Our Stories

Disability Employment Awareness Month

October is Disability Employment Awareness Month

October is Disability Employment Awareness Month and we are celebrating by recognizing some of our local employers and employees. Bianca has been employed at the Kemptville Animal Hospital for 5 years and says she has learned what it means to be a good employee and those that work with Bianca say that it has been a very smooth transition to have Bianca become a part of their team. #DEAM #EngageTalent

Bianca Animal Hospital

Anny and Adelle's Specialty Tea!

Herbal Peppermint Tea

This summer Anny and Adelle teamed up with Eco-Honey Bee to create a specialty tea to be served at our Annual Ladies Night. Anny and Adelle worked very hard this summer harvesting and packaging this amazing Herbal Peppermint Tea. They will be set up at the North Grenville Municipal Centre during Ladies Night selling their tea with all the other vendors. Like last year, all the proceeds are being generously donated back to Community Living. We can't wait to try it! A big thank you to Deb Laplante, owner of Eco-Honey Bee and Gardens for all you do and continue to do for us.

Anny and Adelles Peppermint Tea

Cruickshank Constructions Newest Employee

Congratulations David Goode!

Please join us by congratulating David on being Cruickshank Constructions newest member of the team! David has been riding along on the Friday afternoon recycle route, in Kemptville, for quite sometime. So naturally, Cruickshank has put him on payroll! David is more than excited and so are we! Well deserved.

Check out the full story here: Inside Ottawa Valley

"You Can be You"

A request from our fan base!

Local music composer/producer, Carl Merenick, collaborated with our People First North Grenville chapter during a 4 week workshop to create an original song. The project was funded by a generous donation to People First from the Tallman Truck Centre as well as an independent source. The song tittled "You Can be You" was unveiled at our Annual General Meeting.


Re-Connected after 30 years!

It is not often that people are able to re-connect with family members after losing touch for 30 years. This is Linda’s story.

“I lost contact with most of my family after my mother passed away when I was 9 years old. With the help of Facebook and my cousin Becky who phoned my Aunt June to tell her that she thought that she had found me, I was reunited with my aunt and uncle.

I got a very special telephone call a few months ago from my Aunt June. She was so happy to have finally found me. I went for a visit with her and my Uncle Jerry. I was excited but nervous to see them again. Aunt June was very happy to see me when I arrived at her home, she shared a lot of stories about my mom, showed me pictures of me and my mom when I was just a tiny baby. Talking to my aunt about my family was very nice.

My Aunt June told me that she had been looking for me for a number of years, but once she lost contact and I got married it was almost impossible for her to know where to look. Aunt June told me that one time she and Uncle Jerry were in Lansdowne visiting my mom’s grave when they arrived they noticed that a van with a few people in it had just pulled away.

Linda and Family

Aunt June, who calls me Linda Carole, told my uncle to follow the van because she thought it might be me, they followed the van into Gananoque, unfortunately once the van stopped they realized that it wasn’t me.

I was very happy when I heard from Aunt June. When we planned our first visit, I was a little nervous and excited. I stayed for supper at their home and have been invited back for an overnight visit. Aunt June and Uncle Jerry live on the Ottawa River. They have a pontoon boat and would like to take me out for a ride this summer.

I am looking forward to spending more time with them this coming year.”


Summer 2013...The Getting There Is What Counts

When summer 2013 was first upon us, the people that use services at CLNG and the staff that work at CLNG met and made some plans for the summer. We had big goals of going here, doing that, doing this, making new friends and hanging out with our old friends. Summer was upon us and we were going to have fun! Fun! Fun!

Fall 2013 will soon be upon us and we are looking back over the summer and looking forward towards goals for fall. Some of our goals were met over the summer and some are still left to be completed or taken off of our ‘to do’ list. These are the things that we can list and check off as we go along. The things that we don't have check lists for are the feelings, reactions, and inter-actions while we work towards accomplishing these goals.

This summer, I as a staff of CLNG worked alongside some amazing young people that have chosen to use the services of CLNG. Much of what I observed showed me that the things that were on that check list really weren't all that important in many cases. The interactions and reactions that took place while doing the activity was a big part of what was important. Some of the things that I shared while being with these amazing people were:

  • Watching these young people with their first boyfriend/girlfriend and dealing with their thoughts and feelings.
  • Seeing couples holding hands at the movies and looking at each other with such admiration in their eyes.
  • Watching someone go camping for the first time. The camping may or may not be something Patrick will want to do again, however the pride that showed on his face when he was camping and setting up his camp equipment was amazing. A big thank you to volunteer Jillian Simpson for helping us make this camping trip possible!
  • Seeing a great bowler (Jason) get his personal high score and having bowling acquaintances on other lanes cheering him on.
  • Going to the police barbecue and having your boss buy your lunch and then showing your appreciation by taking some garden fresh tomatoes to the office. Way to go Alixe!
  • Bryan, your dedication to work out several times every week was such an inspiration to many of us.

