February 2016 Newsletter

The President’s Message

By Rhonda Stock
President, BCWC Board of Directors

Meet the volunteers . . .

On behalf of the Wellness Collaborative Board and Steering Committee, let me tell you how excited we have all been by the outpouring of volunteer support over the past six months! The implementation of BC Meals, BC Rides, and BC Info last November was made possible by your willingness to offer your time and talents to support these programs. Your help in continuing to spread the word, along with assurances of confidentiality, will allow us to continue to gain community acceptance.Rhonda Stock

So, what’s new for 2016? Some of you have made suggestions about additional, much needed services. Based largely on your feedback, I am delighted to report that the Steering Committee is in the process of developing guidelines for a new Companion Support program which we are calling “BC Visits.” This program is intended to provide support for caregivers and their spouses or other family members. While we won’t be able to provide medical support to these folks, we would like to fill the need to have someone visit with a homebound resident while the caregiver gets a much needed break or the chance to run some errands. This program is still in development, but like Rides and Meals we understand the importance of tailoring it to meet the needs of our residents as much as possible.

Please stay tuned for more information about BC Visits during our upcoming Volunteer Forum later in February. These are exciting times for our new Wellness Collaborative. Thank you for being a part of them.


Meet the volunteers . . .

Tina Moran phoneTina Moran is the voice on the dedicated phone line maintained by the Big Canoe Wellness Collaborative at the  Fitness Center. Tina, a second generation Big Canoe resident and the Front Desk supervisor at the Fitness Center, said “I love to help  people.

We’ve received calls requesting transportation for cancer chemo and help with meals after surgery.” She and the Front Desk staff answer the  BCWC help line (706-268-3334) Monday – Thursday (6:15 am to 8:30 pm), Friday (6:15 am to 8 pm), and the weekend (8 am to 6 pm). They maintain a log of client requests and contact the BC Info volunteers to follow up on the client requests.Ellen Sheridan

Ellen Sheridan followed the planning of BCWC while serving on Leadership Big Canoe. After attending the first BCWC information meeting, Ellen, who has lived in Big Canoe for five years, volunteered for the BC Info program because she “was pleased to help.”  During Ellen’s first week in November, she made several referrals to BC Rides. The BC Info program volunteers contact clients who request assistance with health and wellness issues through the help line.

For Food Delivery volunteer Carolyn Mackey, her Christmas dinner delivery was “meant to be.” She had volunteered to deliver meals to Big Canoe neighbors in need at the BCWC tent during Oktoberfest. Carolyn MackeyWhen Carolyn noticed that Christmas Day was open to deliver meals to a couple whose house had burned and the wife had undergone hip surgery, she signed up. On Christmas Day, her husband Bob grilled fillets while she fixed baked potatoes and creamed spinach, then delivered the meal to the couple. What prompted her to volunteer for a holiday delivery? “That’s what Christmas is about, isn’t it?”


Steering Committee Report

By Shiraz Alikhan, Chairman

Welcome to the first issue of your newsletter! Our intent is to utilize this newsletter as one way to keep you informed about Collaborative activities. We are very interested in your feedback and ideas about how to make this newsletter useful to you. Please send your feedback to me at sjalikhan@gmail.com.Shiraz Alikhan

On behalf of the Steering Committee, thank you for answering the call to help your Big Canoe neighbors. We have been very gratified by the outpouring of support. Although activity has been slow since we launched our programs in November

(13 client requests through year-end), we did see an increase in client requests in December and are continuing to work on ways to increase awareness of our programs in the community. We could use your help in identifying possible clients and encouraging them to seek out our services.

As Rhonda noted in her message, we are developing a new program called “BC Visits” to address the community need for companion services for shut-ins and caregivers. We will host a Volunteer Forum on Saturday, February 27th, during which we plan to review our proposed program with you to get your feedback. We’ll also be inviting volunteers and clients to talk about their experiences to provide you with information about how we are doing. Details about this event are in the Collaborative Calendar section.

A lot of effort went into getting us off the ground. Thank you for your role in that. The Steering Committee is excited about working with you this year to make the delivery of our services more effective for you and our clients.


Collaborative calendar

Volunteer Training Sessions

Friday, February 19
Friday, March 18
1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Location: Mountains Grill Room

Volunteer Forum

Saturday, February 27th
10:00 a.m. to noon
Location: Mountains Grill Room


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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