Be Inspired

At Empower Simcoe we love to be inspired.

Barrie Advance carrier connects with neighbours

Do you know who delivers your newspaper?  Maybe it’s Darren. One of the people whom Empower Simcoe supports, Darren delivers the Barrie Advance, and has gotten to know just about everyone on his route as evidenced by the friendly greetings from each and every customer in this east end Barrie neighbourhood.

Prior to delivering, Darren assembles his papers. According to Empower Simcoe Support Worker Matt Jeffries, “Darren likes to rock it out in the basement, playing music while sorting the papers. He takes a lot of pride in his job.”

He’s also proud of the relationship he has with the neighbours on his route.  Darren will once again this year purchase Christmas cards to give out for the upcoming holiday season. “I know my neighbourhood pretty well”, says Darren. “I like to go out and talk to people the most.”

He’s also proud of the relationship he has with the neighbours on his route.  Darren will once again this year purchase Christmas cards to give out for the upcoming holiday season. “I know my neighbourhood pretty well”, says Darren. “I like to go out and talk to people the most.”

According to neighbour Kevin Graham, “He’s a good person and always makes me smile. We always talk about his day, and he always cheers up my day.”

Thanks to Darren, this is one neighbourhood that’s hot off the press. Why not? Having him deliver the paper is always good news.

Overcoming Challenges

Sydney was born premature at 29 weeks with a birth weight of 1 pound 15 oz. The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto cared for her for the first 9½ months of her life. In addition to cardiac surgery at four months, Sydney at eight months of age had surgery to insert a tracheostomy and gastrointestinal tube.

Once home, Sydney became involved with Empower Simcoe Infant Development Program for in-home developmental support, family support and to help encourage community integration for Sydney and her family. Specialized funding for Sydney was received through Respite Enhancement Funds and Special Services at Home. The Innisfil Professional Fire Fighter’s Association graciously donated a generator as a backup power source for Sydney’s medical equipment to ensure she is in the best possible health at all times.

Sydney is now four years old. She is an energetic, playful and strong-willed little girl who continues to overcome challenges. According to Mom Jennifer, “Our family is so incredibly grateful for the support from Empower Simcoe. Because of this support, we have been able to adjust to Sydney’s needs and maintain an active and stimulating environment for our family.”

Finding Your Voice

Meet Melissa! She receives support through the Empower Simcoe Employment Support program. Thanks to the support she received from Empower Simcoe, she was able to secure a job at Starbucks.

According to Melissa, “Work has given me a sense of purpose, I’m more happy. I enjoy going to work. It’s been like giving me a gift by belonging to this work family. Working at Starbucks, I feel like part of a team, they treat me like I don’t have a disability.”

Beyond the job itself, Melissa says “[Empower Simcoe] has helped take away a lot of my stress, helped me deal with my rights, and it feels like a burden has been lifted by looking after me and my best interests.  [Empower Simcoe] gave me the fundamentals to speak up, helped me find my voice and backbone. They allowed me to talk, showed me how to do things without doing it for me, acknowledged my disability, but didn’t treat me like I’m disabled and encouraged my independence.”

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