SWOVA - Pass it On - January 2013
We are very happy to announce funding support for SWOVA’s Pass It On program. The Chris Spencer Foundation has generously given $2,500 and Salt Spring Island Foundation has donated $1,500 toward the program which is delivered in School District #64. This money will be used to help grade 8 girls make the often stressful transition to high school. Young women from the high school are trained and supervised to mentor the younger girls, and in the process learn valuable leadership skills. Adult women from our community also volunteer as speakers for group mentorship meetings, adding their skills and wisdom to the program.
Salt Spring Island Foundation are also supporting the Sexual Health for Youth Fair and workshops for grade 11s with a generous donation of $1,500. At the Sexual Health Faire, youth in the high school will be able to approach the community participants to ask questions and get information about sexual health. Participants include: SWOVA; IWAV; Options; Victim Services. Without your support, we would not have been able to run this project again this year.
It is through the support of foundations like Chris Spencer and Salt Spring Island that allows us to continue our work with youth, teaching them skills to stay safe, support each other, and foster healthy relationships. Thank you to the Chris Spencer Foundation and the Salt Spring Island Foundation!
Victoria Human Exchange Society
This description of the work of the Victoria Human Exchange Society was written by Patricia Fitzgerald.
We are most grateful to the Salt Spring Island Foundation for supporting our transitional-type housing on Salt Spring Island, which provides a furnished room and laundry facilities as an alternative to a shelter mat while a person in need is looking for permanent housing. So many people are homeless these days, and many who have always had homes and jobs now find themselves on the street.
Our Society is based on sharing life's gifts, so we are called The Human Exchange Society. Landlords rent houses to us and allow sub-letting to men and women in need. In the case of Grandma's House for men, the Land Bank Society raised the funds to buy the house and rents it to our Society. The Society gifts the owner with caring for their property; the occupants develop their gifts in the service of the Society and the community; and donors give what they can spare to support the men and women in the houses.
We are totally a volunteer organization with no paid staff, so all funds go to the needs of the occupants. We are a registered charity founded twenty years ago out of concern for the Apple Tree Club under the Johnson Street Bridge, which is why our logo represents earth as an apple. Our hope is that the spirit of sharing epitomized by the Human Exchange will spread throughout the world.
Meet us on Facebook
where you will also find grateful acknowledgement of the Salt Spring Island Foundation, and visit our web-site www.humanx.org
Island’s virtual Volunteer Centre
by Pat Burkette, in The Driftwood, 2009
On Salt Spring, volunteering isn’t a way to fill time, it’s a way of life. To help preserve that way of life, the Salt Spring Island Foundation gave a third grant this year to the island’s volunteer gateway, Volunteer Salt Spring. Via a website, www.volunteersaltspring.com. Volunteer Salt Spring matches individuals with island organizations, which list both urgent needs and new opportunities.
Bob Rush, who was instrumental in forming Volunteer Salt Spring, says that he would continually read about organizations looking for volunteers in the Driftwood, and began thinking about the need for a central volunteer clearinghouse. “I thought if we had a central place where they could go, we could match volunteers with organizations.”
But Rush and the group of like-minded people who joined him in setting up Volunteer Salt Spring soon realized having an office downtown was out of the question, and Volunteer Salt Spring’s virtual office was born. Turns out that’s a perfect fit for all of us folks who love to google, chat, and shop online.
Volunteer Salt Spring lists all kinds of volunteer needs online, from side-walkers for the Salt Spring Therapeutic Riding Association to an acquisitions coordinator for the 2009 ArtSpring Treasure Fair. Another mandate is educating volunteers and volunteer organizations on the many aspects of volunteering. For Rush, who has a long volunteer service record himself, including a fifteen year term as Salt Spring Island Foundation chair, Volunteer Salt Spring is a vital link in the community. “I feel that the island runs on volunteers. We wouldn’t have nearly the quality of life that we do without them.”
Gloria McEachern, who co-ordinates volunteers for Salt Spring Island Community Services programs and Volunteer Salt Spring, couldn’t agree more. “We have an incredible pool of very gifted people on Salt Spring,” says McEachern.
She’s had plenty of first hand experience with volunteers rising to the occasion at SSICS. At the Food Bank, which has also received support from the SSI Foundation, volunteers began noticing that recipients weren’t waiting to eat until they got home with their bag of food. “We saw that people who came to the Food Bank were pulling out the broccoli and eating it raw right then and there.” Out of that was born the “Let’s Do Brunch” program, so that recipients could be fed, and still go home with a bag of food.
