North Rocky View Community Links (Community Links)
Our Story Why We Exist
I was introduced to Community Links almost 10 years ago and am very grateful for their support and resources. We were fairly new to Airdrie and I was having difficulty raising three small children with a partner who had a drinking and gambling problem. The programs we accessed gave me new coping skills and my children a positive outlet during a very difficult time.
The support I received from the staff and programs helped me to leave an abusive environment and make positive steps to ensure a safe, healthy home for my children. Becoming a single parent I joined the Single Parent Support Group which gave me the opportunity to connect with others experiencing the same day to day struggles and joys. Through Community Links, my children have been given the opportunity to experience drop-in PLAY groups, youth empowerment workshops and summer camps. These have been extremely beneficial, especially for my oldest son. I truly believe that his involvement in the summer camps set him on the right path to becoming the amazing young man he is today.
Over the years, I have walked into the Community Links office overwhelmed with different circumstances in my life and the staff have helped me get focused and connected to whatever program, resource or other agency I needed (i.e. warm clothing, Mental Health support, housing, parenting). I remember one year, less than a week before Christmas, I walked through the doors having nothing. Within a few days, the staff put together a wonderful Christmas hamper for me and my children, which helped me in every way possible.
The variety of programs and events they host makes a huge difference to so many people. Being connected to Community Links helps me in raising my children to become positive, productive members of this community and I don’t know where I would be without them and their supporters. There are several times I could write about how extraordinary the staff at Community Links are and how much they have done for me and my family. I can honestly say that having Community Links as my “go to” support, I know I can face whatever challenges life brings my way and that I am not alone. Words cannot express my gratitude. (SHAWNA)
OUR HISTORY: Airdrie Family Services was formed in 1982. North Rocky View Community Resources Society was formed in 2001. In 2004, Airdrie Family Services Society and the North Rocky View Community Resource Society partnered to house North Rocky View Parent Links Centre. Now one of 60 Parent Link Centres in Alberta.
On April 1, 2008 - Airdrie Family Services Society and North Rocky View Community Resource Centre Society amalgamated to become North Rocky View Community Links Society.
Our Impact What We Do
North Rocky View Community Links Society (Community Links) is a non-profit registered charitable organization providing support, services and programming to individuals from birth to seniors in Airdrie, and surrounding areas including Beiseker, Crossfield, Irricana, Kathyrn, Balzac, and the North Rocky View County. The agency's purpose is "to serve and promote the welfare of the people of North Rocky View community and to ensure that all people have access to services, resources, and opportunities they require to promote their well-being".
Community Links' Vision: Strong Individuals Strong Families Strong Communities
Our Mission: Community Links strengthens individuals, families, and communities of North Rocky View by providing them with and connecting them to services, supports, and resources
Community Links Values:
- Collaboration: Working together toward a common goal
- Integrity: Honesty and accountability within our actions
- Respect: Non-judgmental and compassionate service delivery and dignity for all
- Diversity: Respecting and accepting individual uniqueness and differences
- Inclusivity: Open and collaborative approach
- Quality: Systematic assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of best practice
Some of the facts that we are proud to report From April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016, Community Links is proud to report that we have:
- Supported 11,115 individuals (19% children 0 – 6, 21% children/youth 7 - 18, 50% adults and 10% seniors) through various programs and services. (Over a seven year period we have worked with an average of 11,000 individuals annually);
- Worked with 7552 families;
- Connected residents over 13,761 times with various additional supports;
- Provided 19,561 referrals to individuals for additional support which is an increase of 2% over last year of 19,238 referrals;
- Been a resource and support for 16% of Airdrie’s growing population. This statistic aligns with previous years of the agency serving between 17 – 22% of Airdrie’s population.
These statistics are a testament that we continue to work towards our Vision of Strong Individuals Strong Families Strong Communities and together we can make a positive difference in the well-being of the community by meeting many of the social needs.
*According to our surveys, our programming has contributed to the positive impact of residents by increasing self-esteem and confidence, coping and problem-solving skills, decreasing social isolation, increasing hope, social inclusion, personal knowledge and skills such as parenting as well as increasing the public awareness of other resources and issues that affect our community.
*Two hundred and sixty five volunteers provided 8,287.75 hours of support to the agency.
*Forty-one percent of staff have been with the agency over 5 years, this speaks to the dedication that staff have towards the agency
Our Programs How We Do It
Community Links supports the communities we serve through four core services: 1) Counselling: Compassionate support for life’s challenges; 2) Family Resources: Helping you raise happy, healthy, children and youth; 3) Outreach: Reaching out to make a difference; and 4) Community Development: Building a stronger community through caring connections.
- Information on early child development for positive, effective parenting support and strategies
- Approved and accredited Family Day Home program
- Connections to supports based on strengths and needs
- Walk-in, Short and long term individual and group counselling
- Supports for those affected by family violence • Short term respite for those experiencing situational stress
- Programs to promote empathy and prevention of bullying
- Educational workshops and presentations for youth, seniors, individuals and families
- Volunteer opportunities
- Connection to basic needs (i.e. Red Cross, Alberta Works, Airdrie/Calgary Housing Ltd)
- Toy and Resource Library
- Community Links continues to ensure children and families can easily access services in their own communities to address barriers to programs/services as much as possible. For example – child care is provided free of charge so families can attend a parenting class, workshop or a support group such as the Pregnancy and Beyond.