Everywhere we went this summer the word Community came out with a capital "C”. When we went to the local police barbecue every Thursday every person from Community Living was known by their first name and conversations about family, friends, and summer activities took place. At the swimming pool, again everyone was on a first name basis and there was lots of joking and laughing and may-be even a little horse play. David made it to the deep end this year and the life guards were as excited as David.

This summer I fulfilled a personal goal that I have had for 45 years. On June 9th I took the plunge from a plane 10,000 feet (2 miles) high. I did a tandem sky dive! In that second that I jumped free from the plane the VICTORY that I felt was more liberating than I can describe. This jump will forever help me in my career to recognize how important it is to help people reach their goals and how important it is to celebrate those goals. (Way to go Rose!) The moral of this story is, so what if a goal is on our ‘to do’ list for years. Again, the getting there is what counts.

Celebrating 20 Years of Employment

Joanne Finley is one happy woman. She has good reason to be. She recently celebrated twenty years of employment with the Brigadoon Restaurant in Oxford Mills.

Joanne's employer, Cheryl Mackie, decided to celebrate Joanne's long service at the Christmas Party. Joanne received congratulations for her twenty years of committed reliable efforts on behalf of the restaurant. Cheryl gave Joanne a beautiful engraved bracelet to mark the occasion.

Cheryl relies on Joanne Finley to keep her dining room in tiptop form. Cheryl hired Joanne a couple weeks after the Brigadoon opened twenty years ago and on a daily basis since then Joanne has kept things in great shape. The Brigadoon is a highly successful fine dining experience located in the quaint village of Oxford Mills. Expecting the best from her employees has been a key to Cheryl's success. “I can be demanding. I expect a lot of my staff and they know it.” explains Cheryl. Joanne has measured up on the job and earned her place on the payroll. When asked about her position at the Brigadoon, Joanne demonstrates a no nonsense approach to her solid job performance, “I know what to do and where my supplies are. I get to work.”

Joanne noted that a lot of things have changed over the years. Other employees have come and gone, and changes to the look of the restaurant have happened as well. “There are new carpets and the porch on the front of the building is new.” Joanne works hard to keep it all in great shape.

Local Celebrations of the Closure of Institutions

Locally Community Living North Grenville held a recognition day on March 31, 2009 celebrating the dawning of a new era in Ontario. The event followed the historic closures of Ontario’s last three institutions for people who have an intellectual disability. Among the attendees were people who have an intellectual disability, their families and friends, volunteers and staff of Community Living and individuals that have moved from Institutions in the province back to their community in North Grenville over the past 30 years.

Jason Payne President of the local “People First” , Ted Shuh, Executive Director and Fran Brauneisen President of Community Living North Grenville paid tribute to those individuals and recognized the importance each of their lives plays in our community. Candles were lit for their friends, who are no longer with us, a very moving experience for everyone. A beautiful picture collage of all of the individuals who have moved back to our community from Institutions was unveiled and will be displayed at the Association office.

A Proud Man - Albin Antoniak

Albin has good reason to be proud. At his company’s 2008 Christmas party Albin was presented with a very special item: his 10 year pin.

He works Monday to Friday day shift at Jonsson’s Independent Grocers as a bagger. Often he is the only one to assist the cashiers with packing and to make sure that a good supply of carts is always available in the lobby. The owners of the store and his fellow co-workers know that Albin is a man they can rely on.

When Albin isn't at the grocery store he may be at one of his seasonal jobs, snow shovelling or mowing lawns. Albin regularly gets stopped on the street by someone looking for a strong, willing worker to help with something. Albin has helped people move, cleaned out garages, and hauled away brush.

But it’s not all about work. Albin and his steady girlfriend Linda were married in 2001. They settled in a lovely second floor apartment and enjoy an active social life. Albin is an expert bowler, regularly getting high score, and often competing and winning tournaments. Albin and Linda enjoy taking vacations, usually travelling somewhere in Eastern Ontario. Plans are taking shape for 2010 when they will make a trip to Florida and visit Walt Disney World.

Albin is proud of having a good job and knows he has a good reputation. If you stop at the store, chances are Albin will say hello but he won’t stop to visit. He’s got responsibilities.