Everyday Champions is a one-on-one match with a child, youth or adult with a disability; or a match with group home residents who have disabilities.
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
We support all types of disability: those with physical, intellectual, developmental or mental health challenges.
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.
Fiaz Hashmi and Drew Charkavi have been matched since July 2017.
Drew was looking for a volunteer opportunity to help a member of the community by sharing his time and friendship. Fiaz and his family were hoping he would find someone with whom to develop a long-lasting friendship outside of his family. They were introduced to each other through Citizen Advocacy’s Everyday Champions program. Their social worker thought they would be a good match because they enjoyed the same things. From that simple beginning a firm friendship has developed.
They get together each week. As well as enjoying each other’s company, they do activities together – walks, bowling and watching TV, especially cooking shows. But what they enjoy best is to prepare food together and then to eat their creations.
Fiaz’s family say “In the last year, we’ve seen Fiaz go from being shy and reluctant to someone who has more confidence, someone who takes the initiative and makes decisions about what activities he wants to do. He really enjoys Drew’s company. There is no pressure on him so he can take things at his own pace. He and Drew like the same things and we know that it means so much to Fiaz to have someone he can truly call his friend.”
Drew also values his relationship with Fiaz. He says “Life is busy, and it is nice to know that once a week Fiaz and I just have to worry about each other. I try my best to leave the stresses of work, school, and personal relationships at the door and enjoy the couple of hours with just the two of us.”
If you would like to be matched with a volunteer Advocate please call and speak with one of our Social Workers.
Noor was 14 years old when her social worker at the OCTC recommended that her family investigate finding a volunteer Advocate. Their goal was to help Noor, who lives with Dandy Walker Syndrome, increase her independence, improve her social connections and to help her explore new things.
In July 2015, Noor was introduced to Parissa who was looking for a volunteer role that would allow her to give back to the community.
Noor and Parissa immediately hit it off and have been getting together approximately once a week. They both love to be active and this has been the focus of their outings. Some of things they enjoy doing together are going to the gym, swimming and walking Noor’s dog. Noor really enjoys the time she spends with Parissa and Parissa feels her life has been enriched by their friendship. The benefits of this match don’t stop there as Noor’s family are so happy to have Parissa in their life and to see Noor flourishing.
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