VON Community Support News 15th Anniversary VON Great Community Run, Walk ‘n’ Roll

VON Community
Support News
Middlesex-Elgin and Oxford
Serving London, Middlesex, Elgin and Oxford Counties
15th Anniversary VON Great
Community Run, Walk ‘n’ Roll
Phyllis Laughton prepares to cut the anniversary
cake which she made. Left to right: unknown, Liam
McKay in hat, Meghan Simpson, Sandra Pearson,
Phyllis Laughton, Cherry Sholtanuk (face hidden), Middlesex-Elgin Great Community Run, Walk ‘n’ Roll at the start/finish line. The
Kayla Couwenberg, Middlesex County Warden banner was created by Adult Day Program participants from the Dorchester satellite office.
Joanne Vanderheyden.
The weather was perfect, the new venue was great and
the results were fantastic at the VON Middlesex-Elgin 15th
Anniversary Great Community Run, Walk ‘n’ Roll.
This year’s anniversary event was held on June 22 at
Lions Park in Mt. Brydges, Ontario. The day brought in
over $62,000 to support VON community programs and
services throughout Middlesex and Elgin counties.
Close to 200 participants, supporters and volunteers
enjoyed a morning of walking, running or SMART exercising.
Phyllis Laughton, a Mt. Brydges resident and VON volunteer marked her 15th year participating in the Walk by
baking, decorating and donating five cakes for the anniversary. The Walk welcomed back nearly a dozen loyal residents who have participated in the walk throughout its
Over 70 area businesses and individuals supported the
event through sponsorship, donations and gift-in-kind.
Participants were treated to a free barbecue picnic lunch
and donated draw prizes. The Community Walk is the largest fundraising event for VON Middlesex-Elgin.
See you next year on June 21, 2015!
Participants enjoyed a delicious barbecue lunch after the Walk.
Table of Contents
Oxford hosting a Barbecue and Open House in new location . . 2
2014 Scotiabank Trivia Challenge is coming! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Brenda Jennings is honoured with award . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
What to do if your client falls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Meals on Wheels volunteers make a huge difference . . . . . . . . . 4
Spotlight on volunteers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Floral Buds and Design donates flower bouquets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Heidi O’Brien is new volunteer coordinator in Oxford . . . . . . . . 7
Our volunteers in action! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
2 -- VON Middlesex-Elgin
Summer 2014
2014 Scotiabank VON
Trivia Challenge
Preparations are well underway for the 18th
annual mind-bending fundraiser – the
Scotiabank VON Trivia Challenge – set for
Friday, November 14 at the London
Convention Centre in London, Ontario.
Over 500 participants are expected to compete in teams of eight for this evening of challenging questions in a night that puts the “fun” in fundraising.
This year we welcome our new presenting sponsor – Scotiabank, Cherryhill Village Mall. Proceeds from team registration and a fabulous silent auction of donated items will benefit VON programs and services in Middlesex- Elgin.
It’s the next best thing to being on a game show, featuring electronic answering devices with immediate results, plus
star-powered video questions courtesy of exclusive media sponsor Today’s Country BX-93.
Entry is limited so sign up your team of eight today at www.vonmiddlesexelgin.ca or call 519-659-2273.
Upcoming VON Events in Oxford
Grand Relocation Barbecue and Open House
October 17, 2014, 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the NEW VON
Oxford location, 550 Ingersoll Ave., Woodstock. VON Oxford
has expanded to serve our community better! We are thrilled
to open our doors and welcome the community to see what’s
happening at our NEW LOCATION! We will have an official
ribbon cutting, barbecue lunch, and offer tours of our new
FREE Estate Planning Seminar
October 23, 2014, 7:00 p.m. at Craigowan – Oxford Golf &
Country Club, 595838 Hwy 59 N, Woodstock. VON Oxford
is hosting its second annual Estate Planning Seminar to the
general public. Professional Speakers Panel includes: Shannon
Row-Ewing, BA, LLB, Will and Estate Consultant with RBC
Wealth Management Services; and Jeff Workman, CFP and
Partner with Investment Planning Counsel. Guests will
receive insight into what makes up an ‘Estate’ to better understand how to manage it, as well as great ideas on how to
maximize your estate’s potential through investment vehicles.
