The mission of the Canadian Red Cross Society is:
To improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity.
Western Zone Desired Outcomes
To support this Mission, the North/Central and Southern Saskatchewan regions focused on four outcomes and seven key result areas that define the results we wished to achieve.
The following pages contain stories, statistics and highlights that illustrate how staff, volunteers, supporters and partners in Saskatchewan worked to achieve these outcomes. This report is a snapshot of provincial activities - just a sample of the great work carried out over the past year.
These achievements are only made possible through the efforts of the entire Red Cross family in Saskatchewan - from the countless hours of dedicated service from volunteers and staff, to the support of numerous funding agencies, partners and other agencies. On behalf of all whom you’ve helped, we thank you.
Chriss Gates Cindy Fuchs
Regional Director Regional Director
North/Central Saskatchewan Southern Saskatchewan
People and communities plan and prepare to reduce the suffering and loss resulting from disaster.
Training proves disasters are no easy game to play
They came, they saw, they used muffin cups to move poker chips around a game board. Sound like fun and games? For Red Cross personnel from across the province, it was fun, but with a serious purpose – to learn how to better manage Red Cross operations in a disaster situation.
Over the course of two separate weekends (one in Prince Albert and one in Regina), approximately 55 volunteers and staff took part in the disaster management training course, using a board game to simulate a typical disaster situation. With completion of the Regina session in October 2003, all regions in Western Zone have now received the disaster management training course, designed to enhance each region’s capacity to respond to disasters.
“To date, we have trained approximately 250 candidates in the management course,” says Vince Bodnar, Manager of Disaster and International Services for Western Zone. “Because of this training, our capacity (to respond to disasters) has increased immensely.”
“It’s set out as a game, but it really gives you hands-on experience,” says volunteer Arlene Gilbert of Big River. “It’s really neat – like we’re actually in that situation.”
Yorkton and area Outreach Coordinator Joanne McClenaghan, a veteran of many disaster responses (including New York City after Sept. 11, 2001) says, “I came away feeling much more confident if I ever have the opportunity to act as a job director in a real disaster response.”
“In recent disasters, our personnel have come from all across Western Zone,” Bodnar continues. “We have seen that this training course has given our personnel common language, clearer expectations, and a greater understanding of how a disaster works. We hope to continue delivering the course in the regions, in order to have more key personnel trained at the managerial and supervisory level.”
People are aware of and responsive to the needs of others in situations of conflict and disaster, and are willing to share personal and collective resources to assist in building community capacity throughout the world. Red Cross helps young mother recover from holiday disaster
It’s a bitterly cold morning as Regina Demyen opens the back door of her new home. “Bring your shoes inside,” she instructs. “If you leave them in the back porch, they’ll freeze.”
Fortunately for Demyen and her three-year old son, Jayce (pronounced jay-see), the weather was warmer – though only slightly – on the night of December 22nd, 2003, when their home caught fire in the middle of the night. Luckily, a smoke detector and the voices of the home’s owners woke her in time to grab her son and flee the burning home, leaving them in the cold December night.
The fire completely gutted the house and destroyed most of Demyen’s personal possessions. She also lost “all Jay’s Christmas presents, the presents for my family….it was really hard. I don’t have the income to replace that kind of stuff and I wasn’t covered by insurance.”
As Regina is recounting the details of that terrible night, Jayce enters the kitchen, too shy to say hello to the stranger sitting across from his mother at the kitchen table. He’s more taken with the half-eaten peanut-butter sandwich on the counter. How did the fire affect this little boy?
Regina & Jayce Demyen.
I think he knows something happened, but he’s not quite sure what,” she says, ruffling the youngster’s sandy-blond hair. “He had a lot of dreams – nightmares, really - shortly after we moved in here. He seems to be doing alright now.”
After an overnight stay in hospital, a friend suggested she contact Red Cross. Shirley Brooks, the Emergency Assistance Responder (EAR) on call, met with Demyen and provided her with vouchers to purchase some basic necessities - food, clothing, and personal hygiene items. Demyen found refuge with friends and family over the holiday period before moving into her current residence. “It’s permanent, for now,” she says of their new home. “I don’t like moving around too much. It’s not too bad of an area.”
