Couchiching Jubilee House grateful for ‘ripples of kindness’

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‘Winter is a really important time to support vulnerable women and families in Orillia,’ says Couchiching Jubilee House executive director, who lauded funding help

Ripple of Kindness (ROK) Orillia is supporting Couchiching Jubilee House (CJH) with its final gift of 2021 – the fourth donation to a local chairty this year for the local group.

ROK co-founder Amber McGarvey says CJH is a worthy candidate for some financial help, noting so far the donation stands at $14,200, with more money still expected to roll in.

“There were about three or four organizations that were leading the way during the three-week voting period, but CJH was the winner with the most votes,” she explained.

“They have been on our list of nominees since we started the Orillia chapter, so I think it was their turn.”

McGarvey says ROK is thankful to be in a position to raise awareness and help support local organizations that provide vital services in the community.

“Through our communications and social media, we are also able to shine a light on the programs and services that CJH provides, which can be just as important as the financial donation,” she said.

“It’s all about working together and working for the greater good of our community.”

CJH executive director Bre Plue says she jumped for joy when she heard that ROK had chosen CJH for the donation.

“I was walking my dog and I literally did the little leprechaun jump,” she chuckled.

“I was really pleased, and I felt a sense of relief. Obviously, the last two years for small non-profit organizations like ourselves have been really challenging.”

Plue says the donation comes with perfect timing for the organization that empowers vulnerable women to improve the quality of their lives through programs, individualized support, and transitional housing.

“Winter is a really important time to support vulnerable women and families in Orillia and we are stepping into some new programs that we are needing to address,” Plue said.

“We intend on using this money to help filter and support our outreach program which helps people that don’t live in our transitional home. We have four units, and we currently serve 12 people within our units that have been running since 2000. However, our outreach program has significantly expanded, especially within the last two years.”

In the last two years, CJH has served 92 people who are experiencing precarious housing.

“These are the people experiencing couch surfing, and we are kind of like the catch net before they hit the shelter system. We are attempting to stop people from sliding into a point of crisis,” Plue explained.

“We will use this money to help connect people to food security, teach them how to use food boxes, how to expand employment skills, budget skills, psychotherapy, access to mental health supports, and celebrating small wins like people getting sober and how we can support them to stay on the right path despite their current circumstances,” she told OrilliaMatters.

Plue says ROK’s donation is vital as it allows the organization to adapt to the issues happening as they arise.

“This really shows the power and synergy that a group can bring, a group of like-minded individuals can make a stronger impact as a community than we can by one, and that’s something that we really focus on at CJH,” she said.

Ripple of Kindness is made up of about 200 women in the community. Each member contributes $200 twice a year and they vote on a recipient of funds. The organization presented four donations this year: to The Sharing Place Food Centre, the Orillia Youth Centre, the Child & Youth Advocacy Centre Simcoe Muskoka and Couchiching Jubilee House.



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