Planned giving will also be highlighted.
Contact Kyra McNamara for more information on upcoming
events: [email protected]
7 minutes of safety
Please take the one minute to watch this
video, it could save a life.
h t t p s : / / w w w. y o u t u b e . c o m / e m b e d /
Distracted driving takes you away from the
primary task of driving. Driving requires your
full attention at all times. Below are some
alarming statistics.
• Cell phones are one of the most common
distractions for drivers. Drivers engaged in text
messaging on a cellular phone are 23 times
more likely to be involved in a crash or near
crash event compared with non-distracted drivers. (Virginia Tech Transportation Institute,
• International research shows that 20 to 30
percent of all collisions involve driver distraction (Alberta Transportation, 2011)
• Five seconds is the average time your eyes
are off the road while texting. When traveling at
55mph, that’s enough time to cover the length
of a football field blindfolded. (2009, VTTI)
Middlesex Office
Elgin Office
London Office
Oxford Office
274 Head Street North,
Strathroy, ON N7G 4L7
Phone (519) 245-3170
Fax (519) 245-3164
175 S. Edgeware Road,
St. Thomas, ON N5P 4C4
Phone (519) 637-6408
Fax (519) 631-4798
100-1151 Florence Street,
London, ON N5W 2M7
Phone (519) 659-2273
Fax (519) 659-6191
570 Ingersoll Avenue
Woodstock, ON N4S 4Y2
Phone (519) 539-1231
Fax: (519) 439-2926
Summer 2014
VON - Middlesex-Elgin -- 3
VON AGM Katherine Pearson Caregiver Award recipient
On June 26 at the VON Annual General
Meeting, Brenda Jennings was officially honoured with the 2014 Katherine Pearson Caregiver
Award from VON Canada. Brenda is active in
the VON Elgin site within the Bereavement
Support Services.
Brenda is also a devoted caregiver for her husband Steve, who was diagnosed with Huntington’s
disease at the age of 50. While Brenda advocates
for Steve, she also shares her experiences with
others and is always ready to advocate for better
home health care. As a Social Service worker,
she knows how important self care is in order to
avoid burnout from her care giving. We in Elgin
are blessed to have Brenda on our volunteer
Brenda Jennings was honoured June 26 at the VON Annual General Meeting
Understanding disability
There is a wide range of disabilities. All are as
unique as the individuals who experience them. You
may deliver a meal, provide a transportation drive or
visit with a client who has a disability. Below are
some helpful tips in working with persons with disabilities:
Remember the person first, the disability is secondary. Remember that some disabilities are invisible (for
example: low vision, Multiple Sclerosis, Spina Bifida,
Fibromyalgia, hearing loss, mental health, Rheumatoid
Arthritis etc.)
A person with a disability will have the same life
goals and ambitions as people who are not disabled.
Therefore, they may have careers, families, spouses,
interests in recreation, hobbies etc.
Ask your client to explain their disability (for example, ask a client with low vision to describe the environment they see).
For Visiting volunteers, plan outings in advance in
order to accommodate challenges with physical
access, personal care appointments, transportation
routes and specifics with respect to fatigue limitations
(where relevant).
Do not alter the way you speak – do not be afraid to
use words such as ‘look, I see what you mean’ when
working with person with low vision.
For a listing of disabilities identified under the
Access for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (2206),
refer to: http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/accessibility/index.aspx
(taken from the Volunteer Visitor Resource Manual)
Client falls and the fall process
As a volunteer within the multitude of programs offered
here at VON, whether Visiting, Meals On Wheels or even
Transportation, there may be opportunities that clients may
have balance issues, concerns or just outright fall while you
are with them. You as a volunteer play a key role in helping
ensure the safety of a client in the event they fall while you
are on an outing with them, such as in the Visiting programs,
or if you arrive at a client’s home to find they have fallen on
the floor. Please ensure, if you are assisting a client who has
fallen that you are acting not only within your role as a volunteer using the process outlined, but you are keeping in
mind the safety of the client. The client process for falls is
as follows:
If you find a client who has fallen or if a client falls
while you are with them:
If they cannot get to their feet on their own or with assistance from other forms of support (cane, chair, etc.) DO
NOT attempt to help them up. Call 911 and the VON office.
