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Military Families--The Strength Behind the Uniform
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Donna Earl is Retiring

Yes, it's true: Donna is retiring, and her last official day with us will be the end of March!

Donna has been the Executive Director of PEI MFRC since it first opened in 2014. Prior to moving to PEI, she worked as Executive Director at the Meaford MFRC for eight years. She’s looking forward to retiring to her home in Meaford, ON, spending time with family and friends, having time to garden again, and continuing being active in her community via volunteer work.

Donna welcomes Leona Conrick to the PEI MFRC team and is confident she will bring the energy, enthusiasm, and dedication needed for the position.

“My years with PEI MFRC have been some of the best of my working life and have made a huge impact on me,” Earl reflects. “I’ll always fondly remember the many positive experiences I’ve had here, both professional and personal, and I truly treasure the experience of meeting so many wonderful people, the chance to visit new places, and to be part of this amazing organization. I’m excited to welcome Leona to the team—she has a new and fresh perspective and I’m sure she’ll take the reins and do a great job leading PEI MFRC into the future.”

We recently sat down to chat with Donna about her time with PEI MFRC. You can read that interview here: http://www.peimfrc.ca/2017/03/qa-with-donna-earl-executive-director-of-pei-mfrc-2014-2017/

Thank you, Donna, for everything you've done for PEI MFRC, and we wish you all the best in your retirement!

New Executive Director

With Donna's retirement, we recently welcomed a new Executive Director to the PEI MFRC: Leona Conrick.

Conrick, educated at Memorial University of Newfoundland, is well versed in the military lifestyle, and has lived in Newfoundland, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, and, now, Prince Edward Island. Conrick brings with her a wealth of experience from both the for-profit and the not-for-profit sectors. Most recently, she managed a large team of volunteers at the Greenwood Military Family Resource Centre in Nova Scotia.

“I’m a military spouse myself so I’m familiar with the various challenges our military families face,” Conrick states. “I’m very much looking forward to serving the military families of Prince Edward Island.”

Conrick is used to facing challenges head on. Not only is she a military spouse, but she recently hiked to Machu Picchu, Peru, as part of a team raising money for charity.

“I find great value in becoming part of the community,” she states, “and that is exactly what I plan to do working with the PEI MFRC.”

We invite you to come to our April coffee social to meet Leona and welcome her to the PEI military community.

Satellite Office Hours

Find updated hours for our offices in Summerside, Alberton, and Cardigan here: https://www.cafconnection.ca/PEI/Facilities/Satellite-Offices.aspx
 
Family Care Plan

A Family Care Plan is a mandatory Department of National Defence form that helps prepare families of Canadian Armed Forces members in case of unforeseen events, emergency callouts, and planned deployment. By identifying primary and secondary caregivers who should be contacted in the event of an emergency or military tasking, your Family Care Plan supports your family in your absence.

All Canadian Armed Forces personnel must complete the Family Care Plan Form DAOD 5044-1A. It isn’t a legally binding document, but it is kept on the Canadian Armed Forces member’s file. Family Care Plans are protected under the Privacy Act.

Essentially, the Family Care Plan is a regularly updated exchange of information between your family and a Commanding Officer. A completed Family Care Plan is designed to support individual and unit operational readiness.

For more information about the Family Care Plan, visit https://www.cafconnection.ca/National/Programs-Services/For-Parents-and-Caregivers/Child-Care/Family-Care-Plan.aspx or contact the Family Information Line at 1-800-866-4546.



 
Goodbye to our Virtual Coordinator

Sadly, we are saying goodbye to our Virtual Program Coordinator, Margaret Mackenize. Margaret has brought an abundance of energy, enthusiasm, and warmth to our team, and she’s done so working from first Winnipeg and now Germany. She’s been such a dedicated team member, and her drive to connect military families across the country is nothing short of inspiring. We’re really going to miss her.

But before she bids us adieu (or Auf Wiedersehen?), we sat down (virtually, of course) for a little chat with our friend, Margaret. You can read our chat here: http://www.peimfrc.ca/2017/03/qa-with-our-virtual-program-coordinator-margaret-mackenzie/

Thank you, Margaret, for everything you've done for PEI MFRC, and we wish you all the best in the next step of your journey!




