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Positive Stories

At this time of stress and challenges, we need to collect, share and celebrate the positive stories that emerge out of the chaos! We are sharing these below. If you have a story to tell, please send it to leanne@abilitiesmanitoba.org  Please ensure that you have received permission to share publicly. 

Positive Story #1: 

Margaret Wheatley said, “There is no greater power than a community discovering what it cares about”. Over the past month, we have witnessed so many acts of kindness, generosity and support within our community. Allow me to share an example:
Several weeks ago, we heard from organizations that they were in urgent need of hand sanitizer, disinfectant and other pandemic related supplies.
Some of these supplies are now on their way to organizations supporting people with intellectual disabilities around the Province, thanks to an inspiring community effort. Here is just a little bit of the community magic that made this happen:
The Winnipeg Foundation gave Abilities Manitoba a grant to purchase PPE for disability organizations during the pandemic.
ImagineAbility offered its warehouse and loading dock along with the tireless support of their Business Manager, Paul Moore who has been picking up, receiving, organizing and managing all the supplies as they come in.
Capital K Distillery re-engineered their production to make much-needed disinfectant and we were lucky enough to snag some.
An Abilities team member used their social capital to be included in a bulk order of hand sanitizer.
Other Abilities team members managed to scoop up 100s of spray bottles from every Dollarama in Manitoba one crazy Friday.
Yolly from Abilities called, emailed and coordinated all the 100s of details that it takes to get the orders organized.
Paul and Whalon from ImagineAbility poured 500L of disinfectant into all those spray bottles.
Abilities staff – Brandon, Leslie, and Wendy helped deliver hand sanitizer, disinfectant, gloves and masks out to many rural agencies.
When we realized that mailing supplies to Flin Flon and Swan River would not be practical, we put a call out on social media to see if anyone could help us get them up there.
Within 24 hours we had several wonderful humans come forward. KarenRob Murray enlisted her entire extended family to ensure the Flin Flon boxes got on their way. While Laurie and Shannon from Innovative LIFE Options Inc. -LIFE are setting up a bit of a supply relay-run up to Swan River tomorrow.
None of these activities were in anyone’s job description or typical work role. Many who got involved had no reason to help at all. But they did because they care. And as Margaret told us there is no greater power than that.
This is just one story…. There are thousands of these types of stories happening across our province & country and in the end, it is our collective caring that will get us through this.
Thank you to all who stepped up, showed up and spoke up! Stay safe everyone!

Positive Story #2: 

Brittany, a ImagineAbility DSP has been redeployed to work with Valerie in her home. This is a new experience and environment for the both of them.   The other day they baked cupcakes and sent in this story:

Valerie loves baking and of course tasting the final product. Today she made red velvet cupcakes with Brittany. They improvised the process by using a pot as there were no mixing bowls at Valerie’s. Valerie mixed it patiently, and placed baking cups on the muffin pan. With cream cheese and icing sugar her father Gary brought over, she “inhaled” the cupcake just like she did with the chocolate muffins she made last week. 

Brittany:  “I’ve been really enjoying my time. Val and I built such a good relationship before her stroke, and haven’t really had the chance to rekindle it since. And these last two weeks have helped. And it seems that Val has been enjoying our time too. Whenever I start to say goodbye, she asks if I’ll be there tomorrow. On our walk the other day, she reached back to grab my hand. I’m so glad that I can be there and support her and help her build relationships with the staff at home. Thanks for the opportunity!”

Positive Story #3: 

Jennifer joined ImagineAbility in late January 2020. Jennifer and staff Tiffany made an instant connection. They started working on Jennifer’s schedules and goals.

It was no surprise to Tiffany when Jennifer requested to have Tiffany’s support when the COVID-19 pandemic happened. Tiffany has been redeployed to Jennifer’s home since March 30.

They enjoy each other’s company and spend time like two girl friends hanging out at home. So far, they baked, dyed Jen’s hair, played cards, painted nails, and worked on crafts on top of daily coffee runs!

Tiffany said this has been a precious time connecting with Jen and learning more about her. She says this was not possible to connect deeper and spend 1:1 quality time with Jen if not for this pandemic.

The thought of redeployment to a residential setting can be scary for DSPs in day services. With a change in perspective, this unfortunate pandemic situation could bring a positive outcome.


Positive Story #4:

ImagineAbility has supported Noah through their day program for the past year.   Arcane Community has been supporting Noah two days a week residentially since July 2019.   All of us (his whole support network) worked with the family and his social worker to make this ‘deployment’ work .   

The story so far:


Anoop is an ImagineAbility staff that has been redeployed to support the family and the residential agency.  Arcane is where he is being supported residentially two days a week.   ImagineAbility has supported this since Monday, March 30 but worked on support with his family, his social worker and Arcane Community for at least two weeks before.

From Noah and Noah’s family:
“We are just delighted with how it has turned out and I’m really grateful for each one of your part in this solution. 

Anoop is back said he felt good about transitioning the program between our house and Arcane. Noah has indicated he’d prefer LESS SNOW and BLIZZARDS but otherwise seems really happy. 

On a personal note, I really should have video taped the first day Anoop came over. Noah was singing and so excited.  Then Anoop left for his half hour Noah and Anoop outside with a basketballlunch and when he came back, Noah was back singing and seemed really happy to have Anoop back for the afternoon.  Thanks again for this creative and supportive response. Anoop is bringing a lot of consistency and support from our program to the Arcane house and it’s so good for staff there to see more of what Noah is capable of. We are so appreciative of the way this has turned out.

Please let me know if there is anything I can do to make sure this keeps working well. 

Between Noah’s stomach issues finally abating, Wednesday evening coverage with Brittany and this day program, our family is feeling calmer than we’ve felt in almost a year. 

Thanks again for all of your involvement in making this a success. 

I was feeling so grateful, I posted about this on Facebook, if you don’t follow me there.”

 Take care

Kalyn F (Noah’s mom)

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