Chance for Choice creates one-on-one matches with seniors (+65 years) who have age-related disabilities who may be lonely, isolated and vulnerable.
Through our matching programs we see profound differences in the lives of people with a disability. The benefits for those who are matched with a volunteer advocate may include: reduced loneliness and isolation, help to achieve hopes and dreams, assistance to develop personal networks and relationships, decreased vulnerability, increased self-confidence and improved mental and physical health.
People need people. We recognize the importance of friends and networks in our lives. Every day, we see evidence of how personal relationships and networks help support and resolve personal and professional matters. We use our networks to help others – whether it’s related to getting a job, finding a professional resource or for social and recreational purposes. We rely on these rich personal networks and relationships. Many people with disabilities don’t have the benefit of these relationships.
“She makes my day”.
Five years ago, Grace Daigle was a newcomer to Ottawa and she was feeling lonely as she had left her friends in Toronto. She heard about Citizen Advocacy’s Chance for Choice matching program and decided it would be a good way for her to get to know someone.
Maryse Cote-Singer volunteers in her community. She knew Citizen Advocacy through her work and made the decision to join the matching program when she read about the need for volunteer Advocates on the organization’s Facebook page.
When Grace and Maryse were first matched it was just a visit over a cup of coffee. As time went on Maryse saw more ways she could help Grace and she had the time. Maryse provided lots of practical help to Grace as she navigated a new city such as helping her get to doctor’s appointments. Now, they both say their visits are all about having fun.
Each week Maryse starts off her visit at Grace’s home, they then move on to the local Tim Horton’s for coffee and donuts before hitting the local stores. Grace decides which stores she needs to visit. They always start at the grocery store. After that it could be Dollarama, Wal-Mart, Value Village, or the local gardening centre.
They always make sure to celebrate milestones, birthdays and holidays. Baking cookies, looking at the Christmas lights, attending Citizen Advocacy’s Holiday Dinner and Dance or a meal at Grace’s favourite restaurants are some of the ways they celebrate. For them both, spending time together and talking about their week means the world to them.
When asked what her friendship with Grace means to her Maryse said “I love Grace so much. She is part of my life, part of my Ottawa family. I share everything with her. It is a great friendship”. And when Grace was asked about Maryse she just smiled and said, “she makes my day”.
If you would like to be matched with a volunteer Advocate please call and speak with one of our Social Workers.
When you meet Greeta McCormick and Florence Butler their strong friendship, love of people and sense of fun is very evident.
The pair were matched at the end of 2012. Greeta originally wanted someone to help her get out of her retirement residence occasionally and to go with her to see her son, who has a disability and lives in a group home. Florence was an ideal match for her as she too has a son with disabilities and knows the importance of family ties.
As well as visits to Greeta’s son, they used to get out to Carlingwood Mall, McDonalds and local coffee shops. As the years have gone on and Greeta’s mobility has decreased, they confine themselves to visits in her room and when the weather is good, visits on the patio of Greeta’s retirement home.
Florence speaks glowingly about Greeta; she says she has brilliant ideas, helps the other residents in her home, has lots of great stories and is a joy to spend time with. Greeta is just as complimentary – she says that she enjoys her visits with Florence more than anything, Florence really loves people and she exudes warmth and kindness.
Volunteer to make a real difference in your community as we work to reduce loneliness and isolation one person at a time.
CONTACT US INCLUDING FEEDBACK ON ACCESSIBILITY/COMMUNIQUEZ AVEC NOUS INCLUANT VOTRE OPINION SUR L'ACCESSIBILITÉ
Toll Free/Sans Frais: 1-866-222-2138
312 av. Parkdale Ave.,
Ottawa, ON, K1Y 4X5
Charitable Registration Number/Numéro d’enregistrement d’organisme de bienfaisance
13036 2817 RR0001