 
Goodbye From Our Virtual Program Coordinator

As a military family I never get used to goodbyes. I prefer see you soon because our world is small, and we never know when we are going to connect again.  

Wow where does the time fly? Just four short years ago, I had a conversation with Col Russ Mann about the successes of virtual outreach that Military Services Europe has seen through reaching families virtually to access quality information, resources, and workshops, and we said, “wouldn’t It be great to offer virtual outreach to our families in Canada to enhance our reach?” That conversation led to a partnership with MFS and MFRC National Capital Region with a pilot program. Today, we have brought virtual programs to Canada through training more than 65 staff across the country who have designed and delivered interactive and informative virtual workshops for all to access.
 
Within the next year, Donna Earl, Executive Director of PEI MFRC, had the vision to add virtual outreach to her programs as a way to connect with the more than 400 reservist, reg force, veterans, and RCMP across the Island. In partnership with MFS, Donna hired me on and now I have the privilege of sharing with you a few of the hundreds of success stories of this interactive program from reaching family members with PTSD who thought they were alone to building partnerships and working together. 

1. Scholarship series: Since the virtual outreach program started, we've saved tens of thousands of dollars in post-secondary education for our CAF families by teaching them how to find and secure scholarships and how to write a winning scholarship essay. This series is in its 6th year has been accessed more than 723 times through live sessions and recordings. The scholarship series has given military families the power and knowledge to successfully apply for scholarships 

2. Journey to the South of the Sudan:  Capt Terry Hunter shared his journey to the South of the Sudan with us. It was an eye-opening photographic journey from Boots on the ground to being piped home. At this session, a CAF spouse was mesmerized and thankful because it gave her a glimpse of the life that her spouse who had just left on deployment would experience. This session was given to CAF families from Germany to British Columbia from ages 10 to 87—an entire Air Cadet Troop joined in the session from PEI.

3. First Annual Virtual Ceilidh: In November, PEI MFRC hosted, in partnership with Guitars for Vets Canada, the first ever virtual ceilidh with guest hosts MP Karen McCrimmon, the Honorary Colonel of 14 Wing Greenwood Terry Kelly, Ryan Carey Veteran of Operation Medusa, Emerald Junction, a band from PEI, Nicole Blanch and Ali Davies, two military spouses who shared their stories, and the Canadian Military Wives Choir. Through the recording, the virtual ceilidh touched  at least one who was unaware of supports that were available to families struggling with PTSD. As a result of this virtual ceilidh, this spouse was connected personally to support for her and her family. The virtual ceilidh has had more than 163 hits on the recording in the first week and is currently the most watched program.

4. SISIP 2nd annual budgeting and money management: The recordings and live workshops have had more than 300 views helping our CAF, veteran, and reservist families to manage their money.

5. Train the Trainer: Joanna Church and I have trained more than 64 staff across the country from various organizations. These students graduated and then designed, developed, and presented engaging and interactive virtual programs to reach not only their local community but also to share  with all of the CAF, veteran, and reservist communities across the country and Out Can. 

6. Partnerships with True Patriot Love Foundation: We hosted two virtual guest speaker series where we heard from Kim Mills( She Is Fierce), Vince Savoia (TEMA), Jody Mitic & Alanah Gilmore, the Caregivers’ Brigade Team of Paula Ramsay, Jeanette McLeod, and Marie Andree Malette, and Couples Overcoming PTSD Everyday founders Chris & Kathryn Linford.

It takes a village! Recordings and virtual sessions have connected CAF, veteran, reservist, and first responder families with interactive programs that provide information, resources, and workshops that are accessed from the comfort of their personal computer. 

I am so thankful to the many people that I have had the pleasure of working with over the past three years. You have allowed me to share my passion about reaching all of our CAF, veteran,  reservist, and first responder families regardless of our posted location. Thank you for letting me learn as much from you as you have learned from us through the PEI MFRC virtual outreach program. 

Regardless of where I hang my hat, please know that my door is always open to you with questions and comments.  Thank you for being a part of this wonderful virtual programming adventure.  I will see you soon.

Most sincerely Margaret A. MacKenzie
Virtual Program Coordinator MFRC PEI Virtual.mfrcpei@gmail.com
WR3 Is Back!

