BHF NEWS – January 2017
As our friends and supporters well know, 2016 was a year with many challenges at BHF but as it drew to a close there were also many happy moments. Holiday celebrations included a visit from Santa with gifts for everyone and a wonderful Christmas day feast for members and their guests. The New Year was welcomed in with friends, family, music, pizza, and of course resolutions for lots of good things in 2017.
Turning resolutions into reality can be challenging, but in the words of Barak Obama, “The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.” That is exactly the attitude that brought BHF into being in the first place and it still guides us – be hopeful and do something.
Our Hopes for 2017
- We hope to reduce waiting times for treatment for women by securing funding for additional beds at our Breezy Point Program for Women.
- We hope we will be able to help more pregnant women achieve their own goals while giving their babies a better start in life.
- We hope to launch new ways to engage members’ friends and families in the treatment process.
- We hope, in a world more and more alarmed by the dangers of addictive drugs, to strengthen public awareness of the value of wholistic, abstinence-based treatment.
What We’ve Been Doing Lately…
Volunteering – Last November, as in previous years, a crew of BHF members answered the call for volunteers and headed out to the Santa Claus parade. Their hard work and cheerful attitude earned the praise of the parade organizers- they can be justifiably proud of themselves.
Learning – BHF is known as a “teaching and learning” place for staff and resident members alike. While residents participate in seminars such as Understanding Emotions, Outgrowing Addictions, and Learning to Budget, staff have also been engaged in on-going learning. Recent in-house professional development workshops focused on cultural competency in the therapeutic community, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, and suicide prevention and intervention.
Honouring – On January 21, BHF Director of Indigenous Services, Mike Calder, and the BHF Brown Bear Spirit Singers joined a group of about 60 people on the grand staircase of the Manitoba Legislative Buildings. They were there to honour the courage of refugees who have come to Manitoba from all over the world, and to acknowledge the perseverance and love of Mennonite women who brought their children safely out of Russia and Germany in the 1930’s and 40’s and whose stories are memorialized in the Along the Road to Freedom art exhibit. Mike and his traditional crew are well known for volunteering at events like this around Manitoba, bridging cultures and celebrating shared values. Mike recently achieved the milestone of thirty-five years at BHF. The teachings, ceremonies, and generosity of spirit he brings to our community are invaluable. Thank you, Mike Calder.
Having Fun - Winters can seem long in Manitoba but beading, pool tournaments, card games and conversation make for pleasant indoor evenings. The on-site gym and skating rink are also well-used throughout the winter, while acres of snow call out for snowmen and forts.
Welcoming – Since our last web news was posted, we have had the great delight of welcoming four newborn babies into our community. As of this writing, there are 18 children in residence, ranging in age from 1 week to 14 years. They keep us busy, they help to keep us “real”, and they make our buildings homes.
Saying good-bye – Like families, communities grow and change. The reverse of welcoming new members is saying good-bye to others. In the late fall we said good-bye to one of our Early Childhood Educators, Brenda Wright, who passed away after a long illness. In November, we said good bye and good wishes to Conny Anderson who has moved on to new professional challenges. Conny first came to BHF as a Youth Support Worker nearly 30 years ago. She left as Conny Anderson PhD, Marriage and Family Therapist. The insights and expertise she shared with us over the years remain as an integral part of our programs.
THANK YOU TO OUR DONORS AND SUPPORTERS
As always, thank you to our funders, donors, supporters and neighbours. Your material support and invaluable words of encouragement help to keep us going. Particular thanks to the members of Unit 51 of the Winnipeg Police Department who donated so many wonderful books and toys at Christmas. They went a long way toward filling a large gift bag for every child in the house, helping to make the holidays truly a time of joy and good will.