Coming up in Cowichan: Christmas Chaos, free CPR, Caregiver Cafe, Giving Tuesday and Adopt a Family

Events of note

Christmas Chaos takes over Island Savings Centre

Get ready for what is the start of the Christmas season for many in the Cowichan Valley — the Christmas Chaos craft fair opened Thursday and continues through the weekend.

The 38th annual edition takes place Nov. 16 through 19 at the Island Savings Centre in Duncan.

On Friday the fair is open from noon to 8 p.m., with the first hour for seniors and strollers only. On Saturday and Sunday shop from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The venue is wheelchair accessible and there will also be a Santa’s Workshop for the kids and live entertainment.

Admission is free.

Learn CPR, how to use AED for free in honour of Kroffat

Free CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and AED (automated external defibrillator) training will be held at the Duncan Island Savings Centre Saturday in memory of Caleb Kroffat — a young boy who suddenly collapsed outside the Centre in 2013 and died of cardiac arrest.

Cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, anywhere, anytime. Kroffat, an 11-year-old attending a hockey game with his family, suddenly collapsed outside the Island Savings Centre in November 2013. Immediate efforts to revive him were attempted and an AED was used. This time, rescuers couldn’t bring him back. There are, however, many times that quick bystander support can save a life.

Cardiac arrest is a medical emergency and quick CPR and AED use within the first minutes can double or triple the chance of survival. The Heart & Stroke Foundation encourages the public to be trained in CPR and AED use and to know what to do when someone has a sudden cardiac arrest. In B.C., a cardiac arrest happens every two hours.

Now an annual event in memory of Caleb, free adult CPR and AED training will be offered to the public on Nov. 18 through a partnership between the Heart & Stroke Foundation, the Island Savings Centre, St. John Ambulance, and the Cowichan Valley Training Centre. Everyone is welcome to participate in the drop-in, open-house style training. No previous training is required. Registration is not required.

Participants will go through five stations featuring hands-on practice for recognizing a cardiac emergency, calling 911, performing CPR, and using an AED. Information on healthy lifestyle choices will be available and the first 30 attendees will receive a gift bundle.

AEDs are small, portable devices that shock the heart into a normal rhythm — it will not deliver a shock unnecessarily. AEDs can be used quickly and safely by the general public before emergency services arrive

The Island Savings Centre has four AEDs and is one of several recreational centres in the area prepared with the device. AEDs are also at the Kerry Park Recreation Centre, Cowichan Lake Sports Arena, Cowichan Aquatic Centre, Fuller Lake Arena and Frank Jamieson Community Centre.

Join the Caregiver Cafe this weekend in Duncan

Janet Dunnett of Qualicum Beach is headed to Duncan on Saturday, Nov. 18 to give a program called the Caregiver Cafe in the public library at the Island Savings Centre on James Street.

Dunnett says she has information to share about a new support for caregivers who must take leave from their jobs.

“But far more than that, I am expecting that in the vibe of people getting together to talk about something that involves them all, or might, there will be a great two hours of supportive conversation,” she said. “The idea is to help caregivers to see themselves as not alone but as part of an invisible army whose unpaid work is holding up our health care system in ways that have not been calculated.”

“Caregiver Cafe offers an opportunity for people sharing with people and learning from each other,” Dunnett said. “It’s the way a community can take care of itself.”

The event runs from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Think Green Community this year on #GivingTuesday

Cowichan Green Community is participating in their 2nd annual #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities, and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide.

CGC’s goal this year is to raise $5,000 to help support their many free community programs including cooking classes, upcycling workshops, food preservation parties, and KinPark and Seed Incubator Farm activities as well to find volunteers with marketing, retail, office, and garden maintenance skills.

Occurring this year on Nov. 28, #GivingTuesday is held annually right after the widely recognized Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping events that kick off the holiday giving season.

#GivingTuesday inspires people to collaborate in improving their local communities and giving back to the charities and causes they support. To celebrate this day, CGC is hosting an educational drop-in workshop from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Nov. 28 at the Garden Pantry Store on 360 Duncan St. where the Seed Incubator Farm team will demonstrate how to clean seeds gathered from this year’s crop.

“Through the continued support of our community, CGC’s many programs aim to improve food security in the Cowichan region and make our home a more sustainable place to eat, live, work and play,” explains Judy Stafford, CGC’s executive director. “We’re looking to the community for support and we’re also doing a little giving of our own.”

Everyone who engages with CGC on Facebook will be entered to win a $30 gift certificate for the Cow-op Online Farmers Market. Just follow CGC’s page, share, like, and tag a friend on the #GivingTuesday post to be entered into the contest.

You don’t have to wait until Nov. 28. CGC is accepting donations now at https://cowichangreencommunity.org/product/make-a-donation/. To get involved with CGC’s #GivingTuesday, visit https://cowichangreencommunity.org/workshop-events/givingtuesday/.

Adopt a Family this Christmas, or volunteer

Cowichan Neighbourhood House is looking for people to help out with their Adopt a Family campaign for 2017.

“This program gets right to the heart of what we try to do here at Neighbourhood House: ‘neighbours helping neighbours.’,” say Neighbourhood House staff. “We can make a difference in the lives of people in our own community by being good neighbours.”

Local families and individuals in need submit their gift lists (kept anonymous) to Neighbourhood House. People can then choose from the list of families on the list that suits their ability for sponsorship. Sponsors then purchase gifts from the family’s wish list or donate funds for gifts to be purchased. Sponsors can also fund a food hamper for the family to enjoy a festive dinner and breakfast.

Gifts must be dropped off on or before Thursday, Dec. 14 at 9806 Willow St. Chemainus (across from Waterwheel Park). Families pick up their gifts between Dec. 18 and 20.

If you don’t have time to sponsor a specific family, you can still donate through the “DONATE” button at www.cnha.ca or simply write a cheque. Tax receipts are available.

Volunteers are also needed to help box, sort and distribute gifts.

“Last year we helped over 110 families, many of them with young children, by giving out gift and food hampers. This is especially vital in the Cowichan Valley, as the BC Child Poverty Report Card (2016) ranked our Valley as having the highest rate of children living in poverty in B.C.,” staff point out.

“Though the task is always challenging, it becomes possible if we all do a small part.”

 

Janet Dunnett of Qualicum Beach is headed to Duncan on Saturday for the Caregiver Cafe. (submitted)

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