It’s Time to Dust off those Sneakers, WR3 is Back!

The ninth annual Wear Red Road Races will be on Saturday 22 April 2017  at HMCS QUEEN CHARLOTTE, 210 Water Street in Charlottetown, PE, with all proceeds going to the PEI Military Family Resource Centre.

Almost $20,000 has been raised by this incredibly fun and supportive event for the Military Family Resource Centre since our first WR3 in 2009.

WR3 features half-marathon, 10K, and 5K distances (walk and run), and includes divisions for Athletes With Disabilities and recreational walkers. Full details can be found here: www.WR3.ca website, including online registration for the various events.

The PEI MFRC will host a Kids' Fun Run again this year!

For kids approximately ages 6 and under, this will be a quick, easy, run, with prizes for all participants. The exact time of the fun run will be confirmed closer to the time, but it will be around 11:30. Keep an eye on our Facebook Page for more information.

Early bird pricing is in effect, online until midnight March 31. Early bird pricing also includes a guaranteed shirt size. Shirts will only be available for the first 200 registered. Blind and visually impaired athletes and recreational walkers may register a guide for free by contacting race director at Amir@WR3.ca.

The WR3 committee is looking for sponsorships to help with completion medals (200+), and post-race nutrition (about 250 participants & volunteers), both of which have been extremely popular in previous years.

Become Certified in Mental Health First Aid (for Veterans) -- 7 Spaces Left!

In support of the veteran community and in partnership with Veterans Affairs Canada, we are proud to offer a customized version of the Mental Health First Aid for members of the Veteran Community this May in Charlottetown.

Mental Health First Aid Veteran Community provides help to members of the veteran community developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. It does not train people to become counsellors or therapists, and just like with physical first aid, we need to ensure that those most in contact with members of the veteran community can identify an emerging mental health problem and respond effectively in the event of a crisis.

When: May 16–17, 2017 (8:30am–4:30pm)

Registration Deadline: May 2, 2017 (spaces are limited...there's only 7 spaces left!)

Location: Jack Blanchard Family Centre (3 Pond Street, Charlottetown)

Spaces are limited so, if interested, please register ASAP.

For more information, give us all call at 902.892.8999 or email info@pei-mfrc.org

Canadian Blood Services One Match Program - Interest List
 
The PEI MFRC is taking names of anyone who is interested in attending an information session about the Canadian Blood Services One Match Program.

What is One Match?

It is program that matches stem cells between donors and those in need.

If you are between the ages of 17 and 35, you can register to be a stem cell donor. There is currently a greater need for males and ethnically diverse individuals to register.

Over 80 diseases and disorders can be treated with a stem cell transplant.

There are hundreds of patients in Canada waiting for a match, but only 1 in 2 find a match. Patients are more likely to find a matching donor from within their own ethnic group. We recruit healthy, committed volunteers between the ages of 17 and 35 who are willing to be a match for any patient in need. Younger donor stem cells provide better patient outcomes.

Male donor stem cells decrease the possibility of post-transplant complication. Half of all stem cell donors chosen to help a Canadian patient are male. Only 28% of the current stem cell registry is ethnically diverse and as a result, ethnically diverse patients may have a harder time finding a match.

Registering to become a stem cell donor means committing to be there when you get the call to Give Life. Not everyone who registers will be matched to a patient and asked to donate, but each registrant provides hope for those waiting. A person could, however, be a match within a few months of registering, a year later, or even seven years later. That’s why it’s important to understand what’s involved – and the commitment – before registering.

For more information, please vist https://blood.ca/en/stem-cells

To add your name to the interest list, please call Nancy at 902.892.8999.
 
New Program: Parent and Baby Social Hour at PEI MFRC
 
We're excited to launch a new program! Parent and Baby Social Hour is designed for new moms and dads and their babies. It is a chance to hang out together, talk, and socialize with other new parents.

When: Tuesday, April 11 (1:30pm-2:30pm)
Where: HMCS Queen Charlotte, Ward Room

Open to: Regular force families, reservist families, veterans’ families, and RCMP families.

Light snacks will be provided.

To register please call 902.892.8999.

