Sharing, gifting and gathering together have been obvious for some time at TAPS with decorating and merry sounds from the choir and the band practicing favourite seasonal tunes. We have performed at Swan Valley and Crest View, made Christmas crackers for the volunteer party and of course done much baking and card making. We welcomed the youth from Mormon Hills School again last week for an afternoon of singing performances, raising the roof in joyful sounds. The Happy Voices added to the festivities by leading a sing-along with their signature enthusiasm true to their name.
Thanks to the Blossom Valley Singers for offering us an opportunity to provide refreshments for the intermissions during their recent Christmas concerts, and to all who came and donated to TAPS. Thanks to the many volunteers who helped prepare the holiday treats and serve at the event; we had a great time. We also want to acknowledge Phil Olney and Faraman Farm for their donation of apple juice for the event and Ron World and Overwaitea for their donation towards our expenses.
In the course of planning for our programming at TAPS, we are motivated to provide enjoyable and meaningful experiences by considering individual interests. We are also guided by the spirit of our mandate to provide opportunities that enhance independence, consider health parameters, facilitate social interactions, and value individual’s knowledge, desires, abilities and history.
Reflecting back on TAPS history since its first days, we see that change has been constant; funding, location, staffing, participant demographics and programming continue to evolve. What has also remained constant are requests for attendance and community offers of support. These facts also exemplify how families and caregivers value the program as well.
Program staff and volunteers are aware of what’s happening within the program as people form connections and participate. The results are unique to each person, and are what makes these interactions a satisfying experience. One of our seniors suggested we have a sign in our window saying “The Love House”.
In addition, true to the history of TAPS, the staff recognizes the value of supporting people through further enhancement of individual abilities. As they create programming options, staff invites talented volunteers who can play a role in taking us to the next level in new or expanded activities such as singing, art, and exercise.
Volunteers are key to what happens day to day. A volunteer training day in November saw 16 volunteers in attendance. Topics covered included how to support people with barriers, socialization, food safe practices, special considerations for communicating with people with dementia, and Valley Community Services volunteer policies. We look forward to working with three new volunteers in the coming months.
We have two acknowledgement boards at TAPS. One recognizes grant funders whose financial contributions have made this program possible. The new second board lists the names of families or individuals who have made bequests to TAPS, and we want to thank them for helping provide long term sustainability for the program: Anna Marie and Ray Mariner, Kaiser, Marion Kohlman and Jean Cowie. We all know the number of worthwhile causes and ongoing needs of so many in our community and around the world. For those of you who are able to and have chosen TAPS to donate to, we are grateful. Please be assured it makes a difference and is well used.
There is a new Planned Giving Program for TAPS through Valley Community Services and we’ll be publishing more information in the coming weeks. Information on donating at any level is available through Valley Community Services. www.valley.services or by phoning 250-428-5547 and speaking with Justine Keirn. Volunteer and other info can be obtained by calling 250-428-5585.
On behalf of all TAPS staff, volunteers, our seniors, families and caregivers we wish for and dream of peace and happiness for all.