SIRCH Release of the Butterflies 2017

Minden Cultural Centre, noon, Sunday, Jun 18, 2017

Imagine holding a small box in the palm of your hand. Or putting it in your child’s hand. Imagine making a wish. Perhaps remembering a loved one. Then opening your box and seeing a beautiful, brilliant butterfly flutter up … and up. Your butterfly is joined by dozens of others. An amazing sight – one that will be remembered for a lifetime! A vision that is both meaningful and beautiful. The third annual SIRCH Release of the Butterflies comes to Minden on June 18, 2017.

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This is a participant-driven fundraiser. With a donation of just $30 you will receive a lovely Painted Lady butterfly, raised on a nearby butterfly farm (Butterflies and Roses, in Lakefield, ON). Painted Lady butterflies lay eggs on a number of natural and garden plants including hollyhock, thistle, sunflowers, clover, lambsquarter, yarrow, mallow and others. Painted Ladies are found all across North America. Even though the butterflies have been raised in protected conditions, they are not domesticated. They are as wild as their counterparts that exist in the area. The healthy butterflies you release, which will be both male and female, will enter the natural environment in our area and reproduce, increasing the numbers of the butterflies locally. Butterflies are important pollinators. And unlike bees which are generally restricted to a local area, many butterflies are always on the move and can cross pollinate over a large area, improving the genetic mix of genes of the plant community. Ceremonial releases have become an important proactive ecological program for maintaining wild populations of these wonderful insects and also native plants that depend on them.

All proceeds from this fundraiser will help support SIRCH programs and services that receive little or no government funding (such as the free meals made by Community Kitchen, or the Journey Through Grief groups, or School’s Cool, a school readiness program for children 3 to 5). So join us for SIRCH’s Release of the Butterflies, and watch as the site transforms with beautiful butterflies. To make a donation, and secure your butterfly (or butterflies) for release June 18th, download an order form by clicking the link below OR donate online at Canada Helps.

Butterfly Order Form 2017

Smash Room at Thrift Warehouse Bancroft

Location: Thrift Warehouse Bancroft, 29556 Hwy 28 South, Bancroft
Hours: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Tue-Sat
Phone: 1-844-847-4382

The Smash Room is the result of some creative problem-solving. One day at Thrift Warehouse, we were looking at the bins of scratched, chipped, or otherwise not saleable glasses and plates that had come in. The bins were heading to the dump and the landfill likes us to break them down before taking them to the dump to save valuable landfill space. So Gena said “We should make it fun to smash it.” Don, up to the challenge, built the Smash Room. It is totally fun, serves a purpose (each day we sweep up the broken glass/crockery that is now broken down for landfill). There are various targets, including swinging targets. There’s something so satisfying about being “allowed,” even encouraged, to smash something. It’s a total stress release! Participants get face shields and ponchos to ensure they are protected. The smiles on the faces of the couple in the video aren’t put on. They had a blast! You should try it!

School’s Cool HELP WANTED



SIRCH is looking for 4 – 6 School’s Cool Instructors

School’s Cool is an exciting school readiness program developed by SIRCH Community Services and used by other organizations across Canada to increase the developmental skills of children ages 3 to 5 by an average of 54* weeks (*based on pre and post testing of over 5,000 children attending School’s Cool programs between 2008 and 2015)!

SIRCH, with funding support from the Trillium Lakelands District School Board, will be running 2 School’s Cool programs in Haliburton County this summer and requires 2 Lead Instructors, and 2-4 additional Instructors. Each program is expected to have 15 – 20 children. Teams of 2-3 Instructors (numbers dependent on enrollment) will deliver the School’s Cool curriculum, and evaluate each child’s progress through the use of materials and tools provided in the School’s Cool program. Instructors will provide positive role modeling, while encouraging each child’s natural curiosity for learning.

The Lead Instructor for each site (Archie Stouffer Elementary School and Stuart Baker Elementary School) will have overall responsibility to coordinate and support their School’s Cool staff team, liaise with parents, and ensure that all components of the program are adhered to.