Demyen is grateful for the support from Red Cross and others. “A lot of people gave me stuff (after the fire),” Demyen says. While Red Cross assistance can’t reassure Jayce or replace his Christmas presents, it’s meant “some food in the cupboard and clothes for Jayce,” she says. Red Cross has helped to remove some of this young mother’s anxieties as she rebuilds a life for her son and herself. “It helped me a lot, it really did.”
A volunteer’s story – Dorothy Bachelder
When her telephone rang in the middle of the night, Dorothy Bachelder did not think twice about answering.
The residents of two senior’s apartment buildings in Prince Albert needed her. They were being removed from their homes because city crews accidentally hit a gas line and it broke. Dorothy’s presence was required immediately at the local evacuation centre.
Fifteen minutes later, Dorothy, who lives three miles from the city, was helping 50 nightgown-and pajama-clad seniors get comfortable.
“We unloaded them, put blankets around them, gave them doughnuts and coffee,” the longtime Red Cross volunteer says. “There were a lot of local seniors I knew and, of course, because they were seniors, they needed extra care.”
Dorothy’s desire to help people handle difficult times prompted her to join the Canadian Red Cross in Prince Albert after she retired. “I always said when I stopped working, I would do volunteer work,” says Dorothy, who learned about opportunities with the Red Cross in a newspaper item 12 years ago.
“I always liked the Red Cross and the Salvation Army,” says Dorothy, who also shares her time, energy, and talents with the latter organization. “They do good for people. They help all people and do not discriminate.”
During a forest fire evacuation, Dorothy can be found at the evacuation centre registering evacuees and ensuring their needs are met. She answers inquiries from their friends and loved ones.
“It’s very rewarding to assist people, get them set up, and make them comfortable,” Dorothy says. “You’re on the run. You feel you’ve accomplished something, you’ve helped people.”
When 27 Kosovar refugees arrived in Prince Albert in 1999, Dorothy met them at their hotel. She helped the new arrivals, who were sponsored by church groups, settle in and assured everyone that Red Cross would assist them.
Dorothy remains available to these people when they need her.
“They will phone and ask, ‘Where do I go get this? Who do I call about this?’ ”
To ensure Red Cross volunteers and staff continue to look after people in need, Dorothy helps raise funds by working bingos. Three years ago, she was door-to-door campaign chairperson.
“Dorothy brings to Red Cross everything we need in a volunteer,” says Marvis Wilm, Disaster Services Coordinator with the North/Central Saskatchewan Region. “She is compassionate, and the victims of disaster truly appreciate her. She always has a smile on her face and is ready to go.”
The satisfaction of helping people motivates Dorothy. “I enjoy it,” she says. “You feel good about what you do.” Dorothy intends to continue her volunteer efforts indefinitely.
“As long as I can.”
Red Cross youth at work in Dinsmore
Jeff Lawrence and his class of grade 3, 4 and 5 students in the town of Dinsmore, SK, southwest of Saskatoon, are proud to call themselves the Dinsmore Red Cross Youth. This year alone, they have worked diligently to raise more than $650 for Red Cross.
“It’s wonderful for the children to learn the importance of helping others less fortunate than them,” he says.
Red Cross Youth group – Dinsmore, SK.
For over 25 years, Dinsmore Composite School and the community have supported Red Cross through various fundraising events like White Elephant sales, bake sales, and teas.
“They are “dedication in action” and proof that one small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can pull together and make a huge difference in our world” says Michelle Gallucci, Fund Development Coordinator for Red Cross in Saskatoon.
Regional Highlights & Statistics
A partnership was formed with Parkland Ambulance to deliver “Expect the Unexpected” Program to schools
The number of volunteers in Emergency Services increased substantially
Personnel responded to 68 house fires, providing emergency assistance to over 200 people
44 volunteers provided direct assistance to 166 people after a personal disaster
Presentations on disaster preparedness and response were delivered to 651 people
Approximately $14,500 was raised in the province to assist Red Cross relief activities in Algeria, Iran, and Morocco (earthquakes), the Philippines (mudslide), and Haiti (conflict)
Presentations on Global Education, International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and international issues were delivered in both regions, reaching a total of 1,825 people
People build and experience a more tolerant and civil society in which inequities and the incidences of harassment, abuse and violence are reduced. A volunteer’s story – Holly Rivet Holly Rivet was back in her home town of Prince Albert, working as a substitute teacher after completing her education degree, when she was attracted to a new Canadian Red Cross program.