Questions? Contact Lynn at Lynn.Milligan@forces.gc.ca
PEI MFRC On the Road
 
Last fall, we travelled to Souris, Bloomfield, & Charlottetown with a team representing OSISS, JPSU, and VAC to bring information to those communities regarding programs, services, and benefits available through these respective agencies.

We are on our way, again in April/May!
  • Montague Legion: April 19
  • Wellington Legion: April 26,
  • Kensington Legion: May 3.
All presentations will be 6:30 pm–8:30 pm and light refreshments will be served. All are welcome!
 

 
Summerside Public Library Event
 
Last year, we partnered with the PEI Public Library System to purchase and distribute literary materials relevant to the lifestyle of our military, RCMP, veterans and their families. The circulation stats presented to us at the end of January 2017 for the approximately 200 books/CDs purchased proved, overwhelmingly, the effectiveness of this initiative.

So, we are again funding the purchase of additional materials supportive of our community’s lifestyle. To launch the distribution of these new purchases, the PEI MFRC and the PEI Public libraries are hosting a meet & greet at the new Summerside Public Library on Saturday, May 13 10:00 am–1:00 pm.

Come and see the new space, meet members of the CAF/veteran/RCMP community, special local dignitaries, and our PEI MFRC mascot, Charlie A Foxtrot.

Bring the kids along for some fun and light refreshments. Stay tuned for the specific details as we get closer to the date.”
 
Monthly Volunteer Meeting (New Volunteers Always Welcome!)
  • Do you have a special skill or talent you would like to share?
  • Do you like working with others?
  • Do you want to give back to the military community?
The PEI MFRC is the place for you!

We are looking for volunteer team members to assist with various upcoming projects and activities. For more information, please contact Lynn at Lynn.Milligan@forces.gc.ca or call 902.892.8999.

Our monthly volunteers meeting will be held on Thursday, April 27 at 6:30pm. Our meeting will be held at HMCS Queen Charlotte.
Monthly Coffee Social

Coffee hour will be held on Tuesday, April 11 from 10:00–11:00am. This month’s coffee break will be held at HMCS Queen Charlotte. Everyone is invited…come on out and meet our new Executive Director. Hope to see you there!
 
We're looking for Veterans & Medically Released CAF Members!

We're putting together a list of veterans, medically released members, and their families for the PEI region. We're hoping to plan events and activities specifically for you! Some ideas include golf tournaments, special workshops, adapted fitness programs, and various other social and networking events. To get your name on the list to receive this info, visit our website and opt-in to the Veterans newsletter (it's over on the side with a note). We promise not to crowd your inbox ... you'll only hear from us when we have a special event to promote!

http://www.peimfrc.ca/
Strongest Families Institute Helps Military Families Dealing with Mental Illnesses

Strongest Families Institute (SFI), a not for profit company, leverages research, technology and highly-skilled staff who deliver evidence-based programs to children and families dealing with mild to moderate mental health and other issues impacting health and well-being.  Military families can access these services at no cost, but spaces are limited.

WHY WE EXIST

To provide families timely access to quality services, when and where they need it. Accessing mental health help is not easy. Strongest Families Institute (SFI) exists to change that. Our innovative, proven distance education services offer families flexibility to receive timely care. We remove barriers that others can’t. We are open when others are not.

WHERE WE CAME FROM

The SFI programs were tested and proven in trials at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Families receive skill-based information (handbooks or online), skill-demonstration media and weekly telephone coaching. The psychologically informed programs include:

• Parenting the Active Child (3-12 year olds with disruptive behaviour problems)
• Chase Worries Away (6-17 year olds with anxiety problems)
• Dry Nights Ahead (5-12 year olds with nighttime bedwetting)

Dedicated to consistent outcome measurement and reporting, results are very strong.
Resolved: 92%; Improved: 5%; No Improvement: 3%

For more information about SFI, please go to http://strongestfamilies.com/

 
Employment Resources

CAFconnection.ca

Military Family Services, Canadian Forces Morale, and Welfare Service have posted some updated employment resources and information on the main employment page on CAFconnection.ca.

