It’s the most wonderful time of the year …and our elves can help busy shoppers!
- November 30, 2017
Since 2008, volunteers have been wrapping gifts and checking coats all in support of St.Amant.
“This year, most of our volunteer shifts filled up in a 24-hour period, we have so many return volunteers who love to support St.Amant, get in the holiday spirit and help busy people!” said Juliette Mucha, Director of St.Amant Foundation.
Only a few shifts are available on December 24th.
“We wrap all gifts – whether purchased at the mall or not. We’ve had some folks who bring in carloads of gifts and we count on their support every year,” said Mucha.
The gift wrap and coat check shop, sponsored by Desjardins Financial Security Investments – St. Vital Branch, is open during mall hours at St. Vital Centre from December 1 – 24.
The gift wrap and coat check is located in a store next to Hudson’s Bay. All donations support recreation and leisure activities, education and technology, specialized equipment for over 1,600 children & adults with developmental disabilities and autism supported by St.Amant.
Those interested in volunteering can sign up at www.stamant.ca/giftwrap.
People are at the heart of St.Amant, organization named one of Manitoba’s Top Employers
- November 29, 2017
This morning, St.Amant was officially announced as one of Manitoba’s top 30 employers in a special supplement in the Winnipeg Free Press.
As St.Amant approaches a milestone with their 60th anniversary in 2019, the organization continues to be a leader in service delivery for people with developmental disabilities and autism. St.Amant now has over 1,800 staff and offers services in over 100 locations in Manitoba. With a spirit of innovation and a strong desire to carry on the mission of the Grey Nuns, St.Amant is evolving to fill unmet needs in our community.
The organization has initiated the development of their next five-year strategic plan. To ensure the plan is relevant and that St.Amant is indeed meeting the needs of its community and heading in the right direction, their strategic planning process involves wide stakeholder consultation with families, funders, partners and their staff.
“Our staff are the ones delivering services every day and in a person- and family-centred way. We need their input to ensure that as we move forward we’re not only meeting our community’s needs, but taking into account how we best meet the needs of the people we’re already serving. We know that relationships and involvement in the community are important to everyone and our staff are the ones that help facilitate friendships, meaningful work, volunteer opportunities and quality recreation. The input from staff is a critical piece of our planning,” said John Leggat, President and CEO.
St.Amant’s role in the community goes beyond just service provision. As one of the largest disability agencies in the province, they also believe they have a duty and role to advocate for positive change in our province. That means working with other agencies and stakeholders to look at training standards for their staff and how agencies measure success. A person-centred approach means that success is achieved when the people they are supporting are able to reach the goals they set out for themselves. This can be a challenge when our community hasn’t quite learned how to fully include people with developmental disabilities.
“There are people we support who can get all kinds of volunteer work, but what they really want is paid employment. Helping them find employment can be more challenging. Loneliness is also a challenge for people with disabilities. We need skilled staff that can help people with communication challenges make meaningful friendships,” said Leggat.
Employment opportunities abound at this ever-growing organization in all kinds of roles. From clinical staff in the areas of psychology and social work, to nurses and administrative positions, there are always opportunities to join the team. The most common opportunities are in direct support, a role where you work hands-on with people with disabilities to ensure that they are participating in life in a meaningful way. This job lets staff build relationships in the community, with family members and most important, with the people they are supporting. This is a great job for people who are motivated by supporting and encouraging choice and independence and are rewarded by seeing people achieve their goals.
As clichéd as it may sound, the employees really are the biggest asset at this people-focused organization. Knowing that, St.Amant works hard to offer excellent support to its staff. Staff have access to excellent training and development opportunities. Some are formal and required for their role and many are self-directed. The organization hosts an on-site Toastmasters group, English at Work for newcomers, many health and wellness benefits, such as a low cost gym, meditation and mindfulness activities and encourages staff to work together to come up with new and innovative ideas.
St.Amant employees are generous and definitely care about the people they support. In fact, St.Amant has one of the highest staff engagement rates in fundraising to support the St.Amant Foundation. Every year, staff volunteer at the St.Amant Foundation’s signature fundraising event, the Free the Spirit Festival.
“Staff see the benefits of their donations and volunteer efforts. From new connections made through the St.Amant Leisure Guide, to new customized wheelchairs and equipment, proceeds raised at the Free the Spirit Festival have lasting effects all year long,” said Juliette Mucha, Director, St.Amant Foundation.
Staff are truly part of the community and also support other local charities such as the Christmas Cheer Board, Winnipeg Harvest, Manitoba Marathon, Dragon Boat Festival and the Movement Centre Bike Race.
St.Amant is proud of their work environment and corporate culture making them one of Manitoba’s Top Employers for the seventh year.
