Thanks to chief organizer, Linda Robbins, PHEc, and a dedicated team of cutters, sewers/sergers, sorters/packers and distributors, Ottawa HEA has surpassed its annual fleece hat production - despite COVID.
The team includes Carol Badenoch, Ellen Boynton, Luba Brown, Cathy Enright, Mary Johnston, Elizabeth Lee, Judy Leeson, Linda Robbins, Maxine Robertson, Audrey Schreyer, Lynn Stewart, Susan Thorne and Ellie Topp.
The production cycle started in mid-July. Previous clients (Centre507, Interval House, Cornerstone, the Snowsuit Fund and the Ottawa Mission) were contacted to help estimate demand for hats in 2021/22. The Ottawa Mission declined participation due to Covid protocols. Shepard's of Good Hope was added in place of the Mission. Clients indicated need by size and gender or gender-neutral. (Child small, medium, large; Adult small, and medium). The estimates formed the basis of acquisitions of fleece. Donations from Carol Badenoch, Cathy Enright and Mary Johnston, were augmented with "on-sale" purchases from Fabricland and EcoEquitable.
By mid-September, cutters had prepared about 619 hats (up from 590 in 2020). Cut hats were made available for an in-person Hat Sewing Day on Sept. 28th at Bells Corners United Church, with required vaccination, physical distancing and safety protocols in place.
The volunteers produced an amazing 619 hats in just over 5 hours, with more to come from members working from home.
The goal is to have all hats completed by October 19, 2021, sorted/distributed to primary clients by early November. A secondary list of clients has been identified and remaining hats will be distributed to them before the snow flies.
OHEA is pleased to welcome new PHEcs this fall! Read about each new PHEc below.
old, I organized my first food drive, “Fill the [Hockey] Net for the Food Bank”, and in high school created “Food Fight”, a week-long food drive competition between six local high schools in the Quinte Region for which I was awarded an RBC Make 150 Count grant.
I come from a small town in South-Eastern Ontario with a population of only 3000 people! Growing up with few community activities (or malls) piqued my interest in nutrition, cooking, and going to the gym. Little did I know, these interests would lead me to become a Home Economist and turn my passion to a profession.
Health and wellness have always been areas that I love to learn and practice. During my second year of university, my professor Dr. Matthews introduced to me the meaning of home economics. I learned that the principles include so many things found in our everyday life, from nutrition and wellness to financials and education. I was surprised to learn the field is not just what I pictured as my high school home-ec course!
I am excited to be a part of OHEA and look forward to the coming year!
Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
back to her hometown in 2012 to stay close to her family and enjoy the BC landscape. Currently, she works in a senior role for a world class research institute in downtown Vancouver.
Saira has always been passionate about healthy eating and proper nutrition for a good, quality life. She was able to overcome her own weight struggles during university as an undergrad student and sustained her weight loss for decades. As she wants to follow her passion to help others who are facing similar weight struggles and foster a good relationship with food, Saira is in the process of starting her online nutrition business practice - expected to launch in early January 2023.
One of my favourite things in life is helping people. Whether it’s helping my mom with projects around the house, cooking meals at home or working on construction projects with my Nonno. I am half Italian and half Greek; food is associated with every celebration. When I say every celebration I mean it, birthdays, weddings, soccer goals, even my very first loose tooth and I wouldn’t have it any other way. My career allows me to combine helping people and food.
Presently, I am working on my Bachelor of Applied Science at Ryerson University. I graduated from the Food and Nutrition Management program at Humber College and went onto working at a long-term care (LTC) facility. This is where my passion for nutrition blossomed.
My first day at the LTC was very memorable. I was getting a tour of the facility and on the Alzheimer’s floor all the residents were trying to pinch my cheeks. I felt like a boxer, dodging all their attempts. This was the only floor I didn’t’ want to be assigned because of the environment and the unpredictable nature of the disease and lo and behold this is where I was
stationed. It was a very overwhelming experience for me and at first, I didn’t think I could do it.
After learning my role as a dietary aide and climatizing myself to the environment and residents I decided to make a concentrated effort to build bonds with the residents and get to know them beyond the diet roster. Many of the residents came from different walks of life, countries and
religions. This was a great opportunity to learn from the residents and offer them some social support. I spent my breaks sitting and listening to the residents. They were fascinating. I was surprised at how easily they shared their life stories. I heard stories about World War 1 and 2, what life was like in their native countries and one resident described what it was like to be a
food manager 30 years ago. During this experience I promised myself I would not allow myself to become jaded and to find humor in what was going on around me.
There was one resident that I will never forget, lets call her Lids due to confidentiality reasons. Lids would always follow me while I was working, try to hold my hand and hug me. At first, I didn’t understand why she was doing that, but soon realized that she thought I was her grandson. When I entered the room, her face lit up. It was a weird feeling because obviously I
wasn’t related to her, but I embraced it. She spoke broken English and Turkish and was hard to understand at times. Google translate was invaluable as it helped me communicate with her in her own language. When I first started trying to say Turkish phrases, she would always laugh as
my pronunciation was probably off. By putting this effort into Lids, I saw an improvement in her behaviour and her food consumption which bettered her health. She helped me enhance many life skills such as patience, communication and being more understanding towards others. I really enjoyed my time with her.
Overall, Alzheimer’s residents have more to offer than people think. We just need to be able to put the effort in, so we can better understand them. Working at the LTC has given me purpose and confirmed that I want to help people nutritionally. My end goal is to become an LTC dietitian, so I can continue to help people in a more clinical role.
The Ontario Home Economics Association, a self-regulating body of professional Home Economists, promotes high professional standards among its members so that they may assist families and individuals to achieve and maintain a desirable quality of life.