• ECE, teaching, or child studies degree or diploma or related program (or enrolled in post-secondary degree/diploma program)
• ability to complete School’s Cool Instructor Training (2 days in June)
• demonstrated concern and empathy for young children and their families
• positive, enthusiastic, and encouraging
• experience teaching or working with preschool children
• able to manage a group of young and energetic children
• genuine interest in building collaboration with parents and the community
• capacity to work in a fast-paced and changing environment
• ability to commit to the entire program
• willingness to develop and extend professional skills working as part of a team
• current criminal reference check
• first aid/CPR an asset

• full attendance at School’s Cool Instructor Training
• become familiar with all course materials and outcome-based programming
• promote a positive and exciting learning atmosphere
• review each (of 24) session’s activities
• secure all related materials for the curriculum
• deliver and evaluate all daily activities and course materials
• establish and maintain accurate weekly records for all registered children
• conduct or participate in parent consultations and parent sessions
• setup and maintain a safe and secure course environment for children
• complete the Developmental Checklist for each child as per School’s Cool guidelines.

Instructors: 24 – 30 hours per week June 26 – August 23, 2017
Lead Instructors: 30-35 hours/week Monday to Friday. June 26 – August 24, 2017. Additional time in June may be required of Lead Instructors.

To Apply
Send resume and cover letter, along with what position you are applying for, to: Gena Robertson, Executive Director, SIRCH Community Services, Box 687, Haliburton ON. Or email to

School’s Cool kit sale!


For a limited time, you can purchase everything you need to run your own School’s Cool program for only $99.95. The kit includes 16 hours of comprehensive training videos, an Instructor Training Workbook, the School’s Cool Curriculum and a Toolkit and Resource Manual. Samples of the training modules can be found here:

You can get those results

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Click here to BUY NOW!

The Pitfalls of Profile

All organizations have to consider their “profile.” Profile is how people view us. Do they know what we do? Do they understand the issues our clients deal with? Do they know how we help and the impact we have?

The easiest way to get profile, is to have the people who have been helped talk about it. First-hand accounts are very powerful. But talking about it only works if the issue they’ve had is one they want to talk about. It doesn’t work so well if the challenge they experienced and got help with isn’t one they want to talk openly about. Maybe it’s something that could affect how people perceive them; maybe it could affect their family or children; maybe it could affect employment or potential employment. So although they may express their appreciation to us, they won’t be talking with their neighbours about their very personal struggles. Few people would hesitate to give a testimonial about how they were helped by the doctors or EMS services. But if they were helped to escape from an abusive situation by the YWCA, or given food by SIRCH, they may not be as eager to put their name out there. Understandably.

As a result, organizations that deal with problems like food security, mental health, violence against women, grief, addictions often have lower profiles. SIRCH has, throughout its 28 year history, tackled some of the toughest and most hidden issues in this county. We built the first shelter for women in this community. We brought in mental health services. We initiated numerous anti-poverty programs. And we do get lots of testimonials. We know we impact lives in a really positive way … but as you can imagine, the people giving them usually want to remain anonymous. And we always respect that.

Christine Bond recently wrote us. Along with her donation to Gifts from the Heart, she gave us permission to use her testimony and name because she wanted to help others understand how important the Bereavement Program is:

“I could not have gone forward in my life if it hadn’t have been for SIRCH’s bereavement program. The facilitators are well trained and showed compassion, caring and guidance at every step. I wasn’t really keen on group sharing but once I joined, it was wonderful. All the other people were struggling just like myself. We all grew together in our journey and I made some wonderful friends who I try to see once a week even though we have completed our levels. They will stay my friends forever and it is all kept confidential. Thank you!”

The Bereavement Program is funded entirely on donations. When you are considering donating this holiday season, please consider SIRCH. We may not have a high profile, but our work changes lives.

Click here to donate now.