St.Amant began a pilot program where key staff like Martine Lebron (from left), Lovleen Paul and Linda Tetreault, received training to become mindful practice advocates. These advocates acknowledge and encourage the mindful behaviours and actions that they notice in their co-workers, as well as share information, or mindful moments at shift changes or staff meetings. Photo by Darcy Finley
CLICK HERE to view current job opportunities.
Manitobans raised an incredible $175,000 at the Free the Spirit Festival
- October 15, 2017
Because of you, we raised an incredible $175,000 at the Free the Spirit Festival! Your enthusiasm for quality care for people with developmental disabilities and autism is contagious, and because you inspired your friends and family to give, we achieved one of our most successful festivals ever!
From raising pledges to buying lottery tickets, your support has not gone unnoticed. We owe you a big THANK YOU for ensuring people supported by St.Amant have meaningful opportunities.
We are excited to say that your generous support means more personalized equipment such as specialized wheelchairs and bicycles; more communication devices like iPads and DynaVoxes; more recreational outings to places like the zoo or a Winnipeg Jets game; more opportunities such as the St.Amant Leisure Guide or FM Café; and most importantly, it means more chances for friendship and inclusion.
Here are just some of the highlights from this year’s Free the Spirit Festival:
- Over 300 people joined us in the 2km walk!
- 103 runners took the challenge of completing the first ever Free the Spirit 5k.
- One lucky winner, Marilet Dalde-Bjarnason, took home the $10,000 lottery prize.
- Visit our photo gallery on Facebook
With much appreciation,
Director, St.Amant Foundation
P.S. Mark your calendars for next year on September 29th!
Support St.Amant at St. Vital Centre’s Behind Closed Doors
- October 11, 2017
Tickets are now on sale for the hottest shopping event of the year!
When you purchase your ticket to St. Vital Centre’s Behind Closed Doors from St.Amant Foundation 100% of the proceeds will go towards your favourite charity!
On November 18, St. Vital Centre’s Behind Closed Doors will be an after-hours evening of wall to wall sales throughout the Centre! Join us for a night of all-you-can-shop from 7:00pm – 10:30pm and support St.Amant Foundation.
Tickets are $5 each. With the money we raise through ticket sales you will support St.Amant Foundation.
Purchase your ticket today at St.Amant’s front reception desk (440 River Road) or at St. Vital Centre Customer Service while supplies last.
For more information please contact us at 204-258-7050 or visit www.stvitalcentre.com
Thank you for supporting St.Amant Foundation.
Tickets are also available at St. Vital Centre Customer Service while supplies last. Limited number of tickets available; entrance to ticket holders only. Doors open at 7:00pm.
Door prizes to be won are:
- $500 St. Vital Centre Shopping Spree
- $250 St. Vital Centre Shopping Spree
- $100 St. Vital Centre Shopping Spree
- Earls chef’s table value of $500
- Rose gold iPhone 7 courtesy of Telus
Click here to see the rules and regulations.
Team fundraising is the way to go
- September 11, 2017
St.Amant has great staff and volunteers, who are engaged in the Foundation’s fundraising initiatives. A perfect example of this is our CHERing the Rainbow team that has been raising funds as a team since 2009.
They have already exceeded their fundraising goal and doubled what they raised last year! We approached them to get some information and advice:
How did you come up with the team name?
We wanted a name that reflected all of us; CHERing is all of our values put together and our original team was 7 and there our 7 colours in the rainbow. We also wanted to showcase the diversity and unity that each of us brought to the group and from there CHERing the RAINBOW was formed…
Why did Volunteer Services decide to start this team and how does it benefit you and your volunteers?
Three of our original group members were affected by cancer and we came together to show our support for each other in another fundraiser. Soon after we decided to continue on with this name.
We have fundraised for many organizations including St.Amant; the first time we fundraised for St.Amant we would get together on weekends and sell hot dog specials at Rona and Dakota Foods. After that first year we have done some other creative fundraising activities such as a bake sales, garage sale, BINGO bowl, Fishing Bowl, Open Mic Comedy and Music nights and most recently we are hosting two paint parties.
What would you say to someone who is thinking about maybe putting in a team for the Festival?
It is more fun with a group; keep it open and allow anyone to join as we all bring different talents and ideas; from there your group will grow. Having a large team allows you to be creative and crazy and to feel like you are making a difference. If your fundraising efforts don’t bring in what you thought it would, don’t give up and don’t let it hinder the next creative idea!!
Any words of advice for other teams?
Keep communication open and have FUN! Try different things, use your social media and contacts, and get involved. Even if you can’t make it to the event your fundraising efforts count and in the end, we are doing this for those we love and support, for the community and for ourselves.