“I thought it would help me get into the schools, which is where I wanted to be,” Holly, a volunteer prevention educator with RespectED, says about her rationale for joining the program in 1996. “Through the presentations I would make connections.”
Seven years later, Holly remains committed to RespectED, and she continues to visit local schools to talk to young people about child abuse and relationship violence.
“I believe in the program,” Holly explains. “I enjoy the work. It still gets me out into the schools.” Holly also delivers presentations to hockey players with the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League and adults who work with children.
In addition to her work with the Red Cross, Holly gives Speak Out presentations for the Saskatchewan Hockey Association to their coaches. The SHA’s Speak Out Harassment and Abuse Seminar was created by the Canadian Hockey Association with Red Cross. What Holly enjoys most about her prevention education work is the feedback that participants supply.
“It’s always a different group of people you work with,” Holly says. “You never know what type of comments you will have. Youth are honest. They ask questions. They are looking for information.”
While the work is demanding, it is also rewarding and worthwhile, Holly says.
“You’re contributing to helping people. This is useful and helpful information we can incorporate into our daily lives to be better people.”
Regional Highlights & Statistics
The c.a.r.e. Kit achieved curriculum evaluation, approval and endorsement from Saskatchewan Learning. The c.a.r.e. Kit was included for the first time in the bibliography of approved, recommended resources that accompanies the health education curriculum for educators of the Elementary Grade Levels throughout the province
A letter of recognition was received from the Saskatchewan Minister of Learning, recognizing the Canadian Red Cross as an important community partner for provincial schools
Red Cross Resource Handbooks were developed and distributed to the nearly 1000 provincial Public, Separate, and First Nations schools
Three Prevention in Motion adult presentation were offered to a total of 78 adults
31 volunteers were trained in Child Abuse Prevention, Relationship Violence Prevention and the Peer Harassment and Bullying Prevention Programs
Red Cross prevention educators delivered 114 RespectED presentations to Regina Public and surrounding Rural Schools, reaching 3,420 youth
Presentations were delivered to 105 SJHL hockey players and 21 WHL players; coaches and players continue to receive the Speak Out program
Two regional training sessions were held, training eight additional Prevention Educators to deliver “Beyond the Hurt” and “It's Not Your Fault” presentations
The region participated in the national RespectED OnLine Training pilot project, successfully training four regional Learners and one OnLine Trainer
120 adults participated in five one-day c.a.r.e. Kit presenter training sessions
Two regional training sessions were held, training 12 additional Prevention Educators
People work cooperatively to reduce unintentional injury, disease and death in their communities. First aid hero makes news
A July 2003 incident in Saskatoon where Red Cross first aid training was put to the test not only made headlines, but also demonstrated the value of first aid training, even at an early age.
Water Safety mascot “Buckles” in the Swift Current Parade.
Nine year-old Sam Simenson performed abdominal thrusts on his grandmother Peggy to save her from choking on a pill. The youngster, who was visiting from his home in Red Deer, had learned the lifesaving technique in a Red Cross AquaQuest swimming and water safety program. According to news reports, Saskatoon Fire and Protective Services chief Jim Dubois stated that he “can’t recall anyone younger than Sam actually taking lifesaving action.” The story appeared on the front page of the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix on July 22nd.
“Research shows that injuries occur more often in the home than anywhere else,” says Sue Phillips, Western Zone Director of First Aid and Water Safety. “The odds are if you administer first aid, it’s likely to be to someone you know and care about.”
