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More than money..donate yourself.

Driven by Volunteers

Forty-eight years ago a group of volunteers recognized the need for an organized approach to providing community options for people with learning and developmental disabilities and their families. This group, most of them family members of people with disabilities, were the founding members of The Sarnia & District Association for the Mentally Retarded. Now, a lifetime later, the need for volunteers hasn't diminished a bit. Have a look at this:

Volunteers do not replace staff...they work with staff and augment their efforts to help enrich the lives of people with disabilities. Volunteers are not expected to be expert social workers, but just to like people.

If you have an interest in volunteering please take a moment to consider what we can offer you...an opportunity to meet new people, develop new skills, laugh, keep active and, most of all, to experience the satisfaction of helping others in your community that need all the help they can get. Volunteering is probably the most sincere form of charity because charity isn't about giving, it's about sharing. Call Norma Hills at 332-0560 to learn more about volunteering.

Committees: All committees except the Executive Committee and the Board itself (see below) can profit from the input of members of the community. If you enjoy committee work (warning: committee proceedings tend to be very informal) call us for more information. The Board itself is always looking for interested members of the public: parents, business owners/operators, professionals. This is more formal than some of the other committees and a two-year committment is expected...not for everyone but a wonderful way to make a contribution.

Community Development & Fund Raising: Volunteers contribute their time and talents to help Community Living be better known and respected in the community. Sometimes they even bring in some much-needed money, but almost always have fun and help bring down barriers. Any ideas you have in this regard would also be appreciated.

Program Support Volunteers: Volunteers assist staff in residential, vocational, and respite services.

Special Interest Courses/Classes(Volunteer Tutors): Volunteers are paired with an adult to participate in special interest courses and/or classes. The expectation of the volunteer is to attend the class/course, facilitate the individuals' participation, and spend time completing class assignments together. This creates a vehicle for friendship, integration and community participation - and - the volunteer receives assistance with the tuition.

Volunteer Job Coaches: Under general supervision, volunteers provide supported employment services including assessment and training to intellectually challenged adults.

Social/Recreational Activities(Volunteer Support) : Volunteers work together to provide and assist with recreational and social activities like bowling, baseball, bus trips, boat cruises, swimming, dances and skiing.

Host Families: The Host Family programme is a very special volunteer-based one in which a family in the community opens up its home on a regular basis to provide care for a child or an adult with a disability. Any family unit including grandparents or individuals may be a Host Family if they are willing to learn about the special needs of a person with a disability and have a respect for the dignity of that persons. Host Families are true examples of the community taking care of the community. Volunteers are carefully screened (a police check is required) and matched with the people with whom they'll be associated. They are also fully insured against liability.

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