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Here's how January looks at PEI MFRC...
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Military Families--The Strength Behind the Uniform
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Valentines for Veterans

This year, the PEI Military Family Resource Centre is very pleased to be partnering with the PEI Public Library Service on the Valentines for Veterans project.

Isn't Valentine's Day a wonderful way to make a fuss and let veterans know we will never forget what they have done for us? Show veterans your gratitude for their sacrifices and achievements in serving our country. Create a hand-made valentine and help bring joy to a Canadian Veteran this Valentine's Day.

Each year, Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) invites Canadian schools, individuals, and organizations to make Valentines for Vets. VAC then distributes the valentines to veterans in long-term care facilities across the country in time for February 14.

Valentines for Vets began in 1989 when the late newspaper columnist Ann Landers encouraged her readers to create special valentines for veterans in care facilities throughout Canada and the United States. Every year, Landers' special "Valentines for Vets" column asked her readers to remember the valiant sacrifices of their nation's veterans by making them personal hand-crafted valentines.
VAC became involved with the program in 1996, and has been receiving and distributing valentines to veterans in care facilities across the country ever since.

Though Ann Landers passed away in 2002, VAC is committed to continuing her legacy of honouring veterans. We invite Canadians, young and old, to send valentines to their Head Office. Your continued participation is what makes the Valentines for Vets program such a huge success. To participate in this wonderful project, simply go to one of the libraries listed below (dates and times are included):
  • Confederation Centre Public Library: Saturday, January 14 @2:00 p.m.
  • Stratford Public Library: Thursday, January 12 @10:30 a.m.
  • Breadalbane Public Library: Wednesday, January 11 @11:30 a.m.
  • Hunter River Memorial Library: Thursday, January 12 @11:00 a.m.
  • Cornwall Public Library: Friday, January 6 & Friday, January 13 @11:00 a.m.
  • Souris Public Library: Tuesday, January 10 during open hours (2:00pm–7:00 pm)
  • Montague Rotary Library: Tuesday, January 10 @ 3:30 p.m.
  • Bibliothèque publique Dr.-J.-Edmond-Arsenault (Charlottetown): Saturday, January 14 during open hours (9:00 am–1:00 pm)
  • Bibliothèque publique J.-Henri-Blanchard (Summerside): Saturday, January 14 during open hours (9:00 am–1:00 pm)
  • Bibliothèque publique d'Abram-Village (Abram's Village): Saturday, January 14 during open hours (9:00 am–1:00 pm)
  • Kensington Heritage Library: Saturday, January 7  @11:00 a.m.
  • Morell Public Library: Thursday, January 5 @11:00am
  • St. Peter's Public Library: Tuesday, January 10 @10:30 a.m.
  • Murray River Leona Giddings Memorial Library: Thursday, January 5 @10:30 a.m.
If you are not able to attend one of the sessions but would still like to send a valentine containing a personal message of appreciation to a veteran, please send it by February 1 to:

Valentines for Vets
Veterans Affairs Canada Commemoration | Distribution Unit
125 Maple Hills Ave.
Charlottetown, PE C1C 0B6

For tips and message ideas for your valentines please go to http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/get-involved/valentines-for-veterans/tips for more details.
Pottery Night Out

We're excited to partner with the Happy Potter Pottery Studio to offer military, RCMP, and veteran families a fun family-friendly night out.

When: January 27, 2017
Time: 7pm
Location: HMCS Queen Charlotte

We have a few spaces left for this event, so please call us to register ASAP. 902.892.8999.

Note about age: If you feel your child who us younger than 12 would enjoy this activity, by all means, give us a call! We are leaving it up to the parents to judge appropriate level of this activity.
Thank You!
 
A special thanks to all the military, RCMP, and veterans families and volunteers who attended the 3rd Annual Military Family Holiday Party on December 11th! Photos from this event can be seen on the PEI MFRC Facebook page.
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, January 26, 2017, at 6:30pm. Our meeting will be held at HMCS Queen Charlotte.

 
PEI MFRC Holiday Hours

The PEI MFRC will be closed from noon on Friday, December 23 until 8:00am on Monday, January 2.