McEachern would like to see more people using the Volunteer Salt Spring website to see what’s available, then taking the volunteer plunge. She’s always ready to encourage some toe dipping. When I call her for a story about the Salt Spring Island Foundation’s grant to Volunteer Salt Spring, she confides she’s thinking, “ Maybe she’d like to volunteer.”
by Pat Burkette, in The Driftwood, 2009
With the help of a grant from the Salt Spring Island Foundation, Salt Spring’s Climbing Wall, known as “The Wall,” can continue to build bridges, acting as a place where both the brave and the fearful can build trust, gain self-esteem, and make friends while having fun.
The Wall, hosted by Salt Spring Island Community Services (SSICS), is located in a tall, narrow building behind the Community Services building. It includes four 24-foot climbing surfaces, nine belay set-ups, and features like chimneys, overhangs, and bouldering.
When The Wall was built by the community in 1995, under the leadership of Jack Rosen,” says SSICS Community Resource counselor Jamie Alexander, “there was no public recreational facility on the island.”
Now, The Wall accommodates regular belay safety and training courses, kids’ birthday parties and summer climbing day camps, as well as weekly public climbing sessions on Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons and evenings. The Wall also serves school groups, PARC Camp Colossal, training for the Fire Department and Search and Rescue, Gulf Islands Families Together recreation, and private business groups.
Like many of our community programs, The Wall operates on a shoestring budget. It’s volunteer-run and charges minimal fees--$70 to climb all year, or $11 for a drop in, with climbing equipment included.
So with paint flaking and peeling on the huge hand-painted sun on the back of The Wall building, and bare plywood on side walls exposed to the weather, SSICS’s Joanne Van Pelt appealed to the Salt Spring Island Foundation for funds to help with badly needed painting and maintenance, and received a grant in 2008. The Foundation, which provided $113,000 to worthy community groups in 2008, prides itself on looking at the bigger picture when it awards funding, so that a great variety of community needs can be met. Van Pelt is glad it does. “The Foundation grant,” she says, “helped us ensure this community-built building will continue to be an asset in the community.”
Aron and Kim Dalton and their daughters Bailey, age 14, and Kya, age 16, are Wall regulars who hope others will discover that asset. “My kids and I were looking for something to do together and we thought this would be fun,” says Aron, who soon became one of the Wall’s dedicated volunteers.
“The Wall is a fairly small space,” says Aron. “But there are about 40 climbs there, for all climbing levels. We can always use more volunteers to help out, and volunteers receive free climbing. We will provide you with techniques to give you confidence. ”Aron says he puts the expertise he’s gained through rope work at the wall to use in his construction jobs. “It teaches you a lot of useful safety stuff.”
Jamie Alexander says that on one level, learning to climb is a fun thing to do. On another level, it helps people make connections, and he’s found it helpful when working with at-risk youth. “Taking risks builds self-confidence. Climbers also learn how to give positive support to other climbers, and can learn about reaching goals. On The Wall, you can see progress by inches.”
You can contact SSICS at 250-537-9971 for more info about The Wall.
This is a letter written to the Foundation in the Fall of 2005 from Jill Le Blanc and Todd Klatt, then residing in Fulford. Sadly, Jill and Todd and their little family have now left the island.
We are writing this
letter to publicly thank the Salt Spring
Island Foundation for the tremendous work
they do. As one family in this community, their
work has touched many different areas of our
lives. We are the caretakers of the Ruby Alton
Nature Reserve, and the Foundation donated
funds to help build a beautiful fence, gate, and
safe pathway for a public access to the beach
so all can enjoy Ruby’s piece of ocean. They
also have given generously to the Fulford Hall
Community Centre, where we are active members
and are witness to how many people in the
community use this hall on a daily basis. They
gave to the Tree Frog Day Care, where my son
is a regular Tree Frogger, to buy new outdoor
play equipment, as the old equipment was in
need of replacement. The Foundation has also
donated funds to help the South Salt Spring
Parents Group, who have just installed the new
children’s playground equipment at Drummond
Park. (We encourage everyone to come and take
The Salt Spring Island Foundation is run
by a wonderful group of people who really care
about helping their community. They work hard,
using money donated and bequeathed to them,
to make investments and use only the interest
to do so many good things all over Salt Spring
Island. Thank you for everything you do!