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Community Connections

Community engagement news, updates, information and education from around the Sooke Region.

Issue No. 2 | September 2014

In this issue:

- Introduction to The Connector Newsletter and what the Volunteer Centre has been up to lately

- Managing at Home: Study of Support Needs of Sooke Seniors

- The Grand Cook-off Collaborative Fundraiser Event

-  Community Fundraisers in Action

- New Free Marketing Toolkit for Non-profit Organizations and Small Businesses

- CHI leverages funding for community

- Ministry of Finance reviewing the Society Act

- Canada Revenue Charities and Giving Guide to 'Ineligible Individuals'

- Recent additions to the Community Resources website

- Job Opportunity


What the Volunteer Centre has been up to lately:

Creating this newsletter means we have made good on our promise to reduce emails, while still keeping organizations informed.  Now you can brows through the table of contents to locate the topics relevant to you and your organization. The Connector newsletter is not intended to be another source of information so much as a place to collect information relevant to non-profit organizations and volunteers alike, and to share it beyond the normal channels.  As a member organization, your newsletter could be featured here if you wish to connect beyond your own membership. The general public can sign up to receive this newsletter, sharing it beyond the limits of any membership list. 

When prospective volunteers come into the office we sit down for an interview process.  We look to find...

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MANAGING AT HOME: Study of Support Needs of Sooke Seniors
Are you a senior who plans to stay in your own home?  Do you have health issues and wonder how you will cope?   Do you need help with things around the house, or other kinds of support?  Do you know a senior who does?

Sooke Region Community Health Initiative (CHI) would like to better understand what help seniors need to remain in their homes as they get older.   Please join us in a 1.5 hour interview at your home and tell us about yourself and what you need.  Whatever you tell us will be kept totally private.

To learn more or be part of the study, please call 250-642-5585 and leave your name and phone number.  Linda or Anna will call you back.   As a way of saying “thank you”, we will give $20 to the seniors who volunteer for the study.

The Grand Cook-Off Collaborative Fundraiser

Back in May we heard about Project Serve, a University of Victoria and Volunteer BC initiative to encourage university students from around the world to engage in community.  Members of Volunteer Victoria were asked to submit proposals for projects these students might be interested in, to be scheduled for September 27th.  We at the Sooke Region Volunteer Centre went over several ideas that might be doable and benefit the greater community.  Our proposal of a collaborative bake-sale type event was accepted and we were initially anticipating 7-10 students to help with the work.  Our proposal was so enthusiastically embrased that we received 15 students!

In a nutshell, we collect as many donations of fruit as we could, freezing the early varieties, in

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Community Fundraisers in Action

For Sale now: Individual serving sized, fresh-frozen, blackberry-apple crisps.  Made in a commercial kitchen.  $5/each or 4/$15.  Call 250-642-6364 Ext. 235 or email sookeregionvolunteers@gmail.com to order.  Proceeds support:Sooke Thearpeutic Yoga Society and Sooke Region Volunteer Centre

Use the above noted contact information to have your fundraiser listed in the next issue of The Connector.


Together we can do more!


New Free Marketing Toolkit for Non-profit Organizations and Small Businesses
A new communications and marketing toolkit is now available to Sooke’s volunteer organizations. There is no cost to use and information is tailored to our local community and the needs of volunteer organizations.

What can you find there? Here's a sample: Steps to take and a template for news releases that get noticed and covered; ways to reach your members; how to get people to take action, and guides for school and sports team reporting. New information will be added on a regular basis.

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CHI Leverages Funding for Community

September 19, 2014 Joint Agreement Signed for Sooke Community Health Initiative SOOKE –

District of Sooke residents will soon benefit from additional funding for the Community Health Initiative (CHI) which seeks to improve the health and wellbeing of people in communities extending from Beecher Bay to Port Renfrew.

Island Health and the District of Sooke have signed a key memorandum of understanding agreeing to match $17,500 of funding towards the Sooke CHI, which aims to address the region’s determinants of

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The Ministry of Finance is currently reviewing the Society Act to modernize and update the statute that provides rules for the incorporation and governance of not-for-profit organizations in B.C. While this Whitte Paper may be too much to read all the way through, we at the Sooke Region Volunteer Centre, found it helpful to read the summary and then jump to areas that stood out as possibly releavant to our organization.  If noting else, a glance through this document will give your organization a heads up so that future changes do not put your organization in jeapordy or even a mild panic!