Every year, Red Cross promotes water and boating safety messages in the community. 2003/04 was no different. Red Cross injury prevention messages were prominent at events such as the Prince Albert and Saskatoon Exhibitions, Regina and Saskatoon Teddy Bear Bash, Prince Albert National Park Canada Day Parade, Regional Parks Education days, and northern communities such as LaRonge, Southend and Beauval, thanks to the generous support of Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association.
Regional Highlights & Statistics
For the fifth consecutive year, funding was received from the Knights of Columbus for babysitting courses, resulting in training for more than 150 youth who attend community schools in the city
Babysitting courses were delivered to more than 280 youth in order to increase their knowledge in the area of child care, decrease injury and build their capacity to care for others
The Saskatchewan Safety Council Memorial Trust Fund provided funding for Ice Safety Education to educate winter recreation enthusiasts throughout the province
Three Babysitter courses were delivered at no cost for at-risk youth, with 41 youth in total receiving certification as qualified babysitters
Two Childsafe courses, which teach parents how to make their home a safer place and how to handle childhood emergencies with confidence, were delivered to a total of 30 participants
A Labatt's “People in Action” summer student delivered interactive programs designed to help kids learn more about safety issues in, on and around the water. More than 1,000 youth were reached through various City of Regina “Fun Spots”
More than 300 First Nations/Aboriginal children were certified as Babysitters
Five people of Aboriginal descent have been trained as Babysitter Instructors, three in urban areas and two in rural areas
Injury Prevention Partners:
Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association
Labatt’s People in Action
Saskatchewan Provincial Parks
Children’s Health Foundation
Saskatchewan Safety Council
Coalition for Fall Prevention Among Older Adults
Key Result Area #1
Enhance Profile of Red Cross Saskatoon hotels make special donation to Red Cross
Disaster Services in Saskatoon was the recipient of funds raised through a unique fundraising promotion with several of the city’s hotels.
From December 19th to 25th, ten dollars from every room sold at the Saskatoon Inn, Radisson Hotel Saskatoon and Howard Johnson Inn was donated to Red Cross. The hotels, which are owned by CHIP REIT (Canadian Hotel Income Properties Real Estate Investment Trust), conducts an annual “Friends in Need” program, offering reduced rates at its hotels during the holiday season with proceeds benefiting local charities.
Fund Development Coordinator Michelle Gallucci says, “The support we received from CHIP REIT was a huge boost to our organization and the people we serve here in Saskatoon.” Several of the hotels’ managers joined her for a series of radio interviews to promote the fundraiser. The promotion raised over $12,000 for Red Cross in just six days.
Local disaster services provide emergency food, clothing and shelter to those affected by disasters, such as house fires, up to 72 hours after a disaster occurs.
Provincial Highlights & Statistics
Staff responded to 103 media inquiries in 2003/04
Key Result Area #2
Promote Humanitarian Values Saskatoon children learn about peace
Red Cross in the North/Central Saskatchewan region hosted the 4th annual “Hear the Children” Peace Day September 16, 2003 at the Rotary Park International Peace Plaza in Saskatoon.
More than 1,300 school children, teachers, parents and volunteers participated in various peace activities including cooperative games, creative expression, and pledges of peace and art projects that symbolize peace. Greetings and messages of peace were also brought by city and provincial officials and Saskatchewan’s Lieutenant Governor.
The event’s title sponsor, SaskEnergy, invited the Canadian Red Cross to organize the event. According to event organizer Michelle Gallucci, the sponsor was extremely pleased with the overwhelming support from local schools, Saskatoon Police Services, suppliers, non-profit partner groups and other sponsors.
“Helping Hands” banner created by students.
One of the reasons SaskEnergy became involved in this project was to bring children together to learn about peace and put it into practice,” said Leslie Gosselin, Manager of Advertising and Community Relations for SaskEnergy.
The event’s theme was creating a culture of peace through cooperation, mutual understanding and respect for each other. “Our children are global citizens and we are responsible for teaching them how to be emissaries of peace and peaceful actions,” said Gallucci. The peace day event will be an ongoing venture for Red Cross in the region.
“My wish for peace is that countries will cooperate and there will be homes for all,” said one eleven year-old Brunskill School student.