Supporting the childcare community is an important focus of Community Links. Family Child Care strives to enhance the social, physical, intellectual and emotional development of your child. For a family looking for childcare, our Family Child Care Homes offer carefully selected Child Care Providers who work under the guidance of a qualified Family Child Care Consultant. In the best interest of the child, three way communication is maintained between the parents, the Providers and the Agency.
Community Links is one of 60 Parent Link Centre's in Alberta providing additional and extension of services for children and families, i.e. extended hours of service delivery, drop-in programming, one-on-one support, outreach services, support groups and educational presentations and workshops.
Family Respite Program provides short term child care to parents/caregivers living in Airdrie, Balzac, Beiseker, Crossfield, Irricana, Kathyrn and the surrounding areas in North Rocky View County. This program is for families with children aged 0 – 12 years who are experiencing a stressful situation and/or experiencing barriers such as a lack of social support, depression or family crisis. There is also a seniors respite program.
Intake Services provide a comprehensive assessment and triage service to help people get connected in the agency or in the community. Intake staff provide information and referrals to help get you connected to government programs, housing supports, basic needs supports, etc. plus provide support and advocacy to help simplify the process. Immediate, short-term crisis support is also available.
Community Links has provided support to those affected by family violence in Airdrie and Area for the last twelve years. Individuals can also be supported through various programs and activities including: individual and family crisis support through the Family Violence Prevention Counsellor, intake, assessment, parenting support, avenues to basic needs, education, information and resources on a variety of topics and appropriate referrals in a timely manner within the agency or to community supports.
Group support can be a valued and integral part of recovery and making required changes to move forward. A few counselling groups include Journey of Healing (for women who have experienced family violence), Men's Connection (Men share personal experiences and learn from each other in a supportive environment), Blended Families (Education and counselling is proved to couples in a blended family) , Mending Hearts (Couples group), Women's Empowerment (Encourages women to find their voice) and Survivors of Sexual Abuse (in partnership with Calgary Communities Against Sexual Abuse, this group assists women who have survived sexual abuse as a child).
Our Requests What You Can Do
The success of Community Links is attributed to the combination of qualified and caring staff, remarkable community and the financial support of our generous investors. There are many ways your investment can make a difference!
Pop in for a Tour: Contact us anytime - we'd be glad to welcome you for a tour to get the "Big Picture" of all Community Links has to offer.
Support our Events: You can support us by participating in our events. Join us on Facebook and Twitter and/or check out our website www.nrvcl.ab.ca for highlights about upcoming events, workshops, or fundraisers.
Corporate/Service Clubs Giving: Local businesses or service clubs are invited to partner with us. Whether volunteering as a team building exercise, sponsoring an event, inviting us in for a lunch and learn or donating time and/or resources to help us complete our mission, all is appreciated. Call Helene at 403-945-3956 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss the best fit for your business.
Other Ways You Can Help:
- Donations of Time: Volunteering is a meaningful gift to give. We offer opportunities for both individuals and groups to volunteer on whatever level best suits their lifestyle or need. Every volunteer assist Community Links to make a difference in the lives of people in Airdrie and North Rocky View Region.
- Donations of New or Gently Used Items/Personal Care Products: Community Links "Treasure Vault" is for individuals to access in their time of need.
- Gifts In Kind: In-kind support donations are welcomed with respect to computer equipment, office furnishings, photocopier, printers, advertising, and emergency supplies for basic needs.
Donations of Money: Donations can be made online via Canada Helps or mailed directly to us. We have the ability to accept credit card and debit card donations at our office. Our location is 211, 125 Main St. NW, Airdrie AB T4B 0P7
- Capital: Invest towards Community Links “One Location” campaign.
- Planned Giving: Estate Gifts, Legacy Planning, or Major Gifts ensure lasting legacies of programs and services that impact individuals, families, community
Community Links recognizes that investors like to be engaged on different levels. We are open to exploring all options to ensure that investors are fully aware of how their dollars are being utilized. Whether it is awareness through written reports or investors stopping by to observe and engage with one of the many programs, groups, workshops; transparency is key. The following are some of our Areas of Need:
- Community Development Services/Outreach - intake, toy and resource library, volunteer training and appreciation, educational workshops, connections to basic needs, and prevention of bullying programming. Supports for seniors by providing home visitation, educational presentations and workshops and avenues to community supports. Fundraising target is $100,575.00
- Counselling Services/Outreach - bringing hope and support to children, youth and adults through walk-in, individual, couple, family and group counselling. Fundraising target is $150,020.00
- Family Resource Services/Outreach - Parenting and early childhood programming (drop - in, parenting classes, parent consultation and support groups) that serve families of children/youth 0 - 17 years of age. Fundraising target is $69,100.00
- Prevention of Family Violence Services/Outreach - intake, prevention of family violence by providing counselling, connections to needed supports, seamless services to victims of intimate partner violence. Fundraising target is $95,935.00
We are extremely grateful to each and every person for their on-going generous support throughout the year. We could not achieve all we do without you.
With your help, we can build on the strengths and possibilities for our community. Striving for Strong Individuals Strong Families Strong Communities. Thank you!