The Society Act outlines the rules that govern B.C.'s approximately 27,000 societies. Societies are non-profit corporations organized primarily for social purposes. They make valuable contributions to B.C.'s families and communities, and range from small community-based organizations to large charitable foundations.

The deadline for feedback on the changes is October 15, 2014. Please direct your comments in electronic form to: fcsp@gov.bc.ca.

Society Action White Paper


Charities and Giving: What's new.

A Guide to 'Ineligible individuals' being on your board. This guidance explains how the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) interprets and applies the law as it relates to charities and Canadian amateur athletic associations and ineligible individuals who may pose a risk to the assets and beneficiaries of the charity or association. 




Recent additions to the Community Resources website:

On the 'Links' page:

Community Health Profile - Sooke 2014: When we think of “health” we often think of health conditions like diabetes or cancer, visits to the doctor’s office, or wait times for medical services. But evidence shows that, long before illness, health starts in our homes, schools and jobs.



Job Opportunity:

Pacific  Centre  Family  Services  Association  is  seeking  to  hire  a  contractor  to  support  theircommunications and resource development plan.  To see the full Request for Proposals click here.  Please share widely and have any interested parties contact Mitzi Dean directly mdean@pcfsa.org.


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Issue No. 1 | October 2013


We haven't been sitting back cooling our heals.  The Sooke Region Volunteer Centre and Sooke Region Community Health Initiative (CHI) have been working dilligently to support and increate the health and wellness of the communities and residents of the Sooke Region.

Whether you’re publicizing a local event, seeking a service, or wondering what’s happening in our area, the Sooke Region Resource Inventory (RI) can help.  This electronic resource was launched in 2010 by the Sooke Region Community Health Initiative (CHI) in partnership, and funded by the District of Sooke and Island Health, and may be viewed at www.sookeregionresources.com

Read more


Barney Bentall in blue

Barney Bentall & The Grand Cariboo Opry

Fundraiser Presented by The Sooke Harbour Players, Sooke Regional Resources Centre, Edward Milne Community School and Mel Dobres

Sooke, BC - The Sooke Harbour Players, Sooke Regional Resources Services, the Edward Milne Community School Society and Mel Dobres are proud to present Barney Bentall & The Grand Cariboo Opry, at the Edward Milne Community Theatre on November 17th, 2013. A treasured tradition in British Columbia, this fundraiser and one-of-a-kind variety show brings concertgoers together to support the Sooke Food Bank Society on Vancouver Island.

2013 marks the first year the popular show has hit the community of Sooke, though it's been raising money on Vancouver Island in Victoria/Saanichton for the last seven years, totaling over $50,000 in raised funds for food banks. In addition, this year also marks the first year the Opry will expand all the way east to Winnipeg, playing shows between in Victoria, Saanichton, Vancouver, Edmonton, and Bragg Creek. Each Opry show benefits a different charitable organization, and to date the multi-artist event has raised over $150,000 towards charitable organizations such as the Potluck Cafe Society in Vancouver and the Mustard Seen Food Bank and Sidney Lions Club Food Bank on Vancouver Island.

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Sooke - A Volunteer Capital of Canada?

A brief history of our claim to ‘Volunteer Capital of Canada' - Historian, Elida Peers, April 15, 2010

1.   Many years ago (around 1980 I think) the Toronto Star weekly publication did a feature story on Sooke holding it up as an example of perhaps the most outstanding example of volunteerism in the country. I can’t remember the exact words off the top of my head, but I did remember that the story had happened. More than anything, it featured the Sooke Community Association and how its tremendous volunteer effort made so much possible within this community.

2.   In 2008, when Liz Johnson and I attended (as volunteers and at our own expense) the provincial Communities in Bloom conference and awards dinner in Castlegar, one  of the judges made a point of saying that because of the high marks given to Sooke’s volunteer effort by the judges who visited Sooke to adjudicate that year, that we should consider styling ourselves as the “Volunteer Capital of BC”  That went  over big with us of course, so when we did our report to Council that year, we told them these stories, and proposed that at our welcome to Sooke signage, we follow through with the idea, and suggested that we go a step further, that we upgrade the term from BC to Canada. Our comments were that it was a fun type suggestion, that we didn’t know whether other communities in Canada may have also given themselves that name, but if they had, it was not intended to make claims to cause a war, but perhaps even have a fun time getting to know, greet, etc any other communities that were similarly known.

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