In the event of an emergency, please call 902-314-9860 or contact the Family Information Line (1-800-866-4546) or Canadian Forces Member Assistance Program (1-800-268-7708). Both lines offer bilingual 24/7 service.
Monthly Coffee Social

Coffee hour will be held on Tuesday, January 10 from 10:00–11:00am. This month’s coffee break will be held at PEI Regiment. Everyone is invited…hope to see you there!
 
Aqua Zumba in the New Year!

We're so excited to be offering Aqua Zumba in the New Year for our military families! We don't have all the details ironed out just yet (so make sure to Like us on Facebook to stay up to date), but we'll likely be offering three consecutive weeks the end of Jan/beginning of February.

Stay tuned!
 
Christmas Morale Mail

‘Tis the season for sending holiday cards and packages. As you get set to mail off your cards/packages for another year, why not think about sending something to a deployed member of our military? These men and women will be facing the holiday season away from home, and a kind note or a package showing how much they are appreciated sure would make them smile! (We bet it will also give you some warm fuzzies.)

Thanks to Canada Post, Canadians have the opportunity to send parcels and envelopes free of charge to our serving military members.

Read our latest blog post for guidelines and deadlines regarding this service (http://www.peimfrc.ca/2016/11/christmas-morale-mail/).

Seeking Board Members

We're a registered not-for-profit governed by a volunteer Board of Directors, and we're looking for new members!

These dedicated volunteers use their skills and knowledge to guide the Centre through informed decision making and are responsible for setting policy and providing financial oversight.

Interested in becoming a Board or Committee ember? Contact us today! 902-892-8999

 

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. This is a popular program—there are currently 3 spaces open for new referrals.

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/

 
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!
 
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



 
A Note from our Virtual Program Coordinator

 
What did you do for yourself today?

In the last month on my travels and meetings with families and organizations, I have been asking CAF families this question and actively listening to their response. I was met with a few great suggestions like yoga, reading, walking the dog, cooking unique meals, etc. On the other hand, many CAF families responded with blank stares as if to say, “For Myself?  What is that?” 

Good news: the upcoming months, the MFRC PEI Virtual classroom is all about you! Your health matters, and speakers will encourage you at whatever stage in your life to take time for yourselves.    Our roles as caregivers require us to be healthy in spirit, mind, body, and soul. 

In January, MFRC PEI is partnering with True Patriot Love to bring you Operation Care for the Caregiver. We will meet leaders in our community who are caregivers in various capacities who will share their journeys and what they do to look after themselves so that they can look after one another.
  • January 17 (730pm AST): We welcome the Caregivers’ Brigade Team of Jeanette McLeod, Paula Ramsay and Marie Malette
  • January 24 (730pm AST):  You will meet COPE founders, Chris and Kathryn Linford. 
  • January 31 (730pm AST): You will meet Alannah Gilmore Medic and veteran who herself is a caregiver to a severely injured veteran. Hear their stories and what they do to look after themselves, because as caregivers, taking care of ourselves is key. 
Financial piece of mind is yet another way that we can take care of ourselves and our families, and SISIP is here to help.   So, in continuation of the care for the caregiver series, In February, MFRC- PEI has partnered with SISIP to bring you a money management series:
  • February 13 (730pm AST): How to save and invest for the future.  “Pay yourself first”… Saving for your short and long term goals, how to be successful at it.
  • February 20 (730pm AST): Credit cards—Manage them well and avoid Payday loans. Don’t get caught in the debt trap. Things you need to know.
  • February 27 (730pm AST): How to financially prepare for a deployment. Have you checked all the boxes? Financial things to consider before you deploy.
Going into March, we look forward to hosting the 2nd virtual annual International Women’s Day Guest speaker workshop. More on that to follow. 


To register and to join in any of these interactive sessions, please go to our peimfrc.ca or our Facebook page and check out our upcoming events. 

My door is always open, too, if you want to send me a query, comment, or guest speaker suggestion.   Virtual.mfrcpei@gmail.com


Everyone is welcome in the interactive virtual classroom. We encourage you to invite a friend from a previous posting.  Remember to take time for yourself today and throughout the new year.  

