"Love doesn't mean doing extraordinary or heroic things. It means knowing how to do ordinary things with tenderness.”
These words, written by Jean Vanier, have long resonated with me. As I consider their meaning, I am reminded of the work done by PEI Citizen Advocacy. Almost three decades ago, this organization was formed and since then, they’ve provided support and connection to folks with intellectual disabilities. They match them with volunteers and help foster meaningful one-on-one relationships. PEI Citizen Advocacy facilitates these friendships, provides ongoing support, and provides training on relevant issues. This organization is unique to Prince Edward Island and has helped establish more than 100 friendships, some of which are more than 20 years old.
Barb & Ann
Rosalind Waters, Executive Director of PEI Citizen Advocacy, says that these support systems are key to ensure that Islanders with intellectual disabilities do not fall through the cracks and become isolated. “Most importantly we want to guarantee that these people always have support to ensure that their voice is heard and that they stay in control of decisions affecting their lives.” She goes on to say that, “In their efforts to voice their thoughts, have their ideas count, and be truly included in the community, people with intellectual disabilities often need community members who will provide friendship, advocacy and support and who will stand by them over the long term.”
Danielle & Jennifer
PEI Citizen Advocacy is a small organization and operates on a budget of only $28,000 annually. They have just one part-time staff member and the demand for its services far outweighs its capacity to respond to every request for help. This is where you and I come in. This organization depends on the generous support of Islanders to keep it operating. In fact, one-third of their budget comes from community donations.
In an effort to raise funds, they are selling raffle tickets for a Caribbean Cruise Vacation! Only 250 tickets are being sold, which makes pretty decent odds for you. Tickets are 1 for $50 or 3 for $100. Tickets are available at:
Scotia Banks in Charlottetown and Summerside
Murphy’s Pharmacies in Charlottetown and Summerside
White Oaks Cellars (105 Walker Ave., Summerside)
The Voluntary Resource Centre (81 Prince St., Charlottetown)
Scotiabank is matching any tickets bought at their branches in Summerside and Charlottetown. So, if you buy a $50 ticket, Citizen Advocacy will get CA would get $100.
During this holiday season, Shirley and I encourage you to give back to the community by supporting this organization. It’s truly amazing how a small amount of money can make such a positive impact.