PRESENTATION BY KIM RODRIGUES, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF HOPEWELL CHILDREN’S HOMES
Joanne McAuley introduced Kim Rodrigues, adding that our Rotary Club has a long and proud history of supporting children, youth at risk and those with disabilities in our community. We have enormous admiration for organizations such as Hopewell Homes, an d we are happy to be updated today on their current activities. There is a huge need for their services.
Kim has been the Executive Director at Hopewell Homes for almost a year now. She is clearly passionate about the work of the Hopewell organization and her own role in it. She was intrigued to learn that Joanne McAuley had helped with the design of the original Hopewell home many years ago. Small world!
Hopewell is a not-for-profit registered charity established by John and Joanna Oosterhuis in 1983 out of their home in Ariss, Ontario. The Oosterhuis family began with offering a residential option for families who could no longer care for their children with high medical needs but wanted their children to grow up in a caring and home like setting.
Hopewell’s commitment to offering high quality personal care resulted in the development of many new programs and supports over the last 30 years to children and youth with other developmental needs as well.
Today, Hopewell is primarily funded by the Ministry of Community and Social Services and the Ministry of Child and Youth Services to cover the basic costs of living and support staff.
Hopewell envisions “A community where all people can reach their full potential in supportive and caring environments.”
It is therefore their Mission “To enrich the lives of individuals with a range of physical and developmental abilities to experience a full life.”
Kim used many photos to show and describe the RESIDENTIAL supports that Hopewell provides to children, youth and adults across three homes in the Wellington Community.
Just as important to families and caregivers are Hopewell’s RESPITE supports. Hopewell staff work exceptionally hard to make short respite stays happy for their clients, allowing supporters a much needed break.
Hopewell also runs the PLAYSENSE recreation centre, which is a fully accessible location that addresses the physical and educational needs of individuals of all ages with any ability level.
Hopewell’s challenges include additional fundraising (as with all community service organizations) and they also face increasing difficulty in finding the right employees who can and will commit to long-term, regular hours, in order to provide familiarity and stability to the Hopewell residents.
Kim expressed gratitude for the interest and support of organizations such as Rotary.
Paul Truex thanked Kim for her uplifting presentation. Paul added that our club members can expect to soon hear more from our Youth At Risk Committee about community support for developmentally disabled people in our Guelph Wellington community, and ways that Rotary could perhaps lend a hand.
NEXT WEEK’S PROGRAM – Jim Fox, talking about his father, Charley Fox, who was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in WWII, and an intriguing story concerning Rommel.
Greeter Ruth Thatcher warmly welcomed:
Peter Turner – guest of Tom Funk
Pam MacDonald – guest and colleague of Peggy Curry
Charles Seaman – father of Pam MacDonald, and a member of Rotary Club of Chatham
Cyndy Forsyth – guest of Paul Truex
Margaret Trainor Cook – formerly a member of our club, now a member of Rotary Club of London North and Polio Plus Chair for District 6330
- Ranjit Singh confirmed that the FIRESIDES have been rescheduled and will now take place between February 19 and March 5. Another “final” email will be sent out soon confirming dates, hosts and participants. It’s recommended that hosts and participants check in with each other in advance to confirm attendance. Every single club member is strongly encouraged to attend a FIRESIDE to engage with club members and to share ideas.
- Terrie Jarvis reported that our club’s SHELTERBOX fundraising page has now reached 74% of its $5,000 target. With 85 million people around the world made homeless by natural disasters and conflicts, the need for help and humanity continues to be desperate. Anyone wishing to contribute to our club’s donation page can do so on the ShelterBox Canada website here. Terrie also appealed for another member to help out by volunteering as our club’s ShelterBox Champion. NEWS FLASH! Three members have expressed interest in learning more, and possibly helping to promote ShelterBox. They will soon be meeting for a discussion.
- Peggy Curry was very happy to finally have her colleague, Pam Macdonald, attend today as her guest at our Rotary meeting. Peggy and Pam have worked together for some ten years. Pam’s dad, Charles, came along today as well. He is a Rotarian from the Rotary Club of Chatham.
- Margaret Trainer Cook was happy to report that Rotary Local Lager is now on sale at four Beer Stores in London, Ontario.
The 50/50 draw this week was won by Kerry Johnson
Harris Steele – 57 years
Jim Anderson – 27 years
Fred Ramprashad – 9 years
Michele Richardson – 7 years
Murray Taylor – January 21
Steve Irvine – January 24