What did you do for yourself today?

Cheers,
Margaret Mackenzie
Virtual Outreach Program & Training Coordinator MFRC PEI.  
 
What does "Resource" mean in "Family Resource Centre"?

Part of my job is reaching out to others—making sure people who need to know about us, well, get to know about us! Now, brochures and briefings are a great way to share information about what organizations do in their communities; however, my feeling is that kind of information doesn’t always stick. Folks are more likely to remember a story about resources that are available and how they are accessed.

It’s hard to imagine what is required until a situation occurs. Perhaps a more accurate term might be Family Resourceful Centre. Resources are really just tools. It is knowing how to put them all together to fit a situation that makes your Military Family Resource Centre important to you. We are more than a delivery system for information. We work to strengthen our partnerships with other military and community agencies so that we stay in tune with extended systems of support thus providing better service, programs, and referrals.

I’m including a story as an example of how a call to your local MFRC can make a difference in a challenging situation. I hope your take away from this scenario is the knowledge that we, MFRC, are a good first call when you are faced with a situation that puts you in unfamiliar territory.

She was a widow. She came from another province to say farewell to her only son, aged 19. It was in the early years of Op Apollo and he would be deployed for 6 months. When you are 19, life is an adventure and in his excitement to put all his training to good use, he overlooked some details. He was a proud owner of his first vehicle and insurance at that age is costly! He asked Mum to call the insurance company to cancel the policy for those 6 months and off he went.

Mum returned home and discovered that without a Power of Attorney (POA), she was not authorized to make changes for her son. A few days later, she received a call from the house shared by her son and his friends. His room had been broken into and some important items were stolen. What was she to do? She lived in another province! She retrieved a business card given to her on the jetty by a MFRC employee who was overseeing family members on the day her son deployed. A call to Deployment Services put the wheels in motion to assist. The Assistant Judge Advocate General (AJAG) was contacted to arrange a Power of Attorney, the police were contacted to file a stolen property report, a driver was assigned to be her wheels around town while she attended to several items of business. There was access through MFRC to emergency housing and lodging was provided, without cost to her, for the duration of her stay.

In the end, the POA was completed…insurance cancelled, the lock changed on her son’s room, the son’s personal items moved and stored and the stolen item retrieved. All this happened with the MFRC, AJAG, city police, base housing, the ship’s admin office, and unit family reps working as a team toward a solution.

…She was a mother, standing alone on a jetty with a business card and a name of someone who said “Call us if you need anything.”
Education & Employment Assistance

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

Looking for employment? Job searching can be challenging, but being prepared can relieve some of the stress. Make a one-on-one appointment with one of the staff at CDS. They can help you create or update your resume, draft a cover letter, explore potential job opportunities, identify employers, prepare for a job interview, etc. At CDS, they will show you the difference between a job search and a successful job search.

Unsure of the type of work you are interested in? People at all ages are unsure about what career suits them best. The staff at CDS can help you discover your skills, interests, and strengths which will aid you through the career decision making process. Career counselling assists you in discovering a career path that suits your personality, strengths, and lifestyle.

Need access to a computer & resource equipment? Each CDS location has a comfortable and quiet Resource Centre where you can make local phone calls, print, photocopy, scan, fax, and use a computer with Internet connection free of charge. A selection of employment-related books and other publications are on hand, and a Job Board is on display with a number of current employment opportunities. There is no need to book the equipment, just drop by during business hours, but please keep in mind that use of this equipment is for job search purposes only.

If you are interested in a referral to any of the Career Development Services offices, simply call the PEI MFRC at 902.892.8999.
 
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                                                                                Military Family Resource Centre    
Staff

Donna Earl                                                     Nancy Mollison                            
Executive Director                                          Office Administrator                     
donna.earl@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                                           Margaret MacKenzie
Family Liaison Officer, RSW                           Virtual Program Coordinator
edward.macaulay@forces.gc.ca                     virtual.mfrcpei@gmail.com

Sue Pollard
Special Projects Coordinator
susan.pollard@forces.gc.ca

 Copyright © 2016 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 © 2016 PEI Military Family Resource Centre, All rights reserved.


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