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          September 2021 

MeaningfulLife features stories of accomplishments people have achieved and the Personal Outcome Measures related to these achievements.  Personal Outcome Measures are the foundation of everything Empower Simcoe does to support people.
Your Feedback Matters
To the people and families we support at Empower Simcoe, we want to hear from you. Please take a few brief minutes to complete our latest Quality Improvement Survey by September 10th, which will assist our agency to continue to provide the absolute best quality supports and services. Take the survey here.  
Outcome - People choose services
Register Here
What You Need to Know About This Month's Election

Inclusion Canada has developed several resources to inform voters during the 2021 Federal election. They have identified three priority areas for the federal parties: (1) ending poverty, (2) making community living real, and (3) achieving human rights. You can find Inclusion Canada’s full election document here, along with a number of shorter additional pieces (like this one on access to affordable and accessible housing). 

Find more Federal Election 2021 resources here.

A Gift of Gardening
At their Empower Simcoe supported living home, these green thumbs are now enjoying the bounty of their spectacular backyard vegetable garden. David (far left) planted green peppers, peas and beans, and beets this year. Maurice (centre) chose to plant his favourite; cucumbers again this year. Wayne planted green onions, tomatoes, beets and strawberries. Healthy and delicious to eat, but even more fulfilling for David, Maurice and Wayne, is the chance to share their harvest with friends and family.
Outcome - People realize personal goals; People participate in the life of the community
A Family Love for Giving Back
Allison Bobbette (far right), with sister Nicole and parents John and Pam.
Yes, there are some familiar faces in the latest edition of Gifts That Last, a special magazine publication of The Association of Fundraising Professionals that highlights the vital work of charities in our region. 
Allison Bobbette, a member of the Empower Simcoe Board of Directors and Believe In Yourself Committee, along with parents John and Pam, were pleased to talk about how important Empower Simcoe has been in their lives. This close-knit family also recognizes the value of giving back through volunteer work and donations to the Empower Simcoe Foundation.

“Empower Simcoe has benefitted my life in such a beautiful way,” says Allison. “They have helped me to live the life I want and given me purpose and a cause. They have supported and helped me all my life and now I’m so happy to be helping them.” Find out all about Allison’s adventures in music, public speaking, and more: read the full article here (Page 23). 
Outcome - People choose personal goals
Did you know you can include the Empower Simcoe Foundation in your will and still make sure your loved ones are taken of? Did you know you can donate stocks or securities to save on income taxes? It’s all true! Visit our Legacy Gifts page to find out more.
Making a Difference to Make a Place a Home

Finding affordable housing for someone who has been homeless isn’t just about finding a place to live, it’s also about acquiring the things needed to make that place a home.

When the COVID-19 pandemic shut down all but essential goods and services, every day necessities like pots, dishes and towels became next to impossible to find. Such was the challenge for the Empower Simcoe Regional Housing First Program. Enter the women from the St. Mary’s Catholic Women’s League (pictured above in a recent Zoom meeting), who stepped in and took it upon themselves to fill this need, sourcing the items that make it possible to live independently. Sheets, cutlery, utensils and cleaning supplies have all been made available to individuals who previously had nothing. One of the favourite items is a George Forman grill that’s allowed a senior to make his own steak just the way he likes it.

Thanks to the kindness and generosity of the St. Mary’s Catholic Woman’s League, people supported by the Empower Simcoe Regional Housing First program have been able to transition from having nothing to now taking their next independent steps in the journey of life.

Find more information about the St. Mary's Catholic Women's League here.  

Outcome - People experience continuity and security
An Enduring Legacy
Ask Ron Ptasiuk what he's most proud of after close to 30 years of dedicated fundraising for the Empower Simcoe Foundation, and his answer is unwavering. "Being able to channel funds wherever I could for needed supports and services is something I'm very proud of," says Ron. "I always put Empower Simcoe's name first and tried to pull as many levers as I could to channel funds to the Foundation."

Over the years, all that channeling and pulling levers from one of our Foundation's most prominent champions and cheerleaders has totaled more than $1 million dollars, making so many dreams come true for people and families supported by Empower Simcoe.

As Investment and Wealth Advisor of Ptasiuk Private Wealth Management Group, Ron's enduring commitment has ensured the RBC Wealth Management and Dominion Securities name is synonymous as presenting sponsor of Empower Simcoe's Annual Fashion Show and Golf Tournaments. "Helping grow Empower Simcoe's signature events, knowing those funds raised have assisted people and families with respite, summer campership for youth, and the purchase of needed accessibility equipment is something extraordinary," reflects Ron.

As Ron steps away from the Empower Simcoe Foundation Board of Directors, he will continue to remain close to Empower Simcoe.  "I had no idea how much my time at Empower Simcoe would give back to me personally," says Ron. "It's just been an honour and a pleasure to have worked over the years alongside Empower Simcoe's employees, volunteers, and the people we support."

The honour has been all ours.  Thank you Ron Ptasiuk.
The Heart and Soul of Empower Simcoe
In recognition of Direct Support Professional week September 12-18, Empower Simcoe CEO Claudine Cousins chats with Direct Support Professional Kristina Gynizio.   We celebrate all our Empower Simcoe Direct Support Professionals for the valued and essential work they do every day to support people of all abilities.  Thank you DSPs! 
Subscribe to MeaningfulLife and stay up to date with everything that's happening at Empower Simcoe.  Inspirational stories of accomplishment, what we're working on as an agency and upcoming events are just a click away.  
Inspiring Art 

Our talented and imaginative Empower Simcoe artists (pictured clockwise above: Corey, Robert, Jason, Jessica and Richard) had great fun this summer participating online as Art Explorers with the MacLaren Art Centre.  

Read more about Art Explorers and the full exhibit of this summer's creations here.

Outcome - People realize personal goals; People participate in the life of the community
Now Open!

Limited in-person outdoor programs continue at our Empower Simcoe EarlyON Child & Family Centres in Barrie, Bradford and Innisfil.   Visit our EarlyON Child and Family Centre webpage for information and registration!  Please note that spaces and availability are limited.

The EarlyON Child and Family Centres continue to offer virtual registered programs and new content will continue to be posted on our YouTube channel.

Please contact us at for more information.

Have a comment, question or story idea? Contact: call (705) 726-9082 ext. 5280, or email
Copyright © 2021 Empower Simcoe, All rights reserved.

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