By Pam Molnar

This article is from the December 2018 Issue of Forever Young

fyng december 2018 feature image

Take time to honour the caregivers you know, whether they are a family member, friend, neighbour or co-worker. By showing them your support, you are taking away a bit of their burden, sadness, guilt or pain, if only for a moment. Not sure how you can help? Check out these 12 suggestions below.

1. Give them much needed time off. Offer to sit in their place while they attend their child’s game or spouse’s work dinner. You can drive to routine doctor appointments, take their patient on a small outing or simply be on call for the day in the caregiver’s place.

2. Make them a home cooked meal. The caregiver often lets their own health go while taking care of their loved one. As you plan your own dinner, make a double batch to take over to the caregiver’s house. Use disposable containers and deliver the meal ready to eat. If you are not a cook yourself, offer the family a restaurant gift certificate so they can enjoy family time alone.

3. Offer to do a task. Caregivers have their hands full with their patient and the immediate needs of their family. Everything else takes a back seat. Don’t offer a general “let me know what I can do to help.” Instead, if you specifically offer to shop, mow the lawn, walk the dogs or handle a carpool, they will most likely take you up on it.

4. Write a handwritten note of encouragement. During this stressful and often sad time in the caregiver’s life, they need to be reminded that they are doing their best. Your letter will most likely be read and reread when the caregiver has a quiet moment and needs an extra pick me up. They might also enjoy you sharing a memory of their loved one during better times.

5. Bring awareness. While the caregiver is busy taking care of their sick patient, their friends and supporters might like to donate time and money to their cause. Gather people for a Relay for Life, organize a fundraiser in support of breast cancer awareness or sponsor a golf outing with the proceeds going to their cause. Check with the caregivers for local needs or support the hospital where treatment
is being received.

By Glenna Turnbull

This article is from the November 2018 Issue of Forever Young

feature image november 2018

What do you think of when you hear a bell ringing?
For many of us, there are four things that come to mind: food, school, fire alarms and church/community. Perhaps that is why it’s so fitting that Salvation Army kettle drive volunteers get to ring bells as the money that gets donated goes to help in all of these areas.

As a child, it was always a thrill when my aunt would let me ring her beautiful brass bell to call everyone to the table for dinner. When you hear the Salvation Army bells ringing, know that one of the many uses your donations go towards is making sure those less fortunate get to have a dinner – and in one rare case, a table to eat at.

Capt. Darryl Bury, executive director and lead pastor of the Central Okanagan’s Salvation Army explains how, among the many roles their Rutland Road Community Life Centre has, it acts as a distribution hub thanks to the generosity of various local businesses. He tells the story of a large dining room table that had been too damaged for Costco to resell so they’d donated it to the centre; and of the very large family in need that it was gifted to. “When they received it, the mother cried,” he notes. “It meant that, for the very first time, they’d be able to sit and eat together as a family.”

For Pavlov’s dog, the sound of a bell means there’s food coming. For clients of the Community Life Centre, being able to access food comes courtesy of funds brought in from the bells rung at kettle drives and the generous donations of local farmers, businesses and individuals.

“We see hundreds of families each week that come in and get support here,” notes Darryl as we tour the giant food storage room in the centre. Working in conjunction with the local food banks, they are able to step in and help those who either haven’t met the food bank’s residency requirements or have already used up their allotted food for the month.

“We have a team of about 30 volunteers who are in here every week to put together these bundles,” he says of the numbered bags that line several shelves, sorted by how many people per household they’re designed to feed, “then we’re able to supplement produce and proteins…and workers can adjust the bags for special dietary requirements or allergies.”

Another bell is ringing. Years ago, schoolteachers would come outside and ring their bell when it was time for class. These days it’s all done on an automated system, however, bells still ring at every school and kids in school require basics such as backpacks for elementary age students and all supplies plus high price items such as scientific calculators for teens in high school. Those are just some of the items the Salvation Army’s caseworkers are able to gift to those in need, thanks to the twoonies and green, purple and blue bills you toss into their kettles.

But the caseworkers at the Community Life Centre do so much more than hand out vouchers for clothing, food and school supplies. They truly care about their clients and that makes a world of difference. Darryl tells the story of one family who didn’t arrive to pick up their children’s school backpacks. The caseworkers took the extra steps to follow up and quickly learned there had been a family crisis and was able to step in and help with other issues they were facing.

You’ll also find counsellors and other staff at the Community Life Centre who are able to help with everything from grief and trauma counselling to hosting life skills courses and creating programs that help deal with isolation. During a recent strategic planning meeting to discuss the biggest issues clients were facing, the obvious ones such as affordable housing and addiction were raised, but what Darryl notes is, “The underlying issues for a lot of those challenges was isolation and loneliness.”

By Glenna Turnbull

This article is from the October 2018 Issue of Forever Young

oct 2018 Liz Jarvos

For some, the smiling face of Liz Jarvos is synonymous with the flight attendant who tended to passengers at 20,000 feet or higher for 26 years; for others, Liz’s smile belongs to the woman who puts on one of the most buzzed about fundraising sales of the year; but for several of the orphans with cerebral palsy in a Podanur orphanage in the South India, that smiling face belongs to the kind woman whose hand feeds them their meals whenever she’s in town.

“It started over 40 years ago,” recalls Liz when asked about her volunteer work, as I catch up with the septuagenarian during her brief stopover in Kelowna between purchasing trips to Kathmandu, Nepal and China.

After a friend adopted two children from one of the Families For Children (FFC) orphanages back in the 70s, they both joined a group that held fundraisers in Vancouver (where she was flying out of at the time), to help support this non-profit, non-sectarian organization. Even after Liz moved to the Okanagan in 1990, she continued to drive a cargo van back and forth over the Coquihalla with what she could collect or make for their annual FFC fundraising events in Vancouver.

“After about seven years, I decided to get off my lazy butt and organize an annual sale here,” she recalls. (Note: anyone who has witnessed Liz’s energy and drive to travel around the world obtaining items to donate for these sales would be quick to argue she could never be labeled as lazy!)

Using the travel passes she still receives from her 25+ years working in the airline industry, Liz is able to jet around the world collecting things that range from silver jewellery made with semi precious stones in Nepal to pearls and scarves from China along with raw silk shirts and other ware from the women’s coops set up by the FFC orphanages to help women earn fair wages. She then donates all the items to be sold in support of the cause.

“The first year I held the sale here in Kelowna, I held it in my home,” Liz recalls, “and we raised $1200.”

Once word of mouth began to spread about the high quality items she was selling at her fundraisers, popularity of the little sale swelled and before long, she had such a line up out her front door of people waiting to get in that she realized she needed a bigger venue.

By Bill Brioux

This article is from the September 2018 Issue of Forever Young

fyng september 2018 bettysmall

“Smitten.”That’s how it seemed, at least, when Betty White met Allen Ludden.

Now 96, White was recently saluted as the “First Lady of Television” on a PBS documentary special (available for streaming this month at PBS.org). The beloved “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “Golden Girls” star met her future husband

Allen Ludden when she guested on “Password” in 1961. The popular daytime game show had many incarnations, but it was Ludden’s long tenure as host most boomers remember.

Even though those early “Password” clips are in black and white, you can almost see White blush on her early appearances with Ludden. “I actually think the audience saw the sparks before they saw the sparks,” says Steve Boettcher, the producer and co-director of the documentary.

“Password” involved celebrity panelists giving clues to participants in hopes they would win money by guessing the secret word. Frequent guest White was among the best cluegivers at the game.

On one episode, as the series was wrapping up for the season, Ludden leaned in and asked White if she had anything planned for the summer.

White briefly stammered and then teased with, “What did you have in mind?”

“I think that was the moment that started cementing their relationship,” says Boettcher. As White put it, ”There just was a warmth and a rapport … we dug each other a lot.”

By Travis Schneider and Kattelin Mitchell

This article is from the August 2018 Issue of Forever Young

FYng Aug 2018 Feature Image

How do I choose the right career for me and find meaningful work?
How do I explain large gaps in my work history? I am nervous that my previous work experience is no longer relevant.
How can I sharpen my skills for the job market, including my computer skills?
My networking and interview skills are rusty. How can I improve them?
Do I have to target my resume for each employer? Can’t I just hand out the same one to all employers?
How has the labour market changed since I last looked for work?

These are just some of the questions that job seekers have been facing here in the Central Okanagan. Here at KCR - Community Resources, our Employment Services team works with job seekers to address these issues and others to help them secure meaningful work.

When looking for work, it is important to find the right fit: a position that you feel passionate about. This will lead to your increased happiness and capacity to do the job well and, therefore, employers will also be more satisfied with your work. KCR’s Employment programs include many different assessment tools to help you discover what type of jobs would be a good fit for you. Our Facilitators work together with the group to help them self-discover what is important to them.

One program participant said "I have been out of the workplace for far too long and I became afraid to go back to work due to many barriers; but KCR's Essential skills course is the very excellent move I made to confront those fears." Our team will work together with program participants to help build up their confidence and explain gaps in their employment history. Participants who have been out of the workforce for as long as 20 years have been able to discover their hidden talents, realize how much they have to offer the community, and secure meaningful work as a result of attending KCR Employment programs.

At KCR you can continue to learn and sharpen your skills through our 7-week in-class programs as well as gain short-term training certificates relevant to your career path. Our past participants have appreciated the opportunity to increase their skills; "I want to thank you for teaching the Essential Skills for College and Trades training program. Over the course time and the subsequent job mentoring, I was encouraged and strengthened in not only my math, literacy and computer skills but also in my confidence and esteem."

“You can always improve on your networking and interview skills” says Travis Schneider, Employment Services Manager. “The labour market in the Central Okanagan relies heavily on face-to-face communication. Although it can seem scary to go out and market yourself to a potential employer, we make it fun and we help you practice in a comfortable setting.” As part of our programs, we help our participants step by step to build and improve their networking skills. We even offer a videotaped mock interview session so you can see what you look like in an interview setting. With this in-depth understanding of the interview process and how to best respond to those difficult questions, participants increase their confidence and, in turn, receive more job offers.

A targeted resume caters to a specific job posting, showcasing that you have taken the time and effort to create a resume specifically for that employer. “Employers constantly come back to us saying how much they value the amount of relevant details they find in our participants’ resumes,” says Travis Schneider. “If you have an extensive work history, we work with you to decide what work experience helps best set you up for attaining that job. It is difficult for an employer to read an 8-page resume and figure out what work experience is relevant to the position.” Our programs are designed to teach you the skills to write effective resumes that employers want to read, which then results in an invitation for an interview.