If the client is able to get up on his/her own feet and is
refusing emergency services, please contact the VON office
and the Coordinator will be in touch with the client’s family.
Stay with the client until the client’s emergency contact or
Emergency Services arrive on scene or direction from the
We understand that not all incidents or scenarios may fit
neatly into the process and that there may be grey areas that
may stump you. If you have one of those unpredictable grey
areas, please phone the office for direction. We ask though
that you don’t pick up a client. If a client is ever in immediate medical distress, please call 911 and please report this to
4 -- VON - Middlesex-Elgin
Summer 2014
Volunteer impact story
“so much more than just meal delivery”
Delivering a hot meal to someone’s door when they are
unable to prepare them on their own is an admirable service. Because of this program our clients at VON are able
to stay in their homes longer and be more comfortable in
their surroundings. Without a large team of dedicated volunteers this successful program would not be possible.
Clients in Middlesex-Elgin and Oxford are so thankful for
this program.
One long time client called in to the Dorchester office to
says “I really don’t know what I would do without the
VON, all my volunteers are wonderful and helpful and
without them I don’t know what I would get to eat.” The
appreciation is overwhelming. Another client said “The
volunteers that come to my door are my ray of sunshine for
the day, they are always kind and ask me how I am.” The
kindness and consideration our volunteers show our clients
is the reason VON is so successful.
More than just a meal delivery program Meals On
Wheels also serves as an important program for client
safety. When these volunteers drop off meals at client’s
Word Search
Thank You
homes they are also providing comfort to clients and caregivers that someone will be there to check in and make
sure everything is okay.
Many caregivers have peace of mind knowing that our
volunteers stop by once a day to see their family member.
One caregiver was quoted saying “It makes my day so
much easier knowing that when I am at work there is
someone checking in on my dad and reporting to me if
anything is off with him.”
On several occasions our Meals On Wheels volunteers
have been able to help clients in situations of distress
because they were there to check in. One client in Thames
Centre was so thankful for his Meals On Wheels driver that
he reported, “I had a fall and if it wasn’t for my meals volunteer I’m not sure when someone would have found me,
I am so grateful.”
It is so rewarding to know that our amazing teams of
volunteers all across Middlesex-Elgin provide such outstanding care and service in our Meals On Wheels program. Kudos to you all, and keep up the good work.
Summer 2014
VON - Middlesex-Elgin -- 5
Volunteer spotlight
Sheila Ripley
Jan DiMarco
Since May of 2012, Jan
has been a valuable volunteer with VON Oxford.
Jan has taken on multiple
roles within VON as a
reception volunteer at
our main office as well as
a greeter volunteer at
Sakura House hospice,
always greeting clients
and visitors with a warm
and friendly smile.
Volunteering with VON
Jan DiMarco
“gives me a sense of community and helping my community. I love the clients we
support and the staff I volunteer with” states Jan,
explaining why she chooses to dedicate her time to VON
Oxford. Getting to know people and making a difference
in their lives, is a driving force behind Jan’s decision to
volunteer. “Jan is a dream volunteer,” shares Nancy
Clark, Coordinator of Hospice and Volunteers. “She is
always so pleasant and flexible, and truly cares about
our mission and the people we support. We are lucky to
have such a wonderful member of our team.”
Sheila has been a valuable
Middlesex since February
2008 taking on multiple
roles in different programs
offered at VON. Those roles
included delivering Meals
on Wheels, calling Vial of
Life clients and being the
lead volunteer for our
Glencoe Congregate Dining
events. Sheila has such a
warm heart and loves interSheila Ripley
acting with the clients she
volunteers with. When asked how she felt about volunteering with VON, Sheila replied, “I feel like I get as
much from the clients as I give to them. Listening to
their stories actually inspires me.” Sheila is very personable and enjoys working with other volunteers as well.
