April 2016 Newsletter

The Board of Directors Message

Phil Yeakel, Secretary-Treasurer, BCWC Board of Directors

During the February volunteer forum many of you indicated there are Big Canoe residents who aren’t aware the Wellness Collaborative exists. Suggestions to improve awareness included:

  • looking into possibly linking our bcwell.org website with Smoke Signals Online,
  • developing a monthly ad in the classified section of Smoke Signals,
  • investigating a permanent print ad in Smoke Signals,
  • including Collaborative events in the Big Canoe weekly Events and Happenings e-blast,
  • developing new posters with eye-catching graphics and a simpler message to attract people’s attention (See the poster located near the Alpha Boxes in the Post),
  • possibly hosting a Community Dinner,
  • making Collaborative business cards available to volunteers for distribution to friends and providing info available at local medical offices (BCWC info will continue to be available at the new homeowners’ orientation meetings),
  • compiling a list of Big Canoe organizations to schedule short presentations about the Collaborative with each organization (If you are a member of an organization and would like to make a presentation please let me know),
  • investigating placing a Wellness Collaborative flyer in the POA monthly invoice.

Thanks for being a Wellness Collaborative volunteer. Your help is critical in promoting our services whenever you hear of a neighbor that could benefit from one of our programs.

Meet a Volunteer>>>

Marie Stepp is the featured BCWC volunteer who has filled many roles in her ninety-two years. She served as an Army Nurse in World War II; volunteered her nursing services  in rural Mobile, Alabama; worked with  Volunteer Mobile and as a docent with the City Museum; and was a founding board member of Old Dauphin Way – an historic neighborhood preservation group.Marie Stepp
Marie responded to BC Visits coordinator Bob Keesecker’s call to visit the father of a Big Canoe resident who was undergoing rehab at a local nursing facility after discharge from the hospital. When she introduced herself and gave him an American flag, Wilbur, who is eighty-nine, asked “How old are you?” She replied “Older than you.” They spent an  enjoyable hour talking about their military experiences, families, and work.
When asked what she thought about the visit, she said “The place was clean, the staff was nice, and the food looked good. I wouldn’t mind another visit.” She’ll get her wish, since she’s scheduled to visit Wilbur again in April.
Marie recently completed the BCWC Volunteer Training class which prepares volunteers to participate in the BCWC program(s), including BC Visits which provides respite services for neighbors in Big Canoe who are caring for family members in their homes and assistance to shut-ins.

Collaborative Calendar

Volunteer Training Session
Friday, May 20
1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Mountains Grill Room

Volunteer Forum
Friday, June 3
4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Swim Club

Steering Committee Report

Shiraz Alikhan, Chairman BCWC Steering Committee

Thanks to all of you who were able to join us for our first Volunteer Forum in February. We  appreciated the spirit of cooperation in which we received very positive feedback about what’s working well and constructive suggestions about how to improve our processes and services.
One of our recent clients opened the Forum with very warm  and eloquent comments about her health issue and how much she appreciated  the help she Shiraz Alikhan, received from the Collaborative. It was  truly inspiring Chairman to hear how we have begun impacting residents’ lives BCWC Steering in such a positive way. Shiraz Alikhan
Please check out the statistics below for information about the number of services we have provided to date.
In regard to what we can do to improve, one major point of discussion  was about ways to increase the awareness of our services in the community. The Board of Directors’ letter on the first page discusses how we are applying your suggestions to continue to get the word out.
We spent a good part of the Forum reviewing the new BC Visits program. This program was designed to provide companion services for caregivers and shut-ins. It was developed in response to suggestions we received from volunteers as well as what we were hearing from the community. A number of volunteers received training in this program during our March training session and are now ready for assignments.
As always, thanks for your ongoing commitment and support. Please send feedback about this newsletter or any other items to me at sjalikhan@gmail.com.

Big Canoe Wellness Collaborative Statistics

Services Completed by Program Jan, 2016 Feb, 2016 Year to Date  


BC Info 4 4 8 14
BC Meals 0 16 16 23
BC Rides 16 2 18 26
BC Visits** 0 0 0 0
Total 20 22 42 63

*   Since BCWC program inception in November, 2015
** New program beginning March, 2016

To volunteer or request services

The Big Canoe Wellness Collaborative is a non-profit, volunteer group formed to provide non-emergency and non- medical wellness services to the residents of Big Canoe. For more info:

(706) 268-3334 – info@bcwell.org – Big Canoe Wellness Collaborative 10755 Big Canoe Jasper GA 30143 Visit the Big Canoe Wellness Collaborative at bcwell.org for additional info.

Contributions to The Big Canoe Wellness Collaborative, a 503(c)(3), are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law

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