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Learners Achieving Goals Through Volunteering January 2, 2018

The Ottawa Community Coalition for Literacy is pleased to present a new resource for literacy and basic skills programs: the Community Works Handbook and the accompanying Community Works: Implementation and Process Guide. We completed an exciting project with the help of two terrific partners, ALSO (Alternative Learning Styles and Outlooks, a Literacy and Basic Skills agency) www.also-ottawa.org and Heartwood House (a community of 15 non-profit organizations) www.heartwoodhouse.ca. Together we developed an innovative model of supported volunteering that provides training in transferable essential skills for learners who are marginalized and/or disadvantaged by a variety of barriers and challenges.

During the project, 10 learners from ALSO and People, Words & Change (another LBS agency in Ottawa) worked with amazing enthusiasm and energy to meet a variety of challenges head-on. They each participated in one of the following volunteer placements:

  • Reception and inventory positions at OC Transpo Lost & Found (the lost and found for Ottawa’s transit system which is operated by Heartwood House)
  • Receptionist at ALSO
  • Assistant in ALSO’s Children’s Room

Here are some of their comments:

I’m an asset now – giving back – I no longer want to kick the world.

I can’t tell my children what to do with their lives if I don’t do something.

If you have confidence, nothing can stop you.

I am actually happy to get up and come in.

I’ve learned what I’m capable of doing.

I feel good when I go home.

We knew our own challenges but didn’t recognize our own strengths.

Spread the word!!  Give other people a chance to do what we have done.