Edwina Nearhood: See you at the Community One Stop


Where was summer? I find myself looking ahead into the fall. This is the first year in a very long time that I have don't have to prepare for back to school days. Sniff, sniff.

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To the moms who are experiencing the same, shall we gather together and decide what we can do with all our newfound spare time? Well, here are a few suggestions. 

Fort St. John is often boasted as being a young town. How many of you would agree that the Community One Stop Registration is one of the community social events of the year?

The One Stop provides a space for organizations to set up a booth, display their information, and speak with interested people. There is something for everyone from literacy, dance, sports, health and wellness, art, martial arts, music, volunteer opportunities and more!

The Patient Voices Network is just one group that will be seeking new members. This organization is a community of patients, families, and caregivers working with health care partners to improve our health care system.

The commitment level is up to you. You get to choose on the engagement opportunities. You are the boss of your time – be careful, you may like it so much that you can’t say no.

This organization shares a common purpose to include the patient voice in problem solving and decision making to improve B.C.’s health care system. Some examples of the work in our community was patient-partner involvement on the Community Action Team – making great improvements around the opioid crisis.

More recently, volunteers spent some time at Peace Villa capturing what was important to the residents and staff. The new residential care manager was delighted to have this feedback and has already set about to fix “the little things” that make a big difference. This big impact only took a few hours of volunteer’s time. We also have patient partners involved with the BC Support Unit that supports the national strategy for Patient-Oriented Research.

Pain BC will also be participating at the One Stop. Volunteers will be available to provide information about Pain BC and will be taking names for its upcoming pain support and wellness group sessions. Share the word to anyone who may be interested in the education and support facilitated by Pain BC. Watch for more details in the fall.

All too often we think it's too much work to make a difference. Not true. Other fun things to do or sign up for beyond the “kids” stuff includes pottery classes, yoga, tai chi, qigong, art classes, and I am sure many more opportunities. Volunteering is a great way to get out and meet people that make a difference.

The biggest challenge society has today is loneliness. When you are a volunteer, there is no time to be lonely — there is lots of time to laugh and work together to make a difference.

So, as the summer winds down and you look into fall, find out ways you can make a difference for yourself and others.

Empty nesters, this is your time to explore a new form of art. For our seniors who are usually the strongest volunteer network – check out what is up and coming. For people needing support for various areas – come and see what there is for you. Grandparents, come along for the registration sign-up, you might find something new to do or maybe say hello to some longtime friends.

At best, don’t forget about the Community One Stop – did you reserve your table or mark your calendar? It goes Sept. 7 at Totem Mall.

Edwina Nearhood is a lifelong resident of Fort St. John. Her 30-year experience in the appraisal industry offers a unique lens on the challenges associated with the economic forces impacting real estate and the community. 

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