Saturday, March 21, 2009
McGuinty Government Pays Tribute To Ontario Volunteers
TORONTO, March 19 /CNW/ - Ontario is celebrating the dedication and commitment of thousands of volunteers in volunteer recognition ceremonies to take place across the province.
Forty-six Ontario Volunteer Service Award ceremonies in 35 communities
will be held to celebrate volunteers and volunteerism.
The Ontario Volunteer Service Awards kick off three months of volunteer
recognition including National Volunteer Week, April 19-25. During that week, Ontario will host the Ontario Medal for Young Volunteers, the June Callwood Outstanding Achievement Award for Voluntarism and partner with the Ontario Volunteer Centre Network on the 2009 ChangeTheWorld Ontario Youth Volunteer Challenge.
The awards kick off on March 25 in Stratford and wrap up on June 30 in
"Volunteers are the quiet heroes of our communities - it's citizenship in action! Volunteers strengthen not only the social fabric of our local communities but also the economic base of our great province." - Michael Chan, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.
Did You Know?
- This is the 23rd anniversary of the Ontario Volunteer Service Awards.
- Over 5 million Ontarians volunteer yearly, contributing over 800 million annual volunteer hours.
- The volunteer rate of youth in Ontario between the ages of 15 and 24 is 63 per cent.
The Ontario Volunteer Service Award ceremony schedule ontario.ca/honoursandawards
The 2009 ChangeThe World Ontario Youth Challenge ontario.ca/changetheworld encourages young people to volunteer during National Volunteer Week.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
by Jeff Nield, Vancouver, British Columbia for TreeHugger.com
In North America the food economy has long been dominated by commodities. A big part of the sustainable and local food movement is a direct response to systems that are controlled by outside interests. New models for food system are continually emerging. Martin Prosperity Institute, a "think-tank on the role of sub-national factors in global economic prosperity", recently published a report on one of these models, From Kraft to Craft: innovation and creativity in Ontario’s Food Economy. At the core of the report is the concept of a "creative food economy".
The Institute feels that sustainable food economies have "profound implications for sustainable economic development" in general because of food's intimate connection to place.
Those passionate about food and food research are inspired because food, unlike any other commodity on the planet, is intimate: we eat it and therefore how we eat it has implications for a host of policy related issues around local job creation, health, hunger, ecosystem protection, carbon footprint, labour practices, cultural awareness and diversity. As Kevin Morgan so eloquently states, “food is a prism through which we can explore the scope and complexity of many of our most pressing economic, social and ecological issues”. Once we understand this, we can begin to make significant policy change...read the full article at TreeHugger.com
Sunday, March 8, 2009
The Guelph Enabling Garden is a multi-use garden designed for children, the elderly, families, but especially for those community members with varying degrees of physical and cognitive abilities. We are pleased to announce that the “Garden” is now receiving $10,000 per annum from the United Way of Guelph and Wellington.
The following was written by Sandy Warley describing his and his wife Anita’s experiences with the Enabling Garden: from the newsletter of the United Way of Guelph and Wellington
Anita and I are involved in various aspects of the Garden’s operation but our most rewarding experience is as volunteers and users. We were at the Garden every Sunday morning this last year from April to October. Our first act on arrival is to make a tour of the garden, examining the progress of plants with the swing of the seasons, drinking in their beauty and endless interest, and noting the jobs to be done that day. Anita then busies herself with weeding, watering, plant care and sweeping the paths throughout the Garden while I tend the raised bed that bears our names. Our bed is small, only 5’ square, but what it means to me epitomizes what the Garden is all about.
I’m a life-long gardener. I started gardening as a nipper helping my Dad tend his garden. My first job was in horticulture. I studied it in university. I’ve had good gardens wherever we’ve lived. Gardening has been my passion for as long as I can remember. Anita has had the same experience and interest, and creating and tending fine gardens together has been one of our strongest bonds.
Over a quarter of a century ago I developed progressive multiple sclerosis. As the disease tightened its grip and I lost strength, balance and mobility, the scope and range of what I could do in the garden narrowed. Successively, I gave up the vegetable garden, the fruit trees, work in the flowerbeds and, finally, mowing our lawns. As my physical abilities contracted, Anita took on more and more until essentially, she was doing everything and I became a spectator.
Along came the Enabling Garden. In a brilliant act that married our shared interest in gardening and my disability, our children endowed a raised bed in our names to recognize the 50th anniversary of our marriage. At a stroke, with access and special tools, I was again enabled to care for a garden. Though small in area it’s huge in terms of the lift that it gives my sense of identity and accomplishment and thereby my wellness. I – and others with restricted abilities – am again enabled.
There’s another attribute of the Enabling Garden that is important. The experience of folks with disabilities (I’m not afraid of the word) is that they face social marginalization. We can’t go places and do things as we did before. We meet fewer new people and have fewer experiences. At work or in the organizations to which we belong, we tend to be omitted from longer-term plans and projects because of uncertainties about our abilities and availability down the road. We become progressively discounted, omitted, excluded and, at last, unseen. Projects like the Enabling Garden change that insofar as it explicitly acknowledges us and enables us to again add value to our community.
And so, on those lovely Sunday mornings when Anita and I are working in the Garden, we think always and speak often of the fine people who had the vision that the Garden would “enable and include” people with different abilities of the civic leaders and staff who actively facilities its creation, and of the donors, large and small, whose made it a magnificent reality.
To learn more about the Guelph Enabling Garden, please visit www.enablinggarden.org or visit the garden in Riverside Park below the EvergreenSeniors Centre and beside the Speed River.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Daylight Savings Time (D.S.T.) is coming up tomorrow, March 8th, 2009, so don't forget to set your clocks forward this evening (Spring Forward, as they say)!
Some people love the notion of the time change and others hate it. It has both its good points and bad points, I won't even dare argue with that. It does indeed bring more light through the prime time evening hours of the spring, summertime, and fall, but what is up for argument, is whether or not the convenience is worth the “Savings”. However this years economic slump brings another consideration to the age old D.S.T. controversy... read more from TreeHugger.com
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
March 03, 2009
by Barbara Kram, Editor DOTmed News
Almost everyone knows about winter dangers such as broken bones from falls on icy steps, sidewalks or streets. But cold weather also can cause an important, less obvious danger that can affect older people. Older adults are especially vulnerable to hypothermia, which can be deadly if not treated quickly. The National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has some advice to help older people avoid hypothermia.
Hypothermia occurs when a person's body temperature drops below normal and stays low for a prolonged period of time. With advancing age, the body's ability to endure long periods of exposure to cold is lowered...read more at DOTmed News
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Pictured above is the Evergreen Seniors Centre AED located just outside the main office.
A combination of CPR and defibrillation dramatically increases chances of survival after a heart attack
By Chris Zdeb, Canwest News Service March 2, 2009
read the full article at the Vancouver Sun
The Heart and Stroke Foundation has said it hopes AEDs (automated external defibrillator) become as common as fire extinguishers.
About 700 people have heart attacks outside of a hospital every year in Edmonton.
Their chances of survival drop 10 per cent with every minute they're left untreated.
Concerned customers can buy them for residential use as well.
"If somebody in the house is high risk, has had a previous heart incident, or is more likely to have one, an AED is probably not a bad idea, but not all homes need one," says Kolby Walters, manager of training for St. John's Ambulance.
AED machines are designed with step-by-step verbal or visual prompts as to what to do, making them pretty much foolproof, he adds.
"The message is, there is a much more realistic chance of you being successful when CPR is used in combination with an AED."