The Mills Community Support Corporation held its Annual General Meeting in the sweltering gym of the Almonte High School today. It has been a successful year for the Mills. Listed at the end of this article are its significant accomplishments for 2011-2012.
For its dedication to the community, the Mills has been presented with the James Montgomery Community Award from Community Living Ontario. Community Living Ontario, started in 1953, is a non-profit, provincial association that advocates for people who have an intellectual disability to be fully included in all aspects of community life.This is one of the most prestigious recpgnitions that this organzation awards.
The keynote speaker John McKnight, American author and professor at Northwestern University, spoke about the building of dynamic communities. His book, The Abundant Community, urges communities to focus on their local resources, capabilities and relationships and not to rely on institutions to provide a dynamic life. Residents need to become citizens in the fullest sense of contributing their talents, not simply consumers of services. He related stories of Prince George and Powell River B.C., where local residents decided to bring people at the margins of community life into the centre. His message is very much at one with the activities of the Mills, an organization that Mississippi Mills is very lucky to have at its heart.
The Mills has decided to expand its base by selling memberships for $ 2 each.
The Mills Accomplishments: 2011-2012
- The Development Service has revised mission, vision and value statements as well as individual team charters. All of the staff and voluneteers have completed Quality Assurance measure training and the service has revamped and developed a number of policies and procedures to reflect legislative requirements .
- During the past year The Mills has partnered with People First of Lanark County to provide guidance and training for staff concerning Rights and Responsiblities.
- Construction of the Country Street Phase II building was completed in October of 2011 As of November 1, 2011, 17 of the 20 units were occupied. The Mills recognizes that times are tight for government and therefore has decided to kick off fundraising in order to raise money for the next phase of the Country Street residences.
- The Mills once again administered the Winter Warm program for the United Way. This program helps low income families with their winter Enbridge bills.
- Last year Home Support provided 25, 008 services to 634 seniors and physically disabled adults. 182 volunteers and paid workers travelled 22,573 km and provided 20,170 hours of time
- The Music and Memories program, a part of the community for 30 years, runs in collaboration with the Community ahd Primary Health Care as part of the CPHC Caregiver Support Services – Alzheimer outreach program. It offers lunch, social time and musical entertainment once a month.
- The Mills has returned to its roots with the creation of a Community Development department.
- The Mllls partners with the Town of Mississippi Mills and others and mobilizes community volunteers. Although focussed in the Almonte area, the work has spread to include Smiths Falls where the Mills has 35 staff in two community homes and a Transitional Aged Youth program, and the to the town of Carleton Place, after being asked to present a "Mills 101" overview to the local council.
- Work includes The Neighbourhood Tomato Community Garden project, The Edible Tree project to plant fruit trees in each of MIssissippi Mills' hamlets and the Augusta Street Park where the Mills works with the Town of Mississippi Mills to encourage neighbours and community partners to address the renewal needs of this park.Elements of the park include a BMS pump track for young cyclists, a splash pad, accessible walking track and bridge, and community gardens.