Celebrating I&R Day

Every day thousands of people find the help they need quickly, conveniently and free of charge because of Information and Referral (I&R) services. To recognize the importance of I&R in our community, United Way Chatham-Kent is taking part in I&R Day on November 16. 

Information and Referral is the art, science and practice of bringing people and services together and is an integral component of the health and human services sector. 

People in search of critical services such as financial assistance, food, shelter, child care, jobs, or mental health support often do not know where to begin to get help, or they get overwhelmed trying to find what they need. Community information and referral providers connect people with resources that can help them with one simple phone call, text message, or website inquiry. 

United Way Chatham-Kent provides Information and Referral Services through their three local offices in Chatham, Tilbury and Wallaceburg.  In addition, our Certified Information and Referral Specialist, Patricia Weiler, manages and updates the local social and human service database, which then feeds into a province-wide database for Ontario 211 services. 

In late 2011, at the request of the Alliance of Information and Referral Services (AIRS), the United States Senate passed S.RES.241 designating November 16, 2011 as “National Information and Referral Services Day”. AIRS is an international non-profit professional association with more than 5,000 individual, public and private I&R organizational members including United Way Chatham-Kent. Together, we have decided to continue celebrating I&R Day each November 16 and to extend it worldwide to raise public awareness and recognize the critical importance of the I&R field. 

“Information and Referral Services are an important component of a social safety net.  When people don’t know who to call or where to turn, particularly in a crisis situation, they can call United Way or “211” and know that they will get a live person on the other end of the line who has the training and expertise to find the help they need.” said Karen Kirkwood-Whyte, CEO of  United Way Chatham-Kent.

St. Clair Thames Student’s Inc. Have Some Fun for United Way

Emilee Ritzer, Special Events Director, and TSI President Alexandra Fraser enjoy some tasty chili.

The Thames Student’s Inc. (TSI) has organized two-weeks full of activities for students and staff in support of the campus’ annual United Way fundraising campaign.

 The week began with an agency fair in the lobby to educate students and staff about the agencies, programs and services supported by United Way’s Community Fund. 

On Wednesday, students, staff and faculty participated in a Chili Cook-off, either cooking their own special recipe or voting on which chili was most delicious. After all ballots were tallied, the winning chili was “Moto Moto Chili”, made by faculty member Dr. Andrea Belanger. Second place went to “Massive Amounts of Beans” made by BScN nursing student, CJ Ziriada.  There was a tie for third place between “Poco Picante”, contributed by Office Administrative General-Medical student, Melissa Minogue and “Notorious P.I.G.” made by TSI President, Alexandra Fraser. 

Next up, on Thursday TSI organized an “Everyday Hero” photo booth.  For a donation to United Way, friends dressed up in superhero wear and had their photos taken. DAS Photo Booth provided all the accessories and will be matching all donations made at this event. 

Upcoming activities include an outdoor movie, next Wednesday, November 12, 2014, where they will be showing “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”, with complimentary hot chocolate and popcorn.  Entry to the movie night is a donation.  On Friday, November 14, 2014, TSI is hosting a Dodgeball Tournament.  Teams can sign up for $25 at the Student Centre.  There will some great prizes for the winning teams!  For $2.00 or a canned good, come out and watch the staff and students of St. Clair College face off in this fun event!  There will be two very special guest referees. You won’t want to miss it! 

For more information please contact Erica Kitchen at 519-354-0430 or erica@uwock.ca.