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Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia is the fear of long words

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  • by Jock Mackenzie

    Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia is the fear of long words. It’s number 26 on an Internet list of the world’s greatest fears. At Number 13 is Glossophobia, the fear of public speaking. The top five on this particular list are fear of: spiders, snakes, heights, open and/or crowded spaces and, a surprise to this canine fan, dogs.

    Most of us can avoid the worst fears, but it’s almost impossible to avoid communicating with others. One answer: Toastmasters International

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    Toastmasters, a non-profit educational organization, has been in the communication business since 1924. Red Deer’s Sunrise Toastmasters (Tuesday mornings at 7:00 a.m.) was founded in 1986. Kitowin Toastmasters (1st and 3rd Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. and a dinner meeting on the fourth Thursday) began even earlier – 1974. The need for communication and leadership has seen more Central Alberta clubs form; there are clubs in Innisfail, Sylvan Lake and Stettler

    Who attends? Adults over eighteen. Most Toastmasters are trying to improve their ability to speak, to get their ideas out in a logical, understandable fashion. Some first come because they have an upcoming event where a speech is required:  business presentation, class, wedding, or funeral. Others attend because they know that speaking is not their strong point and have decided to do something about it. 

    How long do they stay? It’s an interesting mix. Some men and women stay only as long as it takes them to improve to the point where they feel more comfortable with their communication skills. Others stay a medium term; some are “lifers.” Once in a Toastmaster club, it’s soon evident that the mutual fear of public speaking creates a bond. Toastmasters are amazingly supportive of fellow members – and a strong relationship is created. Personal experience has shown there is no better place to find encouragement, empathy and assistance. 

    What happens at a meeting? Everybody has a chance to speak! An overview of a typical meeting includes two speeches from a manual of 10 general topics (an Icebreaker about yourself, getting to the point, vocal variety, research, etc.), evaluations of the speeches, a toast, a joke, table topics (members are given a topic – no time to prepare – and a two-minute time to speak), reports from the meeting’s grammarian (who notes ums, ahs and grammatical errors), the timer (who uses a green, amber and red light to keep speakers on time) and the general evaluator (who gives an overall assessment the meeting). There’s even a short coffee and treat break.  

    Is Toastmasters for you? It is for over 350,000 people in 141 countries around the world. Is a degree of structure important? Two manuals, Competent Communicator and Competent Leader, provide a path through a carefully time-tested series of speeches and leadership opportunities. The basic structure is provided but there’s ample room for making all of the interactions specific and personal. Gradually being unveiled across the Toastmasters world is a new program called Pathways that promises an even more member-centred approach. 

    Guests are always welcome.  Click on the individual links to get more information.

    Kitowan Toastmaster, Sunrise Rotary ClubInnisfail, Sylvan Lake and Stettler.


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    National Volunteer Week Feature: Red Deer Hospice Society

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  • National Volunteer Week is a time to recognize, celebrate and thank Canada’s 13.3 million volunteers! Here at home, there are so many fantastic volunteers who help to build our communities by giving generously of their time & talents. This week, Todayville in partnership with Volunteer Central  is profiling several incredible volunteer initiatives.

    Today we’re taking a closer look at the Red Deer Hospice.

    The mission of the Red Deer Hospice is to provide physical, social, emotional and spiritual care in a community-based, home-like setting for individuals who are dying and for their loved ones.

    The Red Deer Hospice house features 10 resident rooms, kitchen, multiple family sitting areas and a sanctuary, along with work spaces for staff. Each room is equipped with a hospital bed and a living-room style seating area with a pull-out couch, chairs, and television with cable. Guests are welcome to spend the night with their loved ones if that is the wish of the resident.

     

    Red Deer Hospice has nursing staff on site 24/7 and staff are specialized for Hospice Palliative Care Nursing, ensuring the very best of individualized, personal care.

    Residents are not charged a fee to stay at Red Deer Hospice. While some costs are offset by Alberta Health Services, the organization relies mainly on charitable donations to cover the costs of care.  Donations are gratefully accepted to help cover these costs.

    Volunteer at Red Deer Hospice

    When you invest your time, your talents, and your heart into Hospice volunteering, you change a life: your own. Red Deer Hospice could not operate without the thousands of hours contributed by dedicated volunteers each year. Careful screening, in-depth training, and the ever-present support of health professionals enable volunteers to offer the compassionate care and support that help residents live more fully during the completion of their life journey.

