Iridia in the Community 2016 – Part 3

The holiday season is upon us and, amoungst the hustle and bustle, a group of Iridians ventured out to give back to both their local and international community. Check out how they made a difference:

Transcript:

This holiday season, our Iridia in the Community group chose to support Soup Sisters. Soup Sisters is a not-for-profit, charitable, social enterprise that was founded in 2009 by local Calgarian, Sharon Hapton, who had the simple belief in the power of soup to provide care and warmth for two of society’s most prevalent issues: domestic abuse and youth homelessness.

Thousands of people come across Canada to make, share, and donate over 10,000 servings of fresh and delicious soup for women, children, and youth each month. On December 2nd, we joined this initiative by taking part in one of the many Soup Sisters events offered throughout Vancouver.

We came together with other like-minded volunteers to make soup for Margaret’s Housing for Older Woman. It was a very inspirational evening because we were making soup for women who are 55 years old or older, have suffered domestic violence, and have limited income. So, this resident housing for these women really look forward to this soup.

Our soup not only helps these women financially, but also provides a healthy and nutritious meal. Our team made 27L of turkey meatball soup, contributing to 159L of soup in total to Margaret’s Housing.

One of the most exciting things about Soup Sisters and the evening that we spent together was to really hear the stories about how all the women were very excited about the soup that we made and, in particular, the turkey meatball soup was a big popular one. So that was really refreshing. It was also really neat to be able to write the customized messages on the labels for the soup, knowing that when they went to get it, they would actually read it and maybe feel a little bit of warmth as it came from us to them. So, really exciting night at Soup Sisters.

But then our team also got together and wanted to challenge ourselves and look at how we could define community another way. So that was our local community contribution, but we thought we’d look internationally as well. So, we challenged a few firms that are friends of ours and we asked them if they wanted to join us in supporting Playground Builders. They are an organization co-founded by Kirby Brown who I met at Creative Mornings and they do a really great job of building playgrounds for children in places like Afghanistan and Gaza. The opportunity to play is something that many of us really just take for granted; it’s such a part of growing up and these kids don’t have that opportunity. We wanted to help change that a little bit.

So we reached out and we challenged a few of our friend companies: Blackbridge Search Partners, White Rock U-Lock Storage, and Limulus and we wanted to see if they wanted to join us in supporting Playgournd Builders. And very happy to say that they did. They really bought in to what we were doing and they all contributed in kind. And we were able to make a donation that will help see at least a few more smiles on kids in some of these countries abroad.

And lastly I would just say like, hey take advantage of this as an impetus to see what you can do in your community. Small contributions, in this case $100 apiece, a little bit of time, are all that it took to take meaningfully make a difference in the lives of some people. I hope that you were inspired by this and that you look to do something in your own community, however it is that you define community. Thanks!


To see how other groups decided to make a difference, check out Part 1 and Part 2 of our Iridia in the Community initiative!

Zika Virus Update – December 15, 2016

2016-12-15-zika-virus-updates

In mid-November, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the Zika virus will no longer be treated as an international medical emergency. This statement was not a downgrade in the importance of Zika, but served as an acknowledgement that a long-term program is needed and that the search for a vaccine continues. In fact, they stressed that the mosquito-borne virus may rear its head again down the line.

Here in Canada, the risk of the Zika virus spreading locally continues to be negligible. To date, there have been:

  • two locally acquired cases of the virus through sexual transmission,
  • two maternal-to-fetal transmission cases, and
  • 382 travel-related Zika virus cases in Canada.

Planning a trip? Stay tuned to travel health notices when making your travel plans. The Public Health Agency of Canada currently recommends that pregnant women and those planning a pregnancy continue to avoid travel to countries or areas of the United States with reported mosquito-borne Zika virus. If you are planning on travelling to such an area, ensure you protect yourself from mosquito bites.

On the research side of things, both the search for a vaccine and study of the virus is ongoing. Recently, CDC researchers have found evidence that the Zika virus can make thousands of copies of itself in fetuses’ brains and in the placentas of pregnant women, which may help explain how the virus causes devastating birth defects and pregnancy losses. This is the first time that we’ve seen the Zika virus’s RNA (genetic material) replicating in brain tissues of infants with microcephaly.

Source: WHO, CDC, Public Health Agency of Canada, and Forbes

As the Zika virus is no longer considered an international medical emergency, updates will be given on an as-needed basis through our social media channels. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter to stay up-to-date and, as always, we’re happy to address any questions you may have!

Iridia in the Community 2016 – Part 2

Remembrance Day has has passed a couple weeks ago, but that doesn’t mean we have to stop reflecting and honouring the sacrifices that veterans have made to protect us. Our second group of Iridians spent their time and resources to raise awareness to these heroes. Take a look at the video below to see how they made a difference:

Transcript:

When we asked Canadians about what they think of when they think about our Canadian troops, many pictured an image of a soldier in uniform, like an Air Force pilot or navy officer. However, many overlook the transition our veterans are going through from an active military career to a healthy, stable civilian lifestyle. This transition can be challenging as they can struggle with unemployment and coping with their physical and/or mental illnesses.

Our veterans have given the entirety of their lives to protect our country, our freedom, and our values. But when they come back, they struggle with many things that we take for granted:

  • Many veterans struggle with physical and mental illnesses.
  • Many veterans have difficulty finding steady jobs afterward.
  • Some veterans can end up losing their families and their homes.

Our veterans once fought for us. Iridia chooses to fight for them.

With our Iridia in the Community project, we have donated our funds to the Royal Legion of Canada and received poppy pins. Then, we took the poppy pins, shared these pins in advance of Remembrance Day, and encouraged conversations as to why we should honour our Canadian veterans. We can continuously show our support to organizations like the Royal Canadian Legion and Vets Canada by volunteering our time and showing financial support through donations. Also, you can share this video to your friends, family, and people around you so that we can raise awareness and start a conversation about veterans around us.

Together, let’s fight for those who have fought for us.


To see how other groups decided to make a difference, check out Part 1 and Part 3 of our Iridia in the Community initiative!