KinVillage has for over 40 years provided a range of housing, health and wellness programs for older adults in South Delta. The past 9 months, delivering its mission – supporting older adults to live their lives fully, while nurturing a sense of community, has been seriously challenged by the global coronavirus pandemic.
The threat of COVID-19 necessarily narrowed our focus to safety – implementing preventative public health measures that often, unfortunately, had a major impact on social connections of our clients – with each other and, for our residents, with their families and friends. We closed our Community Centre and Day Program for Older Adults, strictly limited visits with Care Home and Assisted Living residents, and asked our over 250 active volunteers to stay home.
Thankfully, in a rather gloomy year, there have been “silver linings” – the understanding, patience and resilience of the older adults we’re honoured to serve and their families, our staff’s courage, compassion, and dedication, and the recognition and encouragement of the South Delta community. You extended many kind gestures that showed you care about seniors.
Last spring, each evening we heard the cheering, and we received much needed practical gifts such as masks, face shields, and sanitizer from individuals and local businesses. As the weeks progressed, our staff so appreciated your considerate messages and the flowers, gift cards, and meals. December brought a remarkable outpouring of thoughtfulness for KinVillage residents– cards and gifts from local schools, churches, employees from the City and Amazon, and other kind souls. Our call for outdoor decorations was answered; with community offerings our staff created brilliant displays that our Care Home residents, and staff, admired all month. The police and fire departments paraded in our parking lots. These examples reflect the understanding and compassion of you, our community.
I am so proud of how well KinVillage has responded to the pandemic. 40 years of service, adapting to changing needs, challenges and opportunities, positioned KinVillage for this time and will help us in the months ahead, as we gradually return to “normal”. We will then re-focus on our future expansion plans and, what I most look forward to in 2021, open our doors again to our South Delta community.
On behalf of all of us at KinVillage, thank you for showing you care about the seniors at KinVillage. You lifted spirits – of those who live and work here.
Delta Foundation Helps Out! Again!
KinVillage called on the Delta Foundation and, once again, this June, it supported KinVillage’s work in the community through a grant. Over the past 5 years, each time that KinVillage asked, the Foundation Board approved its request and generously provided a total of almost $25,000. KinVillage is grateful for the Foundation’s support through these grants, which it has put to good use:
Assisted Living residents are enjoying cool beverages this summer with the recent addition of an ice machine.
Many residents in Long-term Residential Care and Assisted Living have benefitted from the Java Cart Music Therapy program.
Long-term care residents in West Court are able to enjoy movies and music programs on a large flat screen TV that was installed when their lounge was renovated.
Members of the KinVillage Community Centre and other local residents can continue to appreciate the nutritious, delicious and affordable meals, beverages and snacks prepared by Chef Adrian in his kitchen and served at the Buenos Dias Café.
Residents, including those who depend on wheelchairs and other mobility devices, can continue to experience outings into the community – everything from leisure drives to places like Rifles Bird Sanctuary and local beaches, lunch outings, and practical trips for shopping or to attend church services. These are both pleasurable and practical – helping to maintain independence and community connections.
As a Registered Charity, KinVillage does gratefully accept donations directly. And it values the contributions of its volunteers who help raise funds through its annual book sale and grand lottery (not to mention giving generously of their time and talents in so many other ways!). It also admires and appreciates the opportunities that the Delta Foundation, our local community foundation, provides to community members to generously donate as well as the commitment and stewardship of the Foundation’s volunteer Board of Directors. KinVillage, on behalf of the seniors it serves, is grateful to be a beneficiary of the Foundation’s efforts and commitment to have a lasting and positive impact on the community of Delta.
Tom Siba (KinVillage member), Donna Ellis (CEO), Carol Howard (Director of Housing), Eleanor Calderwood (Delta Foundation)
Care Home Brighter Because of Caring Staff
We hear often from West Court residents and their families about how wonderful our staff is. We agree! While they are here to support and provide compassionate care for residents every day, recently one member of our team created a unique opportunity to contribute in a particularly festive way.
This past fall, Lindsey Vukicevic submitted an essay to a BC Lottery Corporation promotional contest. In it, she described how, if she won $1000, she would spend it in a day. Her plan? To purchase decorations and items that residents of the KinVillage Care Home would enjoy from the Delta Hospital Auxiliary Christmas Store. So on November 26th, Lindsey went shopping and made a much appreciated delivery to KinVillage.
So why did Lindsey want to extend this kindness to the residents at KinVillage? Well, she works here and she is passionate about the people living here and the quality of their lives. In 2014, after caring for her dying mother and interacting with the nurses who came to their home regularly, Lindsey decided to leave her national sales management position and head on to a different path. She trained as a Health Care Aide and has subsequently gone on to pursue nurses training. In the fall of 2014, Lindsey joined KinVillage, a place familiar to her from the days when she used to visit her grandmother living here.
While most people understand that our staff care for our residents, we don’t acknowledge as frequently that our residents also care for our staff. After Lindsey lost her mother, she says that the seniors helped her get over the loss. She considers the residents here her family. Which is why she was so keen to do something special for them. And she did. KinVillage’s Care Home has a reputation as a warm and caring place. This Christmas season it’s a little warmer thanks to the festive decorations, music and movies Lindsey brought, and to her kind and generous spirit.
