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Volunteer of the Month: Ralph Seland

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4 minute read

Written by Ryan Charles Parker // Photo courtesy of Ralph Seland

 

It takes the best we have to see us through the worst it gets. We need support even in ideal times, so when someone goes through tragedy, it is incalculably more essential that we have someone to lean on. And there are some experiences that no one should have to go through. But they do. We all hope for a better tomorrow, but for now, we deal with today.

Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre (CASASC) deals in such matters every day. They offer a variety of services to anyone affected by sexual violence including counselling, education, support in going through the court system and a 24-hour Help Line.

Ralph Seland has been volunteering his time to that Help Line for 25 years. When he began, the Help Line was more general, dealing with differing crises:

“When I began 25 years ago, we were really a crisis center and were trained to take care of potential suicides, slashings, family violence, and yes, sexual assault.”

Such subject matter could wear on a person. But Ralph was trained to not get emotionally involved:

“The training was excellent. We listened to stories of real people tell of their terrible experiences and were taught, not only how to handle these calls, but how to take care of ourselves emotionally.”

Even following that advice, there were times at which he took a call that shook him up so much that he questioned his ability to continue. Yet, he soldiers on. Ralph’s long-term commitment has made him an extremely valuable asset for CASASC. As Volunteer Interim Team Lead, and Ralph’s nominator, Erin Willmer told me:

“Ralph brings a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience to our organization. Since he has been a volunteer for about 25 years, Ralph has really heard it all and has been able to support every individual that accesses our services. Furthermore, his dedication to our Help Line has made him one of the most devoted volunteer members. He is often the example we use when training new volunteers.”

Furthermore, Ralph does more than is asked of him. He often takes more shifts than he has to, and will often volunteer to fill in shifts when the organization is having trouble finding people to take them.

Even this does not exhaust his contributions. He is helpful to both callers and fellow volunteers because of his tremendous dedication and experience. As Erin told me:

“Our work can sometimes be very overwhelming and intense, but Ralph is always there to help not only callers, but volunteers making him an excellent teammate to our volunteers.”

For an organization that relies on volunteers to keep its Help Line functioning, Ralph is instrumental in its operation. Without volunteers, it wouldn’t exist.

“I cannot express how vital volunteers are to our organization,” Erin explained. “Our Help Line is one of the only services in Alberta that operates 24-hours a day. We are only able to do that because of our volunteers. Since we are a not-for-profit organization, it is because of volunteers that we are able to continually offer this community based service to not only Central Alberta, but the entire province.”

It is not just that Ralph helps. He helps more than he has to. And he helps other people learn to follow in his footsteps, growing his contribution exponentially. It is for these reasons that he has been named Volunteer of the Month.

You are very deserving, Ralph.

Volunteer Central strives to build a strong, connected and engaged community through volunteerism.

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Community

Red Deer Local Immigration Partnership surveying citizens about racism

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This post is submitted by the Red Deer Local Immigration Partnership

RDLIP Would Like to Know Your Thoughts on Racism

Understanding Experiences of and Responses To Racism in Red Deer

Red Deer Local Immigration Partnership (RDLIP) would like to know your thoughts on racism in our community as they launch a survey to aid in the Racial Harmony Campaign, which is a social marketing campaign aimed to change perceptions, attitudes and behaviours on Black, Indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC).

The survey is conducted to gather perceptions on people of colour and the state of race relations in our community. The findings from the survey will inform strategies in the implementation of the campaign. “It is important for us to understand the extent of racism in Red Deer”, said Lori Jack, Co-Chair of the Central Planning Council, RDLIP. “It’s the first step in building harmony among all of us”, added Jack.

“We would like to ask the community to help us by answering the survey”, says Ezgi Sarioglu, Program Manager, RDLIP. “This survey will provide valuable insight on the experiences of our community members who may be struggling due to racism”, added Sarioglu. The survey will take 10-15 minutes to complete. Three $100.00 Visa gift cards are available for participants who would like their name into a draw. The survey can be found on this link:

https://rdc.ca1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9TwuufiC2XOQ9WS .

The RDLIP is a community-based partnership aiming to create a community which openly receives newcomers (immigrants and refugees); embraces cultural diversity; strives to understand the needs of newcomers to provide access to a full range of services and participation in all aspects of society; and works to strengthen the understanding of two-way responsibility & benefit for newcomers and the broader community.

For further information on the campaign or the Red Deer Local Immigration Partnership, contact:

Lori Jack, Chair
Central Planning Council
Red Deer Local Immigration Partnership Phone: (403) 967-1363
Email: [email protected]

Ezgi Sarioglu, Program Manager
Red Deer Local Immigration Partnership Email: [email protected]

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Community

Covid vaccines available at 9 Red Deer pharmacies – Locations and contact information

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From the Province of Alberta

COVID-19 immunization program

To ensure fair access to all Albertans needing to be immunized and to prevent unnecessary wastage of vaccine doses please book ONLY one appointment per person. Do not book multiple appointments at multiple sites.

Who is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine through a pharmacy?

Pharmacies are able to offer immunizations to seniors 75 years of age and older (born in 1946 or earlier) living in the community.

Alberta Health Services will offer the vaccine directly to residents in retirement centres, lodges, supportive living and other congregate living facilities.

Where can I get the vaccine?

Below is a list of participating pharmacies. You must book an appointment with the pharmacy closest to you to receive the vaccine. No walk-ins will be permitted.

Due to limited vaccine quantities and storage and handling requirements, only select pharmacies in Edmonton, Red Deer and Calgary are able to participate in the vaccine rollout at this time. Once there is adequate COVID-19 vaccine supply, distribution will be expanded.

Pharmacies are listed in alphabetical order.

Johnstone IDA Pharmacy

100-2 Jewell Street
403-348-8203

Loblaw Pharmacy #1579

Red Deer Superstore
5016 51 Ave
403-350-3530

London Drugs #24

109-2004 50 Ave
403-342-1242

Notre Dame Pharmasave

1109-2827 30 Ave
403-588-3195

Save-On-Foods Pharmacy #6682

6720 52 Ave
403-343-7744

Shoppers Drug Mart #2306

1 Chambers Ave

403-342-5548

shopersdrugmart.ca/en/health-and-pharmacy/covid-19?ShortURL=covid

Shoppers Drug Mart #326

Bower Mall Location

A6-4900 Molly Bannister Drive

403-343-3355

shopersdrugmart.ca/en/health-and-pharmacy/covid-19?ShortURL=covid

 

The Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy #341

130-2950 22 Street

403-343-8831

medicineshoppe.ca/en/alberta/red-deer/the-medicine-shoppe-pharmacy-341-7041122

 

Wal-Mart Pharmacy #3075

Parkland Mall Shopping Centre

6375 50 Ave

403-347-1123

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february, 2021

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