Families, individuals, organizations enhance community spirit
Ryan Rogers and Deron Hamel
Community connections encouraging inclusion are an important aspect of the Burnaby Association of Community Inclusion’s (BACI) organizational culture.
These connections come from families, individuals, community stakeholders and BACI staff who collectively understand the importance of promoting inclusiveness and ensuring everyone in society has the same opportunities.
For example, families are coming together through the Building Connections initiative, which is creating strong connections while strengthening literacy skills for children participating in the service.
The best long-term result that could stem from the service would be to enhance connections and friendships for children and their parents and to see them continue to flourish after the service ends, says Tanya Sather, co-executive director for BACI.
“It’s always good to get families together — that’s one big thing,” says Tanya.
Sometimes the spirit of inclusion comes at the individual level.
In 2010 BACI received a $50,000 donation from a community member, which is being used to build an accessible playground at its Variety Hotelier House Children’s Centre.
The anonymous donation will benefit between 30 and 40 children who are accessing services.
BACI is hoping to have the playground completed in the spring so the children can enjoy it by summer.
“It’s an exciting announcement for our organization, our families and our kids,” says Tanya.
Tanya adds that having an accessible playground is important because it encourages opportunities for children to learn to grown together socially and developmentally.
BACI also encourages the spirit of community connection through the organization’s annual Winter Holiday dinner and dance. This event brings self-advocates, families and other community members together.
“It’s the highlight event that our folks and family look forward to each year,” says Tanya.
The party is arranged by the BACI management team and a buffet is served by the board of directors to celebrate togetherness and community inclusion.
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