Event helps spread awareness of Community Living movement

Friday August 13, 2010 — by Deron Hamel

Justin Trudeau spoke to more than 100 community representatives about the importance of volunteerism and its role in creating inclusive communities at an Aug. 11 event hosted by Community Living Campbellford Brighton.

The visit from Trudeau, the Member of Parliament for the Papineau federal riding and eldest son of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau, helped spread awareness of the Community Living movement and was a “fantastic” engagement opportunity for community members, says Donna Desjardins, manager of supports and services at Community Living Campbellford Brighton.

“(Trudeau) really talked about community involvement and how volunteerism (is important), and how giving back and being involved and having a role to play in your community makes you a happier person, where you feel like you belong to your community more,” explains Desjardins.

Desjardins notes that Trudeau also spoke about how people who have a disability have an important role to play as full citizens in their communities and volunteerism can be an effective avenue to enhance citizenship for people.

From an awareness standpoint, Desjardins says the event brought together representatives from many local organizations, leading to increased understanding of the work Community Living does and the agency’s important status in the community.

Having so many important community stakeholders — including service clubs, local businesses, politicians and charitable organizations — at Community Living Campbellford Brighton raised awareness for volunteering opportunities at the agency, says Desjardins.

“To have that many key stakeholders here to hear about the need and benefits of volunteering in your community was great,” says Desjardins.

“We also have opportunities for people to be involved (at Community Living Campbellford Brighton), so people were taking information away and learned about us. So, we may get people who are interested in volunteering.”

Trudeau also took time to meet privately with agency representatives to discuss Community Living Campbellford Brighton’s work.

“He was really impressed,” says Desjardins.

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Article from the Community Living Ontario website www.communitylivingontario.ca