Calling all volunteers

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

If you're free for a couple of hours a week, and you want to make a difference in the community, Chris Ilias wants to hear from you.

The Carlisle financial advisor, now in his second term as president of the Flamborough branch of the Canadian Red Cross, also wants to get the word out on the wide array of programs the organization provides, and how local residents can benefit from its services.

"What's the first thing people think when they hear 'Red Cross'? Blood. Blood is the only thing we don't do," he said, noting that as the American Red Cross still runs blood donor clinics south of the border, Canadians can be forgiven for being a little confused. In this country, however, donor clinics are now run by Canadian Blood Services.

What the Flamborough Red Cross does do, says Ilias, is provide services aimed at keeping people independent in their own homes. These include Meals on Wheels, transportation to essential appointments, such as medical, dental, the food bank and local day programs, rent health care equipment at reasonable rates, provide life call alarms and arrange "friendly visits" for seniors in the community. In addition, it runs the popular baby sitting courses for young teens as well as first aid and CPR certification and refresher courses.

In the wider community, the Red Cross provides relief for families involved in disasters, such as house fires, by providing necessities, first aid, and emotional support throughout the crisis.

Flamborough's particular challenge is to serve a population spread across a wide geographic area; many rural residents wish to remain independent, and tend not to rely on the very programs that can help them do that. Ilias wants people to be aware of what the Red Cross can do for them; creating awareness and adding clients can only boost existing programs, he added.

"The Red Cross gets an annual budget and if we don't provide a service, they take that budget away. Then we can't provide it," he explained, noting that the Dundas Red Cross branch was closed last year. "We need to create awareness."

In addition to letting residents know exactly what the Red Cross offers, Ilias has been proactive about getting the message out to local businesses and service clubs. His aim is to find creative ways to partner with them to support the programs, as well as to put the programs to work for them.

"I've talked to service clubs to promote awareness and maybe look at joint ventures, where they help defray costs so that seniors, for example, can go to some of the programs.

"I've also given the speech to clubs about Meals on Wheels and the Transportation program, and how the Red Cross provides that for minimum cost. All our drivers are volunteers. And volunteer drivers are needed."

Ilias has also been busy approaching local businesses for their support, lining up discounts for food, shelter and essential items to assist with the branch's disaster relief mandate. He also points out that companies can take advantage of the Red Cross's first aid training, as instructors can provide on-site sessions for groups.

Ilias got involved with the Red Cross after following the example of an aunt who volunteered with the organization for more than 50 years. As a businessman and a father of a young family, he found that the Red Cross offered a way for him to make the most of his volunteering hours. And he urges members of his own age group to pick up the ball. In addition to drivers, the Red Cross is looking for people to join its board of directors.

"The volunteer population is getting older," he noted, adding that making the time is sometimes a challenge, but it's worth it. "If I can do it, I'm sure others can do it too. It's only a couple of hours a month; it's not that much."

For more on volunteering opportunities with the Flamborough Red Cross, call 905-689-0732 or visit the branch office at 272 Dundas Street East in Waterdown. In Carlisle, brochures are available at Ilias's Edward Jones office, at the corner of Centre Road and Carlisle Road.

Calling all volunteers

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

If you're free for a couple of hours a week, and you want to make a difference in the community, Chris Ilias wants to hear from you.

The Carlisle financial advisor, now in his second term as president of the Flamborough branch of the Canadian Red Cross, also wants to get the word out on the wide array of programs the organization provides, and how local residents can benefit from its services.

"What's the first thing people think when they hear 'Red Cross'? Blood. Blood is the only thing we don't do," he said, noting that as the American Red Cross still runs blood donor clinics south of the border, Canadians can be forgiven for being a little confused. In this country, however, donor clinics are now run by Canadian Blood Services.

What the Flamborough Red Cross does do, says Ilias, is provide services aimed at keeping people independent in their own homes. These include Meals on Wheels, transportation to essential appointments, such as medical, dental, the food bank and local day programs, rent health care equipment at reasonable rates, provide life call alarms and arrange "friendly visits" for seniors in the community. In addition, it runs the popular baby sitting courses for young teens as well as first aid and CPR certification and refresher courses.

In the wider community, the Red Cross provides relief for families involved in disasters, such as house fires, by providing necessities, first aid, and emotional support throughout the crisis.

Flamborough's particular challenge is to serve a population spread across a wide geographic area; many rural residents wish to remain independent, and tend not to rely on the very programs that can help them do that. Ilias wants people to be aware of what the Red Cross can do for them; creating awareness and adding clients can only boost existing programs, he added.

"The Red Cross gets an annual budget and if we don't provide a service, they take that budget away. Then we can't provide it," he explained, noting that the Dundas Red Cross branch was closed last year. "We need to create awareness."

