Victoria Cool Aid Society | February 2016 - Victoria Cool Aid Society

Hundreds of Paintings Donated

February 27, 2016 — Today, Cool Aid received one of the most interesting donations we have seen in several years – literally hundreds of artworks were delivered to Cool Aid’s newest apartment building, Mount Edwards Court, from a consortium of donors:

2 Burley Men help Cool Aid staff and residents move hundreds of paintings.

2 Burley Men help Cool Aid staff and residents move hundreds of paintings.

A donation of this magnitude is only possible with the cooperative efforts of hundreds of people, including the buyers whose purchases benefited Victoria Hospice.

These paintings will soon be adorning the walls of Cool Aid’s 15 buildings throughout the Capital Region, and some will be held in reserve for future buildings, such as Cottage Grove for seniors. Literally thousands of Cool Aid clients will benefit from the more beautiful surroundings where they access services every day.

A big thank you to the donors, Order of St. John, Victoria Hospice and 2 Burley Men for making the lives of some of Greater Victoria’s more vulnerable citizens a little brighter today – and every day. Your generosity is inspiring!

Just some of the artworks ready for hanging in Cool Aid’s 15 buildings.Just some of the artworks ready for hanging in Cool Aid’s 15 buildings.

Meet Darcy Shier, Housing Resident

Sometime after the age of 21 years, I had a problem with schizophrenia and this changed my life. About a decade had passed by, and gratefully the Mental Health Region offered to help me. I had a good follow up and now take medication daily which seems to work.

It is not a fun memory; having depression and knowing I could not manage a home as an adult. With the proper health workers and the support of Cool Aid, I have now been residing at Pandora Place apartments since 1997.

The housing staff have a friendly and comfortable relationship with all the tenants and they know how to do their job maturely and efficiently when solving a problem.

In the late 1990s, I was capable of entering school and this experience gave me the option to get work in the retail field. The courses I have taken over the years have included: St. John Ambulance First Aid Response, Typing/Keyboarding, Food Safe Sanitation, Community Housing, Retail Industry Training, Superhost Customer Fundamentals, English and Basic Skill Training.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASince taking the classes the learning was applied and I found a position I perform daily at The Bay Street Broker/ Venture Vending Company. I started with them in December 2000, and the employment has not changed very much over the last 15 years.

As well, I arranged a job at my home with Cool Aid and this honorarium allowance did help out in tough times.

It has been nearly two decades ago since I started with Cool Aid. I appreciate the generosity of being employed by a local non-profit organization, who have been working together with the Capital Region and Downtown Mental Health.

The Housing Manager John Crean has given me a few opportunities over the years. I have been eligible for maintenance control of the block in front of our building since 1997. I also have an obligation since 1997 to take on the responsibilities of a custodian janitor. I am part of a crew where we are each given our tasks to complete one day of the week.

Continuous job-related programs had been offered by the Downtown Community Centre. They created a janitorial position that can be done after the doors have closed to the public and regular members have left the building. This position included sanitation to areas being cleaned and controlling matters in the atmosphere which can bring many hygienic problems. Mostly the duties were common office cleaning, cleanliness throughout washrooms, outdoor courtyard maintenance and kitchen cleaning. My responsibilities later included sweeping the gymnasium and mopping 3-4 times a week.

John Crean has allowed for my skills to grow and for me to become useful at 753-755 Pandora Avenue, while seasonal duties were performed outside the YMCA Youth Residential Occupancy Apartments in the building.

I am available for new jobs and my skills are transferable to any company.

I courageously have been developing a trust with this local non-profit society and am still employed as a custodian and care for an entire building block in downtown Victoria. I am interested in other janitorial activities for another company. I have earned many job skills, and know how important it is to have cleanliness within a productive company.