Key Result Area #3
E “Kampaign for Kids” grand prize winners (L-R): Robin, Chris & Justin Wagman with Daryl Silzer (Red Cross).
stablish Financial Stability The Canadian Red Cross in Saskatchewan raised over $200,000 in net revenue through its gaming initiatives including the “Great Saskatchewan Treasure Hunt”, “Kampaign for Kids” raffle and the “Winner's Choice Car Raffle”. Volunteers continue to make all the campaigns a success by once again donating over 2,000 hours of their time. Saskatchewan Red Cross donors have supported programs and services for many years through various ways of making donations. In 2003/04, over $500,000 was donated to Red Cross in Saskatchewan through people leaving a planned gift through their wills and/or estate plans. This money will assist Red Cross in future years to meet the needs of the most vulnerable in our local communities here in Saskatchewan.
Individuals can and do make a difference. Through their generous donations, the residents of Saskatchewan make it possible for Red Cross to support families affected by house fires, flooding or other disasters; deliver presentations in schools to educate Saskatchewan youth about abuse prevention and where to turn for help; provide babysitting and first aid courses for at-risk individuals; and so much more. Red Cross thanks all its volunteers and donors in Saskatchewan for their generous support.
President’s Circle ($50,000.00 plus) Government of Saskatchewan (Career & Employment Services; Community Initiatives Fund; Culture Youth and Recreation)
Few Canadians will ever forget the images of devastation caused by forest fires that affected the BC communities of Kamloops, Kelowna and Barriere last summer. Few residents of those affected communities will ever forget how Canadians reached out to them in their time of need, through the aid of the Canadian Red Cross.
To deliver its assistance, Red Cross mobilized a force of 750 volunteers who contributed 20,000 hours of donated time. More than 100 experienced disaster personnel from all parts of Canada were also deployed at intervals to support Red Cross staff in the southern interior of BC. From late August to November 2003, 14 Saskatchewan personnel were part of that mobilization. Southern Saskatchewan Regional Director Cindy Fuchs was the first person from the province to go. Upon arriving at the disaster scene, she described the devastation in the rural Lewis Creek area as being like “a nuclear war zone.”
Many of the residents affected by the fire were unable to afford insurance; those that were self-employed or operated a home-based business, and suffered from an interruption or total loss of work, were ineligible for employment insurance benefits.
Fortunately, Red Cross was there to help. Due to the generosity of Canadians, more than $4.5 million was donated to the BC Forest Fire Appeal.
The donations were used in two phases. Initially, Red Cross provided emergency food, clothing and shelter when fires were threatening the communities and residents were forced to evacuate to safer locations. After the danger had passed and residents began assessing their losses, Red Cross offered recovery assistance, such as: household goods, medical supplies, heating fuel, psycho-social support, repairs, transportation, utilities, school supplies, gasoline and occupational tools.
Saskatchewan personnel played many roles in the fire relief efforts - from managing operations, to meeting with affected families, to providing support services to other Red Cross staff, to fielding phone inquiries from concerned families and friends of the affected residents.
Forest Fires Devastate BC
The McClure fire lights up the night sky above Kelowna, BC.
Volunteer Mona Dulle of Davidson worked in Vancouver at the Central Registry and Inquiry Bureau (CRIB), a call centre for information regarding the fire relief operation.
“We took all kinds of calls – from connecting people with their family to ‘There’s a bear in my kitchen, what do I do?’” Dulle said of one instance where an evacuee returned home to find a black bear raiding her pantry.
All those who worked in BC agreed that the experience was challenging, yet rewarding.
Fund Development Manager Daryl Silzer said, “It was an emotional experience to witness the devastation caused by the fire and the hardships created.” Volunteer Ed Horkoff of Yorkton, who met with families to assess their needs and provide vouchers for food and clothing, relied on “listening and caring skills” in order to deal with people traumatized by the disaster.
John Richey, Red Cross Regional Director for the BC Southern Interior, said having the ability to draw on experienced personnel from Saskatchewan (and across Canada) is “the strength of Red Cross. When disaster strikes, we’re immediately able to call on the support of volunteers, staff, corporate disaster partners and other financial supporters from across the country. And we have the means and experience to translate all of that care and concern into meaningful help.”