Please take a look for:
  • Online Job Search Sites
  • Free Resume Templates
  • Provincial Accreditation Must-Knows
  • Relevant Employment Policies
  • Online Education & Training
English: https://www.cafconnection.ca/National/Programs-Services/Employment.aspx (under Resources)

French: https://www.connexionfac.ca/Nationale/Programmes-et-Services/Emplois.aspx (ressources)

Career Development Services

Additionally, The PEI MFRC has entered a partnership with Career Development Services (CDS). Career Development Services offers services in six locations across the Island: Bloomfield, Charlottetown, Souris, Summerside, Wellington, and Montague. All services are free of charge.

Whether you are looking for work, changing your career, returning to the workforce, or exploring career and training opportunities, CDS can help. They offer a friendly and confidential environment where you are able to learn about career options, discover your skills and abilities, and search for employment.

Website: http://cdspei.ca/home
 
Voila Learning

Is your military child struggling in their French program? Voilà Learning, working in partnership with Military Family Services, provides a free online assistance to children who want help and practice speaking French, or have questions about their French homework.

The Voilà Learning Virtual Immersion Campus offers your child customizable avatar-based support. The ‘world’ the children work in is appealing because it resembles a typical école and their questions are answered in real time by professional tutors in a virtual group setting.

French help and practice is available to children ages 5 to eighteen in a variety of subjects on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 5 to11p.m. EST. Children may connect through the Virtual Immersion Campus, Facebook, Google Chrome or Firefox browsers, call or text.

To enroll your child, registration is required to validate that you are a military family. After registration is complete a code will be emailed to you allowing your child access to the Voilà Learning Virtual Immersion Campus.

To view a video detailing how the service can be of benefit to your military family and/or to enroll in the Virtual Immersion Campus visit http://voilalearning.com/en/military-family-services



 
Welcome Baby Program

Did you or another military family you know recently welcome a new addition to their family? Let the staff at the PEI MFRC know so we can offer our congratulations and a “Welcome baby” gift bag!
 
Rosetta Stone

2 spaces available in April

The PEI MFRC is now able to offer on-line second language training for military family members and veterans and their families. There are several licenses available and registration is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Registration is free of charge, but there is a $10.00 fee for the headset required for the course. Application forms and policies are available upon request. For more information, please call 902-892-8999 or contact Lynn at Lynn.Milligan@forces.gc.ca
4-minute Play Dough Recipe

Are you looking for a quick and easy gift for Easter? (Maybe one that has no sugar?)

Homemade play dough is always a hit with the 5 and under crowd. Pick up a few cookie cutters from a dollar store and you’re all set!

Ingredients:

2 cups plain flour (all purpose)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup salt
2 tablespoons cream of tartar
Up to 1.5 cups boiling water (adding in increments until it feels just right)
food colouring (optional)
few drops glycerine (optional- adds more shine!)

Method:

1. Mix the flour, salt, cream of tartar and oil in a large mixing bowl
2. Add food colouring to the boiling water then into the dry ingredients (colour optional)
3. Stir continuously until it becomes a sticky, combined dough
4. Add the glycerine (optional)
5. Allow it to cool down, then take it out of the bowl and knead it vigorously for a couple of minutes until all of the stickiness has gone. *** This is the most important part of the process, so keep at it until it’s the perfect consistency!*** (If it remains a little sticky then add a touch more flour until just right)
6. Store in an air-tight container.

CAUTION: Homemade play dough is quite toxic to dogs and, if ingested, can cause salt poisoning. Please keep away from our furry friends!
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                                                                                Military Family Resource Centre    
Staff

Leona Conrick                                                Nancy Mollison                            
Executive Director                                          Office Administrator                     
leona.conrick@forces.gc.ca                           nancy.mollison@forces.gc.ca         

Bernie Mullin-Splude                                       Lynn Milligan
Program Coordinator                                       Program Coordinator         
bernadine.mullin-splude@forces.gc.ca           lynn.milligan@forces.gc.ca                                                                                                    
Edward MacAulay                                           Sue Pollard                                      
Family Liaison Officer, RSW                           Special Projects Coordinator
edward.macaulay@forces.gc.ca                    susan.pollard@forces.gc.ca
 
 Copyright © 2017 PEI Military Family Resource Centre, All rights reserved.


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HMCS Queen Charlotte
210 Water Street
Charlottetown, PE  C1A 9M5
(902) 892-8999
www.peimfrc.ca
Copyright © 2017 PEI Military Family Resource Centre, All rights reserved.


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