“They are some really nice people and have become nice
acquaintances.” Our Glencoe Congregate Dining would
not be as successful as it is today if it wasn’t for Sheila’s
lead role. She takes on the responsibility of connecting
with all volunteers involved, find speakers/entertainers,
and report stats, questions or concerns back to VON.
VON Middlesex is very fortunate to have Sheila be part
of our team!
Betty Beaudry
A warm smile and a friendly hello is always Betty’s way.
After starting in the Hotserve Meals On Wheels program
in Elgin back in 2009 when the program itself began, Betty
continued on in her volunteer role even after the Hotserve
program came to an end April 1, 2014 when the Meals On
Wheels program in St. Thomas moved on to the St.
Thomas Senior’s Centre. Nowdays Betty helps out in the
VON office supporting staff whether it’s making calls to
our Congregate Dining clients or Foot Care program, filing, or assisting with the Vial of Life program, Betty is
always such a positive person. Asked why she enjoys
volunteering, Betty said she “loves being around people
and really likes helping others.” When asked about Betty,
Elgin’s administrative team
says she is “a very friendly
and helpful person, she’s
polite and courteous and
delightful to be around.”
Thanks so much Betty!
Betty Beaudry
6 -- VON - Middlesex-Elgin
Summer 2014
Floral Buds and Design deliver bouquets
to VON Oxford Clients during
‘Make Someone Smile Week’
Meals on Wheels gifts
Clients of the Meals On Wheels Program and Adult Day Program at
VON Oxford received a special gift from Erik Wesseling, owner of
Floral Buds and Design. In total, 58 bouquets of bright yellow and
white daisies in Be Happy® Mugs were lovingly donated. Bouquets
were distributed to the 15 Adult Day clients in attendance, and each
Meals On Wheels client receiving hot meals were also delivered this
wonderful gift. Extra bouquets were given to clients that receive frozen
meal deliveries.
VON Oxford’s Meals On Wheels program offers seniors in our community home-style meals using traditional recipes, and accommodating
all diet requirements. Hot meals are delivered in Woodstock Monday to
Friday and in Tavistock every Tuesday and Thursday, while frozen meal
orders can also be placed for biweekly delivery throughout Woodstock
“Because of your smile, you make life
and surrounding area. Last year, VON Meals On Wheels delivered
more beautiful” Thich Nhat Hanh
23,633 meals to those in need. In addition to delivering meals, Meals on
Wheels volunteers also provide regular social contact and check on the health and safety of each client. The Meals on
Wheels Program is looking forward to expanding our services in the future in its new location at 550 Ingersoll Avenue.
Welcome Adrienne
The Elgin VON office would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to our new Interim Care and Service
Manager Adrienne Vanderweg.
Adrienne is covering for Jill Ouimette’s maternity leave
and will be with us for the year. Adrienne has come to
Menna Abdou
Devika Agarwal
Suzanna An
Narjes Bodaghi
Brooke Burrowes
Melissa Costigan
Kathleen Czap
Alex Gao
Leanne Hawn
Jane Heron
Brittany Hicks
Heather Inglis
Shenglian Lai
Sam Lee
Ya Chen Liu
Lauryn Martin
Mary McGarry
Nina Moreira
Dan Paton
Leslie Rush
Don Burgess
Carol Maes
Mark Tinlin
Michelle Gouthro
Bria McCallum
Giorgia Daniel
Braedan Forder
Brooke Gosden
Alisha Rombouts
Patricia MacDonald
Elgin with many years experience working within various
sectors of VON including most recently the Wellness Link
program for Community Support Services London.
Welcome Adrienne!