In addition to letting residents know exactly what the Red Cross offers, Ilias has been proactive about getting the message out to local businesses and service clubs. His aim is to find creative ways to partner with them to support the programs, as well as to put the programs to work for them.

"I've talked to service clubs to promote awareness and maybe look at joint ventures, where they help defray costs so that seniors, for example, can go to some of the programs.

"I've also given the speech to clubs about Meals on Wheels and the Transportation program, and how the Red Cross provides that for minimum cost. All our drivers are volunteers. And volunteer drivers are needed."

Ilias has also been busy approaching local businesses for their support, lining up discounts for food, shelter and essential items to assist with the branch's disaster relief mandate. He also points out that companies can take advantage of the Red Cross's first aid training, as instructors can provide on-site sessions for groups.

Ilias got involved with the Red Cross after following the example of an aunt who volunteered with the organization for more than 50 years. As a businessman and a father of a young family, he found that the Red Cross offered a way for him to make the most of his volunteering hours. And he urges members of his own age group to pick up the ball. In addition to drivers, the Red Cross is looking for people to join its board of directors.

"The volunteer population is getting older," he noted, adding that making the time is sometimes a challenge, but it's worth it. "If I can do it, I'm sure others can do it too. It's only a couple of hours a month; it's not that much."

For more on volunteering opportunities with the Flamborough Red Cross, call 905-689-0732 or visit the branch office at 272 Dundas Street East in Waterdown. In Carlisle, brochures are available at Ilias's Edward Jones office, at the corner of Centre Road and Carlisle Road.

Calling all volunteers

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

If you're free for a couple of hours a week, and you want to make a difference in the community, Chris Ilias wants to hear from you.

The Carlisle financial advisor, now in his second term as president of the Flamborough branch of the Canadian Red Cross, also wants to get the word out on the wide array of programs the organization provides, and how local residents can benefit from its services.

"What's the first thing people think when they hear 'Red Cross'? Blood. Blood is the only thing we don't do," he said, noting that as the American Red Cross still runs blood donor clinics south of the border, Canadians can be forgiven for being a little confused. In this country, however, donor clinics are now run by Canadian Blood Services.

What the Flamborough Red Cross does do, says Ilias, is provide services aimed at keeping people independent in their own homes. These include Meals on Wheels, transportation to essential appointments, such as medical, dental, the food bank and local day programs, rent health care equipment at reasonable rates, provide life call alarms and arrange "friendly visits" for seniors in the community. In addition, it runs the popular baby sitting courses for young teens as well as first aid and CPR certification and refresher courses.

In the wider community, the Red Cross provides relief for families involved in disasters, such as house fires, by providing necessities, first aid, and emotional support throughout the crisis.

Flamborough's particular challenge is to serve a population spread across a wide geographic area; many rural residents wish to remain independent, and tend not to rely on the very programs that can help them do that. Ilias wants people to be aware of what the Red Cross can do for them; creating awareness and adding clients can only boost existing programs, he added.

"The Red Cross gets an annual budget and if we don't provide a service, they take that budget away. Then we can't provide it," he explained, noting that the Dundas Red Cross branch was closed last year. "We need to create awareness."

In addition to letting residents know exactly what the Red Cross offers, Ilias has been proactive about getting the message out to local businesses and service clubs. His aim is to find creative ways to partner with them to support the programs, as well as to put the programs to work for them.

"I've talked to service clubs to promote awareness and maybe look at joint ventures, where they help defray costs so that seniors, for example, can go to some of the programs.

"I've also given the speech to clubs about Meals on Wheels and the Transportation program, and how the Red Cross provides that for minimum cost. All our drivers are volunteers. And volunteer drivers are needed."

Ilias has also been busy approaching local businesses for their support, lining up discounts for food, shelter and essential items to assist with the branch's disaster relief mandate. He also points out that companies can take advantage of the Red Cross's first aid training, as instructors can provide on-site sessions for groups.

Ilias got involved with the Red Cross after following the example of an aunt who volunteered with the organization for more than 50 years. As a businessman and a father of a young family, he found that the Red Cross offered a way for him to make the most of his volunteering hours. And he urges members of his own age group to pick up the ball. In addition to drivers, the Red Cross is looking for people to join its board of directors.

"The volunteer population is getting older," he noted, adding that making the time is sometimes a challenge, but it's worth it. "If I can do it, I'm sure others can do it too. It's only a couple of hours a month; it's not that much."

For more on volunteering opportunities with the Flamborough Red Cross, call 905-689-0732 or visit the branch office at 272 Dundas Street East in Waterdown. In Carlisle, brochures are available at Ilias's Edward Jones office, at the corner of Centre Road and Carlisle Road.