Personnel Deployed to BC Fire Relief:
Every year, hundreds of dedicated Red Cross volunteers from across Saskatchewan provide thousands of hours of voluntary service, making it possible for Red Cross to deliver programs and services to the most vulnerable members of the population
Key Result Area #5
Create Strategic Alliances and Partnerships RespectED project recognized with Humanitarian Service Award
It’s a partnership that has paid off.
The RespectED for Sport, Culture and Recreation in Saskatchewan Project is designed to reach all children and youth in sport, culture and recreation activities in the province. The partners of this project - the Canadian Red Cross, Sask Sport Inc., SaskCulture Inc., and Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association Inc. - have recognized the particular vulnerability of children to abuse, exploitation and bullying; also, these partners recognize their prior absence of resources and knowledge to combat this.
Leaders, instructors and coaches already do a great job ensuring all participants are treated with dignity and respect.
Grassroots organizations share this commitment and do their best to create environments that are free from abuse and harassment.
The RespectED project is designed to support these efforts, coordinate existing policies and increase awareness of abuse and harassment issues.
In October 2003, the Canadian Red Cross National Awards Committee presented the RespectED for Sport, Culture and Recreation in Saskatchewan Project with a Humanitarian Service Award in recognition of this valuable humanitarian service.
Norm Campbell of the Saskatchewan Parks & Recreation Association says, “We’re breaking new ground with some of the stuff we’re doing and it’s gratifying to know it’s being recognized.”
This project is funded in partnership with:
Key Result Area #6
Deliver Quality Programs Delivering high-quality programs is a top priority for the Canadian Red Cross. We strive for excellence in the areas of crisis relief and support; injury prevention; care, protection and support for the most vulnerable; developing the capacity of vulnerable populations; and advocacy for our Fundamental Principles and for those in need.
Here’s what others have to say about our programs in 2003/04:
“Our involvement with Red Cross reinforces our position of connecting with our community and supporting each other in times of need”.
Tenny Carter, V.P. Corporate Development, Saskatchewan Blue Cross
"It is sad that kids with a bright future are easy prey!"
a young hockey player after attending a RespectED workshop
“I think all these (Red Cross) programs are beneficial to our First Nations youth.”
“I come to the craftroom because it gives you an outlet to express feelings and excessive energy. It’s interesting and informative.”
Simon Hitcherick, a resident at the Wascana Rehabilitation Centre and participant in the Red Cross Veterans Arts & Crafts program
“I appreciated the people who helped us out. I never knew the Red Cross did so much for the community. The food was great and the blanket was very nice. Thank you so much.”
Tiffany Lix, one of 50 Assiniboia Composite High students stranded in Regina due to a blizzard
Key Result Area #7
Expand Programs to Meet Emerging Needs The Canadian Red Cross works to ensure that its activities are relevant and responsive to the communities its serves.
Here are just a few examples of Red Cross programs in Saskatchewan expanding to meet emerging needs in 2003/04:
The provincial government’s Community Initiatives Fund provided a grant towards expansion of “Beyond the Hurt” to three Regina schools
A donation from children’s entertainer Raffi resulted in the donation c.a.r.e. Kits and facilitator training funds in both regions
The number of "Beyond the Hurt" presentations delivered were increased in Prince Albert and Saskatoon, and the program was expanded to The Battlefords, Lanigan, and Big River
Funding through Health Canada resulted in the creation of a Fall Prevention for Older Adults Pilot Project for the city of Regina
With a grant from the Community Initiatives Fund and the backing of the multi-agency “Partnership Against Violence Committee”, nine volunteers and professionals were trained to deliver the “It’s Not Your Fault” program in the Yorkton area. The program was launched in area schools in January 2004, reaching 13 teachers and 213 students.
To find out more about Red Cross programs and services in your area, or how you can become a supporter or part of our volunteer team, please contact us at the location nearest you.
North/Central Saskatchewan Region: Saskatoon:
443-2nd Avenue North
Phone: (306) 668-0720
Fax: (306) 668-0722
Office hours: 9 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.