Carol Stephenson
Wendy Gibbons
Eden Douglas
Patricia Coehen
Larry MacDonald
Jean Cannon
Connor Roberts
Justine Hansmann
Ashley Litt
Martin Detrot
Joan Duncan
Dolores Perquin
Brooke Ryan
Jessica Campbell
Sydney MacCabe
Sarah Otten
Lisa Zellas
Greg Selway
Marg Wiersma
Lucy Yao
Jamie Yermus
Beth Churchill
Kester Lake
William White
Heather Henshaw
Brittany Czmorek
Cheryl Remple
Liam Gordon
Bill Wituik
Trish Wituik
Carol Young
Sherry Smith
Edna Cole
Jessica Swance
Sarah Brioux
Zoe Butt
Maureen Harbinson
Brock Hodgins
Vaibhav “Bony”
Cheryl Jermyn
Ann Prud’homme
Samar Wazne
Summer 2014
VON - Middlesex-Elgin -- 7
Myths and facts about bed bugs
Myth: Bed bugs are too small to see.
Fact: Although they may be difficult to find because they
hide well, bed bugs are big enough to be seen with the
naked eye. Bed bugs look similar to an apple seed in size
and appearance.
Myth: Bed bugs are only found in shelters; only poor people or dirty people get them.
Fact: Bed bugs can be found in hotels, motels, dormitories,
apartments, condos, private homes, and even in some public places, such as businesses and offices. Anyone can get
bed bugs.
Myth: Walking into a room that has bed bugs means you
will get bed bugs.
Fact: Bed bugs do not jump. They spend 90% of their time
hiding and are usually active at night. Bed bugs avoid light
and do not like to be disturbed.
Myth: Bed bugs cause disease.
Fact: There is no evidence that shows bed bugs transmit
Transportation client commented that she is very thankful for VON’s services. “They have made my life much
easier.” She is grateful not to have to work around her family’s busy schedule and the volunteers she has met have all
been “wonderful” and “very friendly”. She loves the talks
they have during the drives, very much. - Middlesex
I would like to express my thanks and gratitude for the
wonderful care my best friend received while in your care.
I witnessed many, many kind and loving gestures from
your staff and volunteers. Everyone went above and
beyond to make my friend and her family feel so welcomed. I was left speechless on many occasions and
humbled by the kindness shown. The staff and volunteers
have taken on a very difficult task, caring for the terminally ill and I can’t understand how they handle the loss on
disease. Bed bug bites, however, can cause allergic reaction in some people similar to a mosquito bite. Frequent
scratching of the bite marks or picking the scabs can cause
infections. And people with severe and/or repeated infestations can feel anxious, worried or ashamed.
Myth: Chemicals/pesticides will kill bed bugs.
Fact: Pesticide application alone will not kill bed bugs at
all stages. Successful treatment depends on an Integrated
Pest Management approach to bed bug control which
involves, vacuuming, and steaming, laundering belongings, sealing areas and gaps where bed bugs can hide. Do
not use over the counter pest control products or home
remedies such as kerosene.
Source: http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?v
a regular basis. Please extend my true awe to your wonderful staff and volunteers. They are all truly a credit to the
VON organization. Thank you again. - Oxford
Client stated she was so grateful to have Meals On
Wheels and Home Help services and in addition to increasing her independence, she stated that they make such a big
difference for her. - Elgin
Every time I needed something you were always there to
assist me. You were always there to talk to me about services and what could help keep me in my home. Thank you
for your kindness. – Elgin
[The Volunteer Appreciation event] was done beautifully.
Amazing work this year! Lots of energy and fun. Thank
you for a great/fun evening. – London volunteers
New office and new volunteer coordinator
There are exciting changes taking place at VON Oxford! We will be moving into our new
office space on 550 Ingersoll Ave in Woodstock as of September. This is an exciting and
long awaited transition for the staff, clients and volunteers in Oxford.
Also, we have a new volunteer coordinator joining our team! Heidi O’Brien has been in
the field of community support services and volunteer management for the past 10 years,
working for St. Joseph’s Villa Adult Day Program in Dundas.
She is looking forward to working locally in Oxford County and will be connecting with
all volunteers in the near future.
Heidi O’Brien
8 -- VON - Middlesex-Elgin
Summer 2014