Charities being supported this year are Y Women’s Emergency Shelter, Kamloops Brain Injury Association, Chris Rose Therapy Centre for Autism and Kamloops Therapeutic Riding Association. To donate, go online to bcicf.ca/kamloops-this-week-christmas-cheer-fund. Donations are accepted online thanks to a partnership with the BC Interior Foundation. Donations can also be dropped off at the KTW office, at 1365B Dalhousie Dr. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays. Cheques should be made out to the BC Interior Community Foundation.
The Kamloops Brain Injury Association is no stranger to the KTW Christmas Cheer Fund as 2021 marks the fourth consecutive year the group has been one of the four organizations receiving funding.
Executive director Dave Johnson said the money is very helpful for the organization because it is funding without restrictions that can be used to meet very specific needs of the group.
This past year, one of Johnson’s team members came to him saying some of the clients were interested in knitting. Johnson found knitting looms that don’t require knitting needles, which made it a lot easier to use for people with manual dexterity challenges.
“We we’re able to make it happen,” Johnson said. “Once the group got the swing of it, they produced so many toques we’ve been giving out toques to other survivors.”
“For us, it’s partly social, but also that, you can complete things. Yes, the world’s been turned upside-down by the brain injury — but look, you can still do something and it might be something completely new.” “And they’re like, ‘Oh, well hey, if I can do that, maybe I can get through those other things that are challenging me during the day.’” Seeing people in-person has been a big change for them in 2021.
“One of the big things for us was always being able to meet in person.
With the vaccines coming in, we’ve been able to start meeting again in-person. The vaccine passport, being able to check that and make sure we’re all safe; over the last couple months we’ve been able to restart a lot of the programs we were doing on Zoom,” Johnson said. Recently, Kamloops Brain Injury Association set up a flu vaccine clinic, reaching out to various groups around town and have re-started their stained-glass program.
“We’re really pleased it’s back in business,” Johnson said. The Paul Lake summer picnic is always something survivors enjoy. This past year, it was especially valuable for one client in particular, who loves the outdoors but, like many other clients, has found it difficult to access a location not served by local transit. “We had a little extra cash to make that happen,” Johnson said. “Just to hang out on the side of the lake and see the forest again was really valuable for him.”
Last year, they partnered with Daybreak Rotary to have Christmas dinner cooked and delivered to clients’ doors. Everyone then met for a virtual party on Zoom. This year the Kamloops Brain Injury Association can finally meet in-person for the holiday dinner, partnering with Kamloops United church. “Getting everyone together and being able to socialize is going to be a good thing,” Johnson said.
The Kamloops Brain Injury Association advocates for and provides specialized programs to survivors of acquired brain injuries and facilitates education and awareness in the community.
For more information on the Kamloops Brain Injury Association, call 250-372-1799 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
THANK YOU, DONORS!
VW Turtle Race, $11,000
Tim Shoults, $50
Greg Harris, $25
Nel Sarrasin, $50
Ron & Susan Durant, $100
Dianne Jackson, $50 Anna Evenrude, $50