BC Association of Community Response Networks

CRNs at Work

Coastal Coalition CRN

Congratulations to the Coastal Family Resource Coalition, host agency of the Coastal Coalition CRN, and the Pacific Rim Hospice Society on the release of their study, West Coast Older Adults Needs Assessment 2020. Funded by the BC CRN, the assessment summarizes the needs and gaps in services for Elders and older adults (55 and better) in ten remote and rural west coast communities on Vancouver Island. Due to the lack of assisted living facilities, long-term care homes, and other suitable housing options many older adults and Elders leave the west coast when their needs exceed the available services. The aim was to understand the kinds of upstream, in-home assistance, and supportive services vulnerable older adults need to live thriving, happier lives in the community and age well in place. Read the assessment. View the news article in this month’s Top Headlines.


Castlegar CRN

The Kootenay IRIS Crew of the Castlegar CRN freshly prepares the week’s lunch to go for seniors. (Photos: Kootenay IRIS Facebook)

The Kootenay Increasing Recreation In Seniors (IRIS) Program keeps the teams of the Castlegar CRN busy every month! This month, CRN volunteers continued making and delivering healthy lunches to the community’s seniors. From March 19, 2020 when the Lunch to Go program first started to April 15, 2021, volunteers have hand-delivered 5,135 meals, which are free to seniors thanks to fundraising, grants, and local donations. The latest pandemic-safe food drive event, called Fill the Bus, took place earlier in the month and was organized by local CUPE members. (Special thanks to member Jaydeen Ashton for organizing the event!). The event resulted in enough food donations to share among three local food programs:  IRIS, Harvest Food Bank, and  The New Life Assembly Meal Program.

In April, Joanne Cotter and Linda Krantz, two members of the amazing IRIS Crew received recognition for their contributions to the community from the Castlegar Lions Club at the local Kindness Matters event. The CRN also recognized their volunteers as part of National Volunteer Week (April 18-24, 2021) on social media.



Creston CRN

The Creston CRN sponsored a free webinar on adult abuse through BC CRN’s It’s Not Right! program on April 8. Approximately a dozen people connected online to learn more about the various faces abuse and neglect can have, and how, as a community, caring people can reach out to those affected.


Houston, Smithers, and Wii o om niin Hazelton CRNs

(Photos: Magical Backyard Medicines Facebook)

The three CRNs are partners in an innovative First Nations-based program called Magical Backyard Medicines. The program, which started as a pilot in Fall 2020, shines a light on Indigenous ancestral knowledge of healing to non-Indigenous community members and helps Indigenous communities reconnect with it across generations. The program itself is structured similarly to a meal preparation kit, where households would receive the ingredients to prepare the meal of their choosing. (Read more about Magical Backyard Medicines on page 1 of the September 2020 edition of E-Connector.)

This month, the kits were distributed to interested individuals throughout Houston and Hazelton. Congratulations, CRNs, on your continued success!

Indigenous and non-Indigenous individuals are welcome to join the Magical Backyard Medicines Facebook community to learn more about traditional plans and medicines and to share ideas of Indigenous practices in your community.

Tri-Cities CRN

(From left to right) Photo 1: MP Nelly Shin (left) and Ken Kuhn, BC CRN Regional Mentor – Fraser Valley West; Photo 2: Volunteers handing out PPE.       (Photos: Tri-Cities Seniors Action Table Facebook)

On a sunny week this month, the Tri-Cities CRN through the Tri-Cities Seniors’ Action Society recently received donations of 500 PPE masks from MP Nelly Shin and the Korean Consulate. Many of these masks & BC CRN promotional items were distributed at a drive-by pick-up location in Coquitlam. Many thanks to the volunteers and the community for helping protect seniors during the pandemic.


Kamloops CRN

(Photos: M. Doll)

A collaboration between the Kamloops CRN, Kamloops Interior Savings, and the Kamloops Community YMCA/YWCA had children and their families, and local seniors working together on a large-scale arts and crafts project that involved painting wooden houses, sending postcard messages, and building a village in the community. It was a creative way to connect the community safely during the pandemic. Read more about their story in this month’s edition.

(Header Photo: Castlegar’s CUPE branch held a food drive benefiting three local food programs, including Kootenay IRIS out of the Castlegar CRN. Photo source: Kootenay IRIS Facebook.)