To see more about Lindsey’s adventure at the Delta Hospital Auxiliary Christmas Store, which benefits the Delta Hospital, click the video below or go to the Daily Grand website at https://dailygrandcontest.com/qnbwxq#videos
ALL ABOARD THE GOOD LUCK BUS!
After 17 years, the old bus was retired and our new one was delivered so we can continue to offer outings such as leisurely drives, shopping trips, luncheons, and attending church services to Residents as well as Community Centre programs to Members and Volunteers. With a purchase price of $96,000, we needed help paying for this really important vehicle.
Our generous donors and volunteers raised over $60,000 since January 2015. The balance was paid from funds approved by KinVillage’s Board of Directors. What a great example of a community working together to help achieve our goal of a newer, bigger, better bus!
HUGE thanks go out to our amazing Volunteers who “book-ended” our fundraising efforts with the annual Book Sale in January 2015 and 2016, netting over $20,000. This, combined with net proceeds from the Grand Lottery last summer, means that Volunteers lead our efforts by raising $26,500…almost half of the total!
We’re extremely grateful to each and every one of them, in addition to the following:
Delta Foundation – $10,000 Grant
Local Service Clubs – TOOB ($2,000), Lions Club ($2,000), Rotary Club of Tsawwassen ($1,500)
Coast Capital ($1,500) and Delta Dance ($1,500)
KinVillage Members, Residents and their Families, and Staff and Volunteers who, through their individual generosity, collectively contributed $11,000.
And so, on a warm and sunny May 13th afternoon, after toasting the new bus, a group representing Residents, Volunteers, Donors and Staff joined Volunteer driver, Vann, for the first “spin” around Tsawwassen, including a stop for ice cream treats. The following day, a group that included residents from all four KinVillage Courts rode the bus on its first big adventure – to Horseshoe Bay. The bus is definitely a hit and, with more seats and with triple the capacity to accommodate folks seated in wheelchairs, we look forward to welcoming many more passengers onboard in the weeks and years ahead.
Delta Cup at KinVillage Community Centre
“Couples, take your positions please for the next dance.” With 19 different competitive dance styles represented dozens of times throughout the day by more than 160 ballroom dancers, this was a common announcement at Delta Cup which took place in KinVillage Community Centre from morning till late at night on Saturday, October 17.
The inaugural Delta Cup DanceSport Gala brought in competitive ballroom dancers from Edmonton, Portland, Seattle, Kelowna, Vancouver Island and throughout the Greater Vancouver region. They brought the Centre to life as they performed the Cha Cha, Waltz, Samba, Tango, Rumba, Viennese Waltz, Bolero, Paso Doble, Slow Foxtrot, Mambo, Jive and Quickstep. The dance floor was filled with swirling color and dazzling rhinestones as couples of all ages competed to see who was the best in their style and skill level. Ages ranged from youngsters not yet in school to seniors kicking up their heels with style, defying all expectations of age limitations.
Competitive ballroom dancing, known as DanceSport, is a structured activity with millions of registered participants worldwide. Until Delta Cup, local competitions took place in Vancouver or on Vancouver Island. Organizers George and Wendy Pytlik, who teach ballroom dancing in KinVillage, wanted to offer the excitement of this type of competition to Delta. The event was sold out three weeks in advance, showing just how popular ballroom dancing is.
The success of the event allowed the organizers to make a donation of $1,500 to KinVillage Association to support the bus fund.
Delta Cup will be an annual event. Next year’s competition takes place over two days on Thanksgiving weekend October 8-9, 2016.
Click to see more photos in the Community Centre gallery.
Cause for Celebration
This summer, KinVillage celebrated. We celebrated because we have provided a vital service for 35 years in South Delta. We also celebrated because we paid off our first mortgage. These are major milestones in our history that we are proud to have achieved. As we organized our commemoration of these milestones, we really wanted our focus to be about the community that makes it all possible.
Looking back on the evolution of KinVillage, and the many people who have contributed to creating this diverse environment, one is struck by how important community is.
From the time that the local Kinsmen initiated a project for retired seniors, South Deltans and our government partners have supported the growing need to provide a hub for affordable health, housing and wellness services for older adults. We have developed a multi-faceted, caring community for residents, volunteers and staff alike. And this extends to the larger population of older adults in our neighbourhood!
At our celebratory event in July, we heard from people who represent KinVillage’s cornerstones: A long-time resident who, along with her husband, have enjoyed living in the Assisted Living residence and now benefit from the increased services of our Care Home, a member of the Community Centre who described the benefits of having a dedicated social hub for South Delta’s older adults and a volunteer who spoke about the importance of volunteers to KinVillage and how being a volunteer is so mutually beneficial.
Their stories, along with the others from CEO, Donna Ellis and Board of Directors Chair and the event’s MC, Kerry Bentley, made it abundantly clear that this place – KinVillage – is very special because of the community of people who make it what it is.
We thank the ever-supportive MLA Vicky Huntington, all families, residents, clients, members, staff and volunteers who attended. It was a wonderful celebration; filled with laughter, music and magic.