    Is Hospice right for you? Please consider the following to assess whether you are ready for Hospice Volunteering:

    • I have an interest in the Hospice concept and have a desire to help others.
    • I have some awareness of what is drawing me to Hospice work and am willing to explore this in depth.
    • I am not bringing personal agendas or ‘missions’ to my Hospice work and I understand that our goal is not to change dying people but to be with them where they are.
    • I am sensitive to the special needs of dying residents and their families and have chosen to work to support them.
    • I am aware of the losses I have experienced, my way of grieving, and I have a sense of perspective about life and death, loss and grief.
    • I am open to others who may have different values, beliefs, and ways of living. I am able to listen well and to validate others where they are, rather than where I believe they should be.
    • I am willing to commit myself to the training and to the Volunteer responsibilities that follow, and to gaining an understanding of the standards and policies of the Red Deer Hospice.
    • As I may be called to work in a variety of areas and perform many tasks, self-reliance, flexibility, and adaptability are assets.
    • I have a realistic awareness of my own strengths and weaknesses, and realize that the ability to set limits is important.
    • I enjoy working as part of a team, and am willing to explore ways of supporting and being supported by team members.
    • I am dedicated to my own growth and on-going learning. My personal strengths include warmth, concern for people, sense of humour, and approachability.

    If this is of interest to you, consider filling out a volunteer application here.

    About Volunteer Central

    Through our comprehensive website, convenient downtown location, and relevant programs and workshops, we connect volunteers, non-profit organizations, and businesses to create successful volunteer relationships in Central Alberta.

    At Volunteer Central, we…

    • offer a listing of volunteer opportunities
    • list non-profit employment opportunities
    • host training programs and workshops
    • develop corporate volunteer programs
    • promote and support community events
    • build capacity in the nonprofit sector across central Alberta


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    National Volunteer Week Feature: Central Alberta Refugee Effort Volunteer Profile

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  • National Volunteer Week is a time to recognize, celebrate and thank Canada’s 13.3 million volunteers! Here at home, there are so many fantastic volunteers who help to build our communities by giving generously of their time & talents. This week, Todayville in partnership with Volunteer Central  is profiling several incredible volunteer initiatives.

    Today we’re taking a closer look at the Central Alberta Refugee Effort (C.A.R.E.) and one of it’s volunteers.

    Bigazi Nsanzabera  has been a volunteer with C.A.R.E. for almost 2 years. In that time, he has volunteered with the Public Awareness program at various events.

    C.A.R.E. says volunteers like Bigazi are such a treasure not only for the organization, but also for the community. The organization says Bigazi is full of compassion and knowledge and that his willingness to share this knowledge with students and community members is amazing to watch. He is able to connect with the students not only in English but also in French, and of course his teaching skills come into play to deliver the message. Which is no surprise, as his professional background is in teaching.

    As Bigazi explains in his own words: “Nothing pleases me more than sharing my story to the students. Many kids here don’t know Africa and its troubled history. So it is my pleasure to  share my story with the students and teachers, I remember in one school, a child stood up after my presentation and gave me a ” thank you” note. Thanks to CARE for allowing me to be part of this”

    When asked, how this volunteer work helps newcomers in the community, he replies “I always tell students that we are ALL One. We all have the same red blood in our veins and as Canada is a country of immigrants, we should strive to love one another and live in peace”

    Bigazi is always willing and ready to help, he sees this as an opportunity to give back to the community. The schools, the community and especially C.A.R.E. appreciates his work and dedication to volunteering.

    Interested in volunteering with C.A.R.E.? Click here for all the information you’ll need to share your unique talents, passion, knowledge and time to ensure the successful integration of newcomer immigrants and refugees.

     

    About C.A.R.E.

    C.A.R.E. was formed in 1979 by a group of concerned citizens who wanted to assist with the settlement of Indochinese refugees fleeing the aftermath of the Vietnam War. A year later, C.A.R.E. became a registered non-profit society. In 1982 it received status as a charitable organization. Since our founding, our mission has been to assist in the settlement and integration of immigrants and refugees in the community.

     

    We provide settlement support to newcomers in Central Alberta, in close partnership with the Immigration and Settlement Service of Catholic Social Services

    Our Guiding Principles

    Throughout our daily work we are loyal to the following guiding principles:

    • To empower clients to become self-sufficient
    • To provide accessible community based services and programs
    • To appreciate cultural diversity and differences
    • To respect clients’ right to make their own choices
    • To ensure clients of confidentiality
    • To value clients, volunteers and staff
    • To serve everyone with fairness and respect
    • Our office is fragrance free. Thank you for not wearing scented products when visiting our office.

     

    About Volunteer Central

    Through our comprehensive website, convenient downtown location, and relevant programs and workshops, we connect volunteers, non-profit organizations, and businesses to create successful volunteer relationships in Central Alberta.

    At Volunteer Central, we…

    • offer a listing of volunteer opportunities
    • list non-profit employment opportunities
    • host training programs and workshops
    • develop corporate volunteer programs
    • promote and support community events
    • build capacity in the nonprofit sector across central Alberta


    If you like this, share it!
    Continue Reading

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