The Club Inclusion
What did it mean for you to win the award?
It was such an honor to win this award. It meant that I was being externally recognized for the extra work that I have done with and for the Club Inclusion. I believe that other organizations may have heard about me through these awards as well which helps me continue to network and shape my future or possible connections with The Club. Lastly, by receiving this award I have also created publicity for the Club which helps us gain more members and funding opportunities which makes me proud. I love the Club and if anything that I do can help it succeed and grow then I have also succeeded.
What impact has this award had on you personally?
This award has truly impacted my daily life. The award money of $1000 helped me accomplish two things. With the first half of the money, I bought a new bed which was LONG overdue. I was barely sleeping at night and waking with pain, which made it difficult to do my work and enjoy my life to the fullest. At best I was receiving between 3-5 hours of sleep a night with only a few minutes of deep sleep per night. While paying off student debt and usual life bills I couldn’t justify putting the money into a nice decent mattress. Now I sleep soundly every night with almost no tossing or turning. I wake up feeling refreshed and energized! It’s a cliché, but it really is amazing what a good night’s sleep will do for your overall health and well-being! With the second half of the money I helped pay for an immigration lawyer for my fiancé to help with his permanent residency application to Canada. If we are not able to secure his permanent residency, he will need to move back to the United States and I would have to leave The Club. While we haven’t heard back yet, we do feel confident that with this extra help we stand a real shot of being able to stay in Canada.
Do you have a compelling story that you would like to share on how the Bhayana Awards have made an impact?
While we do not yet have confirmation of my fiancé’s permanent residency status, we do feel that having had the extra money to put toward an immigration lawyer will greatly increase our chances of success which will allow us both to stay in Canada and continue working with the Club. Without it I am not sure we would have been able to afford the lawyer and wouldn’t have had as strong of an application.
Aside from the awards ceremony organized by United Way, did your agency separately recognize or celebrate the winning of the award?
Yes. The Club and members congratulated me on winning the award.
Do you have any suggestions on how to improve the awards for next year?
I do not.
Has participating in the process had an impact on your organization (morale ect)?
I do believe that winning has had an impact on our organization. I believe other staff feel motivated to go above and beyond with the knowledge they too can be recognized externally for their amazing work. While being internally recognized is of course a wonderful thing, I believe that when people outside the organization see and acknowledge you work it almost makes it more real and more of an accomplishment.
I also feel that the publicity has made the Club a more trusted place for supporting families. When dealing with such a vulnerable population, I believe that having award winning staff gives confidence to the public as well as increases our odds of referrals.
2018 Halifax Bhayana Family Foundation Awards
Recognizing the extraordinary staff of United Way-funded agencies who make a difference every day.
United Way Halifax and the Bhayana Family Foundation will honour seven people committed to community change on Friday, June 8. United Way partner organizations nominated front-line staff and volunteers who offered extraordinary contributions to the community. Each recipient will receive $1,000 to be used for personal or professional development so that they may better do their work.
Jackie Rivers was nominated by Alice Evans at The Club Inclusion for the creativity and energy she brings to the organization every day. “There seems to be no limit to the effort and ingenuity that Jackie brings to her work,” Alice says. “Her expertise, attention to detail and understanding of the issues that affect people who have significant disabilities has meant that The Club Inclusion can accommodate those who others turn away.”
The awards are made possible by a generous donation from the Bhayana Family Foundation. Raksha Bhayana, a former member of United Way Toronto’s Board of Trustees, says the awards were created to shed light on the positive impact of front-line staff. “Every single day they are in the trenches of difficult and demanding jobs, facing obstacles, fighting for justice and making a real difference in their community. They give tirelessly day after day, but their efforts often go under-recognized by all of us.”