in 2013. Find out more, including a transfer form for you and your broker to complete, on our Giving page.

[/toggle]
[toggle title=”Day 4: Send a Man, or 10, to the Movies”]For some men who call our brain injury residence home, social activities are a part of their recovery process. For others, a night at the movies is just a great change in routine, and an opportunity to have a little fun and forget about recovery for a while. Either way, a gift of 10 passes or gift cards for the nearby Cineplex will provide a great night out for the residents that will continue to bless them after the final credits roll. [/toggle]

[toggle title=”Day 5: Give of Yourself”]There is nothing like the joy of making another person smile, and that is what our volunteers do every time they give of themselves to spend time with our clients. Call B-I-N-G-O at the The Cridge Village Senior’s Centre, help in the childcare centre, or tidy the gardens at MacDonald House. When you give of yourself, you give the very best! Find out more on out Volunteer page.[/toggle]

[toggle title=”Day 6: Save a Seat”]Do you or a local organization you know have six folding chairs in good repair you’d like to give a new home? Our brain injury support groups at Mary Cridge Manor could put them to good use! Contact mcm@cridge.org to arrange to donate the chairs.[/toggle]

[toggle title=”Day 7: Furnish a Happy Morning”]When woman and children arrive at The Cridge Transition House for Women, they’ve often left behind some of the basics of life. Your gift of alarm clocks, umbrellas, slippers, or pyjamas will ensure a safe night’s sleep and happy good morning. [/toggle] [toggle title=”Day 8: Stock a Cupboard”]Both The Cridge Young Parent Outreach Program and The Cridge Dovetail Services maintain emergency food cupboards for clients to access on their leanest days. Non-perishable food items, diapers and toiletries are always in high need, as are bus tickets and grocery gift cards. [/toggle] [toggle title=”Day 9: Deliver Safety”]A financial donation to The Cridge Transition House for Women’s “Keys in Hand Fund” will cover the costs of moving, storage, and utilities for a woman starting out in her new, violence-free, home. Just designate ‘Keys in Hand’ in the memo of your cheque or in the Message box via online donation on our Canada Helps page.[/toggle] [toggle title=”Day 10: Re-Gift that old Cell”]Giving new phones to your teens this Christmas? Bring your old phone in for recycling and the money we make goes toward new phones for women or towards getting their phone number changed.[/toggle] [toggle title=”Day 11: Leave a Legacy”]The Cridge Centre for the Family may not exist today if not for the forward thinking and planning of key saints along the way who bequeathed gifts in their wills. Your thoughtful addition of The Cridge Centre in your estate planning will mean a brighter future for the organization and the people we serve. Contact Shannon Whissell, Manager of Communication & Fund Development, to learn more.  [/toggle] [toggle title=”Day 12: Say a Little Prayer”]This gift is last, not because it is the least important, but because we want it to stick with you. Please pray for us. Pray for our leadership – the board of directors and our Chief Executive Officer Shelley Morris – that they will have discernment, courage and wisdom in guiding the organization. Pray for our management and staff who go so far and beyond their job descriptions to make a difference in the lives of clients’ they interact with. Pray for the safety and preservation of our physical resources, that they will last to serve so many more people. And, as always, please pray for our clients, for their safety, and that their time with us will be time that edifies, strengthens, and encourages them.

[/toggle]

[/toggles]

And, just to get you in the mood, here's a very fun 12 Days of Christmas that's sure to leave you with a smile: 

What Will Your Legacy Be?

In 1892, John George Taylor updated his will, leaving his entire estate to The BC Protestant Orphans' home. Shortly after, Mr. Taylor passed away, forever changing the fate of the organization he had supported late in his life. 

According to the available records, no one is quite sure how Mr. Taylor, a police man by trade, came to amass a small fortune, but the $32,000 he left allowed the society leaders to purchase 12 acres at the corner of Hillside Avenue and Cook Street, then considered the outsksirts of the city, and to build the beautiful red brick home that now bears Mr. Taylor's name. The Taylor building is the heart of The Cridge Centre. Over 119 years it has housed orphans, the homeless, childcare services, and now seniors and administration while the surrounding Garry oak meadow provides shade and space for children to play. 

In 1917, William Alan left Victoria for the fields of war in Europe. He had spent much of his youth in the BC Protestant Orphans' Home, finding in the Taylor Building security, family, care, and encouragement that had been absent in his earlier life. There weren't a lot of jobs for young men without means or education then, so serving his country in the Canadian Army was a proud though undoubtedly difficult choice. William died in battle, and in his personal effects was found a poignant hand-written will.

He left all he owned of any worth to The BC Protestant Orphan's Home, "the only home I've ever known." One can only imagine the faces of the women who had cared for this young man when they received the news of his death and of his bequest: the feelings of loss and pride that they must have felt, and the acknowledgement and encouragement they must have received for his comment. 

The passing of time allows us to reflect on these legacy gifts of the past, and to see some of the difference they made. A legacy gift is so named not for the way it is received, but for the difference it continues to make in the life of the organization. John Taylor's gift was $32,000. His legacy is permanence, committment, and home. The soldier's gift was $1,000, but his legacy was gratitude and acknowledgement of a job well done. 

What will your legacy be? To find out more about legacy giving, or to include The Cridge Centre for the Family in your estate planning, please contact Shannon Whissell or speak with your lawyer or other estate planning professional. 

Once a Cridge Kid, Always a Cridge Kid!: A plea to support Justin Plunkett

UPDATE: July 10, 2013 – Justin lost his fight with cancer on June 6, 2013. His mom posted the following message “This morning at 4:40 am, Justin earned his wings. It was very peaceful and he was surrounded by love. Justin will be forever young. Love you my lil man.” Our thoughts and prayers are with the Plunkett family as they grieve the loss of their son, brother, nephew, grandson, and friend.


Justin Plunkett and his twin sister Jocelyn, not to mention his little sister Olivia and their cousin, were all Cridge kids. Justin and Jocelyn attended school age care in the Taylor Building, while Olivia is still well-known by the nursery, daycare and school age care staff in our new facility. You don’t turn off the love for a child just because they no longer need our services, so there are many Cridge staff who are touched by the battle against brain cancer that Justin is fighting, with his family’s support.

Justin was diagnosed with brain cancer on Christmas Eve 2010. His cancer was in remission, but on October 29 of this year the family found out that the cancer was back, and is no longer considered treatable. We ask all our friends and supporters to consider how they could help the Plunketts. In addition to suppporting Justin’s bucket list, funds will help the family cover the many expenses of serious care not covered by MSP, such as food and ferry costs while at Children’s Hospital in Vancouver, over the counter medicines, and parking at the hospital.

 

Ways you can help:

1. Bottle Drive: Drop of your bottles or a cash donation at the Bottle Drive for Justin this Saturday, November 17 from 11 am to 3 pm at 439 Davida Avenue, Victoria.

2. Donate: The family is accepting donations online at Justin’s webpage: http://www.justinplunkett.ca/. Therre are also details on Justin’s website for giving via cheque or to the trust account at CIBC.

3. Spread the Word: The more people who know Justin’s story, the more likely it is that hius family will have the support that they need, and that Justin will get to complete as much of his bucket list as his body will allow.

We will update this post as Justin makes his bucket list known. He was recently able to visit Maui and check off some amazing bucket list items – be sure to check out the photos on Justin’s website.

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
    [flgallery id=14 /]
  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.