Community Highlight: Change Two Lives with Citizen Advocacy Ottawa
This is a guest post from Citizen Advocacy Ottawa. Pictured, Pilar & Sue – volunteer and her match at Citizen Advocacy Ottawa.
Citizen Advocacy Ottawa is a small, but powerful, registered charity. It is one of the few organizations that support people of all ages across the disability spectrum and their families. And believes in a community that welcomes and values the participation and contribution of all citizens, including those living with disabilities.
People need people! Humans are social creatures. If you stop and think about it friends, colleagues and the various networks we have in our lives are important. Every day, we see evidence of how these personal relationships and networks help support us and resolve personal and professional matters. We use our networks to help others – whether it’s related to getting a job, finding a professional resource or for social and recreational purposes. We rely on these rich personal networks and relationships. Many people with disabilities don’t have the benefit of these relationships.
That’s where Citizen Advocacy’s Everyday Champions Program can help. This program matches volunteers over the age of 18 years with a youth, adult or senior living with a disability who is looking for friendship or perhaps some practical assistance. It could be as simple as going shopping together, playing cards, watching a hockey game or just sharing a cup of coffee – all things that friends would do normally.
This simple act of friendship can change two lives. Ellen, a volunteer Advocate, sums up the feelings of many, “I believe that an advocate benefits at least as much as his or her Friend, perhaps more. I have become a better person from being an advocate and I treasure my friendship with Mary.” For the person living with a disability it can lead to increased self-esteem and self-confidence, they may have the courage to go out and try new things and experience better physical and emotional health.
To volunteer go to www.changetwolives.ca.