Our story at 40! SCSA builds community one program at a time!

Our story at 40! SCSA builds community one program at a time!

Volume 13 Issue 3

It was 40 years ago this month that Smithers Community Services Association was born.

Four decades later, much has changed within the association, but its reasons for being remain the same: to develop social resources, set priorities for community needs, and liaise with existing community resources.

When you look at our values, it’s really about moving people along their own path, as they define it,” executive director Cathryn Olmstead says. “We really come at it from a place of empowerment.”

SCSA registered as a charitable non-profit society on Oct. 25, 1973 in response to a call for greater youth and volunteer services in the community. While youth and volunteerism remain a focus, it has evolved into food security, housing, literary services and transit operations, responding to community needs as they arise.

Early on, SCSA grew into working with adults with developmental delays, a program that later shifted to another agency. Other programs incubated under SCSA include Smithers Home Support Society, Smithers Receiving Home Society and Northern Society for Domestic Peace. “Integration is key to community development” Olmstead says. “SCSA transcends traditional boundaries to engage all ages and demographics of our community, in an effort to make people feel at home in the Bulkley Valley. We see this value reflected in every facet of the organization.” Learning and connecting within the community often involve creativity: art, cooking and music, for example.

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August 16, 2013 Volunteer Appreciation BBQ

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Over 300 people joined SCSA at the Volunteer Appreciation BBQ on Friday August 16, 2013.This was a fun event that brought together many walks of life from the community. A special thank you to our grill masters Keith Stecko from the Smithers Fire Department and Bill Goodacre Town Councilor and community volunteer, for feeding the crowds. Thank you also to our musical talents No Time Flat who brought the event together with their entertainment. Lastly, thank you to the many volunteers in the community! 

Come by the SCSA main office and see the new trees planted representing the volunteers in the Bulkley Valley!

Smithers Harley Group Ride for Toys- Christmas Hampers 2013

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Thank you to the Smithers Harley Group who on September 7th set out for their annual Toy Run. The group raised over $300 and several bags of new toys were donated to the Christmas Hamper program! Each child registered in the Christmas Hamper program receives a new toy so this event is a great way to start the season! Thank you to the group for organizing and taking part in the run!

Christmas Hampers are distributed in Moricetown, Smithers and Telkwa with the program relying on support from the community to make this seasonal program a success. If you or a group you are involved in are interested in donating, volunteering, sponsoring a hamper, or hosting an event please contact Jaime or Anne at 250-847-9515 or champers@scsa.ca

If you are interested in donating to the 2013 Christmas Hampers program please visit our website: http://www.scsa.ca/get-involved/donate or call 250-847-9515

Summer Step Up Wraps Up Another Year

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Step Up is pleased to announce another successful wrap up of the 2013 summer tutoring program! We were graced with a great team who ensured that the program ran smoothly, and kept students coming back for more tutoring sessions! One student even let us know their appreciation by exclaiming “I don’t want to go to the lake today! I want to keep learning here!”
Highlights of the program this year included:
• 457 hours of tutoring provided to 42 students in the Bulkley Valley (meaning, the average student came to 10.8 hours of tutoring over 7 weeks this summer!)
• 138 hours of tutoring provided at no cost to at-risk students (valued at $1,380)
• 77 hours of tutoring provided to 7 First Nations students
• 41 hours of tutoring provided to 4 ESL students
• Students ranged from Kindergarten to grade 12

We were pleased to have our generous sponsors make this program possible! A big thank you to RBC Foundation, Service Canada, BC Gaming Grant, School District #54, NWCC, BV Community Foundation, Bulkley Valley Credit Union, and Hy Tech Drilling.
 

FASD Brown Bag Lunch Sessions

Winter Brown Bag Lunch Series

Purpose:To strengthen connections between everyone who has an interest in Brain-Based Disabilities such as FASD and continue building on the legacy of the FASD Regional Conference.

                    
November 18th, 12:10 – 12:50
Topic: Excerpt FASD Realities and Possibilities – The Myles Himmelreich Story
Location: NWCC in Smithers, Houston and Hazelton

 

Bring your own lunch. Please share this invitation with your network – friends, families, co-workers and community partners.

Space is limited, so please RSVP by contacting Nathalie at 250-847-9515 or fasd@scsa.ca

 

The Brown Bag Lunch Series will continue in the new year, stay tuned! 

 

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A community member might learn literacy through playing guitar, culture through the community kitchen, or confidence by building skateboards and guitars with the Youth Empowerment Program.“We’re very creative in how we help people in their lives,” Olmstead says.

But SCSA’s contribution extends far beyond its immediate mandate, beginning with the employment it creates within the community. With a staff of more than 50 people, SCSA spends close to $2 million each year on wages and benefits alone. Last year, it spent more than $150,000 on local contractors and spends between $100,000 and $200,000 each year for repairs and maintenance on housing developments like Bulkley Drive Housing Society, Cottonwood Manor and The Meadows Assisted Living. The organization also shops locally, buying food for its seniors’ housing and emergency shelter and renting spaces for events and staff training.

SCSA is funded by a variety of ministries, both provincial and federal, along with support from the Town of Smithers and community donations. 

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Programs such as the Good Food Box, Volunteer Smithers and Helping Hands receive grants from the gaming commission. In the spring of 2014, the association will assist the Town of Smithers in planting 40 trees between Railway Avenue and the CN tracks. With the help of a Wetzin’kwa Community Forest grant, SCSA will contribute signage to this stretch of the Perimeter Trail that celebrates our community culture and history.


Throughout our 41st year, SCSA will be publishing a series of articles about our current programs and how they fit into our guiding principles. We hope you’ll join us in this celebration.

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Programs such as the Good Food Box, Volunteer Smithers and Helping Hands receive grants from the gaming commission. In the spring of 2014, the association will assist the Town of Smithers in planting 40 trees between Railway Avenue and the CN tracks. With the help of a Wetzin’kwa Community Forest grant, SCSA will contribute signage to this stretch of the Perimeter Trail that celebrates our community culture and history.


Throughout our 41st year, SCSA will be publishing a series of articles about our current programs and how they fit into our guiding principles. We hope you’ll join us in this celebration.