Part 4: Community Inclusion Means We All Contribute
At CVS, we believe that everyone in our community has the ability to contribute and to make a difference. We invest a lot of time promoting the concept of inclusion in our community with local businesses, governments, and with the general public. We always want to practice what we preach. To that end, we encourage people we support at CVS to give back to our community. We encourage them to find ways to help make our community a better place. And, we encourage them to find ways to use their diverse talents for the betterment of our community as a whole.
Luckily, the people we support at CVS have such a wide range of interests and diverse abilities. Some love animals, others love socializing and many others have specific skill sets that can be applied in our communities to help the environment that surrounds us.
CVS has existed as an agency for 45 years in the Tri-Cities and, throughout that time, we’ve managed to help in so many ways. We’ve made a major impact in the neighborhoods around our office locations but have also extended our support well beyond our immediate neighbors. Let’s find out more about how we have given back to our community and spread the message of inclusion at the same time.
Working in the Community
Yes, employment helps the people we support earn a living and feel part of their community. However, as we discussed in Part 1 of our series a few weeks ago, it also helps others in the community feel better connected and it provides employers with loyal employees. Currently, there is a major labour shortage across the country. This has opened the eyes of many employers to bring in people with diverse abilities to see how this can help resolve gaps in employment within an organization. So, this helps the employer because it fills a job but it also helps the other employees as it enables them to work alongside a reliable colleague and to develop a new friend.
Supporting Local Businesses & Organizations
At CVS, we are out in the community more than we are inside our offices. This is at the foundation of our organization and, actually, why our agency has the phrase “Community Ventures” right in it. We always want to get out and about into the community so we are able to enjoy all that our community has to offer. As a result, the people we support and our staff are supporting the operation of local businesses, facilities and programs. This has helped us expose the people we support to new experiences and others in the community but it has also helped those businesses and organizations grow their own businesses in the Tri-Cities.
Volunteering as a Means of Giving Back
All the people we support have dreams and aspirations like we all do. Many of the people we serve want to help others. When this aspiration comes up during one of our discovery sessions, we always look to pull in opportunities to volunteer in the community. We know that there are so many organizations throughout the Tri-Cities that are consistently looking for support to help them deliver their programs to the public. We are so glad that we’ve had a chance to be part of giving back to our community over the decades.
In our local neighborhood in Port Moody, CVS has been a supporter of the Adopt-a-Street initiative for nearly 10 years. The people we serve go out and take pride in cleaning up the areas around St John’s and Kyle Street to ensure it remains a clean and welcoming place. Most recently, we’ve extended this into Coquitlam and have people we serve volunteering for the Adopt a Catch Basin program. This began on July 7th and we currently help clean three catch basins in the Coquitlam area.
In the past, we’ve also helped out with animals at the BCSPCA, volunteered with seniors in the community and volunteered time at the Eagle Ridge Bible Fellowship Church, doing various tasks at the Church that are needed by their volunteer community. The House of Omeed in Port Moody also has partnered with CVS to bring in volunteers, helping with breaking down cardboard for their food bank housed within. This began on May 26th 2023 and is a regular volunteering opportunity that helps this smaller food bank deliver much needed support to its community.
We continue to look for opportunities to donate our time into the community. We recognize the need that there is out there right now and if we can help, we want to. The people we support want to.
Why Giving Back to the Community is Important
Giving back to the community is at the foundation of community inclusion and what it means for us all to live together in our society. When there are needs, we need to look outwards to see who can help and we need to understand how all of our diverse abilities can be applied to things that need to be done. We can all do the things – we may do them differently, but that’s OK and it is often welcomed. The more we work together, the happier we’ll be.
To learn more about how CVS gives back to our community or if you have a volunteer opportunity you’d like to tell us about, please reach out. We want to take this time to thank everyone for reading our 4-part series. If you want to catch up on any of the articles we’ve released over the past few weeks, please visit our Blog and always feel free to reach out on social media via Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn.