Wood's Homes Blog

Santa Project: Sobeys spreads Christmas cheer

December 23, 2019

Every year, the Santa Project brings Christmas cheer to children, youth and families at Wood’s Homes. This project, similar to adopt-a-family, supports over 100 families each year. These families are all involved in one of our 40+ programs. Dozens of generous community members provide donations such as grocery store gift certificates, warm winter clothing, and toys for children. Through the Santa Project, Wood’s Homes and our wonderful donors are able to make the holiday season a little brighter for these families.

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Part Two: Managing the hard parts of the holidays

December 22, 2019

Although these posts use examples from the upcoming Christian holiday of Christmas, the same ideas can be applied to any holiday you celebrate.  All holidays have certain things in common - celebration, tradition, food and family.  Feel free to substitute and adapt whatever meets your family’s needs!

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Part one: Managing the hard parts of the holidays

December 14, 2019

Years ago, when I was working in a shelter for abused women and children, I often volunteered to work what was called the 'Santa Shift' so that my colleagues could be home with their families on Christmas Eve. I was young and naïve, and had no idea that Christmas Eve is a difficult time for so many. The crisis line we operated was busy with people struggling to get through what can be a very difficult season if you are struggling with depression, social isolation, divorce, unemployment or family violence.

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Mending broken hearts

November 28, 2019

Why is it so easy for we, as human beings, to talk about a broken arm and so difficult to talk about a broken heart?

Many of us who have been in the business of caring for and helping children and their families for years would say we have come a long way with understanding and accepting our ‘mental or emotional health’, while many others would say we still have a long way to go.

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Worry Boxes

October 21, 2019

It started out as an idea; a way to alleviate some of the fear and anxiety felt by the clients we serve who struggle with addictions. For a number of reasons, there are times when our EXIT Youth Hub clients aren’t heard from for long periods. Some find other supports. Some leave the city. Some, unfortunately, fall on hard times and can no longer make their way to us. Whatever the reason, as Wood’s Homes’ Addictions Specialist, I wanted to do something to help the clients who return to EXIT after they’ve taken time away from our services. 

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The Way We Choose Our Words

October 15, 2019

Sometimes we are guilty of underestimating the power of language, and the way we choose our words. In my work as an Indigenous liaison at Wood’s Homes, I am very deliberate in the use of my words and I believe it’s something all of us need to be reminded of.

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Clients tell us what they are thankful for!

October 11, 2019

Thanksgiving is a time when many of us reflect on what we’re most thankful for. At Wood’s Homes, the joy of working with children, youth and families, the support we receive from the community and the 105 year history we’ve shared in Calgary – an amazing city – tops our list.

In the spirit of the season, we decided to ask our clients what they are thankful for. Some of the answers we received were surprising, but always heartwarming.

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From research to practice: An inspiring conversation with EXIT Youth Hub Supervisor

October 02, 2019

What is Research? Cambridge Dictionary (2019) defines ‘research’ as the study of a subject, in detail, in order to discover new information or reach a new understanding. Within Wood’s Homes, we have many people who are passionate about research and data, and Adam Flegel, program supervisor at the EXIT Youth Hub, is one of them. EXIT’s outreach programs started in 1989, and offer a service in which young people (12-24) have walk-in access to on-site staff who provide counselling, crisis support, employment and housing support, community advocacy, as well as health, mental health and addictions support. I had the opportunity to talk with Adam about his programs. It was an inspiring conversation, and it kept me thinking not only about the numbers, but the stories behind them.

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Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Awareness Month

September 20, 2019

Did you know that Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is the number one cause of developmental disabilities, and is ahead of Autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?

September is FASD Awareness Month, a time to create awareness around the importance of abstaining from alcohol during pregnancy.  FASD is referred to as the invisible disability and does not discriminate – every woman who is pregnant and consumes alcohol is at risk of having a baby with FASD. 

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Male suicide: The silent epidemic

September 06, 2019

Male suicide has been referred to as a silent epidemic by academics Dan Bilsker, PhD and Jennifer White EdD. The pair published a study in the B.C. Medical Journal in December 2011, and attribute the high rate of occurrence of men ending their lives and the general public’s lack of awareness about this issue, as the reasons behind why the moniker is so appropriate. This blog will examine some statistics of note and highlight some steps that can be taken in hopes of ameliorating this national crisis.

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