President's Report for September
Jennifer and I have just returned from our annual family get-together in Osoyoos - a 21-year family tradition, but COVID-19 almost derailed our RV reservations this year. Feeling blessed and refreshed by the break, especially after having to cancel a long-overdue UK trip in May. Many of you have not been so fortunate, especially where travel restrictions affect normal family get-togethers, often reduced to ZOOM connections at best. Our Snowbird members are feeling it as much as anybody. Hope OSA can provide relief in the coming months as we add activities and interest groups. Have an idea to help overcome this sense of disconnection? Please share it with us. Join your leadership team as we tackle a busy year ahead. One of the things I’m most grateful for is more of you are volunteering to share the load with board members as we add more programs and events. I encourage everyone to step forward to help build up OSA’s growing influence in the community - maybe help with one task at an event, or take on a series of tasks. Volunteers are key to our success and we now have a proper process for training and finding an area where you can enjoy contributing to others’ wellbeing - a key aspect to creating a healthy village environment. Maybe it’s sharing our vision or an event invitation with a friend, neighbour or even a stranger on the street I’m really pleased with the success of our new website and there’s lots more it can do. Reports from our website administrator tell us our traffic and interactions are way above average. Over the next month we are moving all program and event registrations on-line to ease the administration and minimize liability. To minimize confusion caused by COVID-19 we have reissued membership cards and are working hard to make the value of OSA membership more apparent - all part of increasing membership services. Our membership is growing every week and this month we reached a total of 114 members (69% paid memberships). Great work by Del and Steve on Preferred Service Providers is just a start. We plan to add automotive services and would appreciate your suggestions for other services and hopefully discounts. Calgary Seniors Housing Forum Society included OSA technical help activities in a recent Calgary Herald article on how OSA encourages using technology to cope with COVID-19. Two members, Sheila Broadbent and Ginette Raphael, were featured sharing how OSA has helped them. I too was surprised how much I have appreciated using one of the TELUS donated Android tablets, replacing my heavy outdated first generation iPad. Quite an admission from a long time Apple user! Need help with a technology issue? Please let Samantha know - we have equipment, knowhow & training available. Lastly, hoping the upcoming Oakridge Community Association AGM will bring forward new board members who can share our vision to help build a vibrant community spirit. What has been achieved with cooperation between OSA & OCA on the Community Garden is just a small glimpse of what can be achieved with a willing spirit. Perhaps an open meeting between our two boards in the near future would be a welcome start.
September 9 Mark the Date - Concert in the Garden with Paul Finkleman Calgary songwriter and entertainer Paul Finkleman will kick off Fall for the whole Oakridge community. Register via the OSA website. Missing all the usual summer events? You can get your fix right here on September 9th.
Fall OSA Program & Event Schedule Check out the new Fall programs and events descriptions on the website and in the September Oakridge Echo magazine. Programs offered are: Active Living, Social, Creative Expression, Wellbeing and Lifelong Learning. We will follow safe meeting COVID-19 protocols like many other senior organizations in Calgary.
Member Profile: Sheila Broadbent: HP Laptop Recipient
Meet Sheila Broadbent, who successfully got back online at home after COVID-19 hit. With slight hand difficulty, a dead computer and loss of internet connection, she was cut off from OSA information and messages. Now with an internet connection, a HP laptop and help with applications, she is enjoying all the convenience of online access and programs.
Sheila says: “This has been really helpful. I‘m now using email, Facebook, YouTube and Zoom. Emily, our tech aide, has been a great help showing me how to do things via Zoom. I am also enjoying programs and presentations from sites like the British Museum and Glenbow Museum. And it’s so much better to get information right away, rather than sitting waiting on the phone for hours, when you leave messages and never get a call-back!”
Community Resources for Seniors Offers a monthly webinar the 4th Wednesday each month from 1-2 p.m. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to register and receive the Zoom link. September 23, October 28, and November 25.
The Secret to Living Well (Tibetan Proverb)
Eat half - walk twice - laugh triple - love without measure
Sheila Foster, OSA Marketing & Communications