Imagine seeing the ocean liner ticket of your great-grandmother when she first arrived in Canada. Or finding a record of your family dating back to the 1600s. And how would you feel if you discovered that a long-held family story wasn’t completely true?
All this, and more, was uncovered over the course of SIRCH Community Services’ Family Roots pilot program.
As part of Family Roots, senior volunteers were trained to conduct online family research while learning about community resources. The trainees were then matched with other seniors, who were more isolated or needing connection, to research their family history.
“Family Roots has been a rich and rewarding experience for all participants. Trainees have gained skills, and with their senior matches have fostered companionship and friendship,” said Donna Gagnon, SIRCH’s Family Roots Coordinator. “There’s been so many amazing discoveries along the way—from learning more about a family’s country of origin, to finding long lost relatives. It’s been fun and exhilarating!”
Participants want to share their experiences and discoveries at a public event.
SIRCH’s Family Roots Reveal Night, “Family Secrets, Deceptions and Astonishing Truths” takes place Wednesday, February 19, 2020 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Haliburton Highlands Museum, 66 Museum Road, Haliburton. This is a free event, and all are welcome to attend. Light refreshments will be served.
“At the Reveal Night, you’ll hear from a woman who discovered her Quaker ancestry, and about a 98 year old woman who found out she had three half-siblings in England,” stated Donna. “In addition, you’ll see examples of families that trace their roots back to France and Italy, and how they came to Canada and the Haliburton Highlands. You’ll also hear about the connections made between trainees and their matches.”
The Family Roots program is made possible by a grant from the Government of Canada New Horizons for Seniors Program, and is supported by the Haliburton Highlands Museum, and Haliburton Highlands CARP Chapter 54.
Are you a tinker? A fixer? A mender? A repairer? Can you fix small appliances like broken toasters or blenders? Do you know how to mend ripped clothes? Change a bike tire? Fix broken electronics? Mend a cracked vase? Repair a torn book cover? Darn socks? Level a wobbly table?
SIRCH Community Services is looking for volunteers to join our team of Repair Café Fixers.
Volunteer Fixers will help people mend their broken items at SIRCH’s new Repair Cafés.
Repair Cafés help people repair broken household items—computers, electronics, small appliances, small furniture, clothes, jewelry, books, bikes and more—that could otherwise end up in landfills. Originally begun in 2009 in the Netherlands, Repair Cafés now take place all over the world. SIRCH is excited to bring Repair Cafés to Haliburton County. SIRCH is organizing a series of Repair Cafés in Haliburton County from January to August 2020.
A recent study states that Canadians produce more garbage per capita than any other country on earth. Each Canadian generates approximately 2.7 kg of garbage each day. Communities across the country—including Haliburton County—struggle with an increasing amount of residential waste that ends up in local landfills. SIRCH’s Repair Cafés are a vital way to help reduce the amount of waste that needs to be disposed of by giving household items a new life thanks to volunteer Fixers!
“We’re especially looking for people who are handy repairing clothing, textiles, bicycles, electrical appliances, furniture, and wood items,” said Chris Varga, SIRCH’s Repair Café Coordinator. “As a Fixer, you’ll be able to put your skills to great use, helping others repair broken items that would be serviceable if fixed, or items that have sentimental value.”
If you have an item that is broken and can likely be repaired, visit www.sirch.on.ca/repaircafe to learn about planned Repair Café events scheduled throughout Haliburton County from January to August 2020.
SIRCH’s Repair Café is funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation. The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. OTF awarded $108 million to 629 projects last year to build healthy and vibrant communities in Ontario.
A BIG thank you to the more than 100 people who attended our grand opening this past Saturday in Bancroft! We had a wonderful donation of a couch, chairs and table brought in on Saturday. Check out some pictures of our new store and come on in to check it out.
Wow, the new store is looking good. We will be open this Saturday, April 20! Hope to see you there at 141 Hastings Street North, in downtown Bancroft.
Are you over 60 and have some time to share with another senior? Are you hooked on shows like Who Do You Think You Are and Finding Your Roots? Do you love talking about family history with others but wish you knew more about your own?
A new program SIRCH is launching will help you find your Family Roots! Beginning this April, the year-long pilot project is seeking ten senior (60+) volunteers who will be trained by project coordinator and local genealogist Donna Gagnon. As part of the thorough training, you’ll learn to research your own family history back 3 generations. Then you will help other seniors, who may be more isolated and needing to connect with their community, to research their own family history. By being that mentor and buddy, you’ll change someone’s life!
The program will provide a fun and social environment, with refreshments, weekly meetings, quarterly “reveals” and much more. There is a time commitment, but it’s a project that will make your heart sing if you like to connect, give back, and are intrigued by the past.
The Family Roots program is made possible by a grant from the Government of Canada New Horizons for Seniors Program. It will be supported by the Haliburton Highlands Museum, and Haliburton Highlands CARP Chapter 54.
Space is limited so register today by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 705-457-1742.