We are lucky to work with our wonderful community of clients and volunteers.  Together, we make changes.  

Read below for some of their stories!

Client - Mrs. W

Mrs. W is over 90 years old. Although she lives with her son, she does not receive any support from him in any way. Her son does not speak to her. She has to do all her house chores and cooking on her own. By words of mouth, she learned about our Special Needs Support Group and joined our group. After participating in our program, she made many friends and was able to establish supportive relationship. She was no longer lonely, because she has the support and feels connected to the community. She wants to come to our program everyday but unfortunately she can only come a maximum of two times a week.

Client - Ms. H

Ms. H, a widow, almost 80 years old, her life has been changed after walking in our office with tears and requesting for interpretation service in 2017 while she is all alone in Calgary after moving from Edmonton since 2014. At the beginning, we managed helping her in terms of medical interpretation and other Way-in services. Then, finding out her medical background of Osteoporosis, we informed the client that AHS has provided various Cantonese health workshops at our centre. She was very pleased as our centre was within her reach as she lives in the Chinatown and never drive. Moreover, we also introduced her to one-to-one appointment with AHS dietitian. As suggested by the doctor and dietitian, one of the most effective ways to cure the disease is to do exercise. Starting from the beginning of 2018, she joined our newly ran Fitness Centre. Thanks to the fitness centre and the trainer, she has made commitment since then, regularly doing various aged-appropriate exercises coached by the trainer. In addition, she makes friends there and also joined the marathon. Besides, physically engaged in our centre, she has joined the internet classes learning to communicate with her daughter in Vancouver by her cell phone. From obtaining interpretation service, Way-in services to actively participating health workshops, Fitness Centre , internet classes, to the special events , all of these significantly help her physically and mentally, we now see the smile on her face when entering the centre proudly proclaiming CCECA is her home where her heart belongs, and she is never alone anymore. “

Volunteer - May Mah

I knew about the Calgary Chinese Elderly Citizens' Association when I was still a student. Twenty years ago, I started joining CCECA as a volunteer, believing that helping others would be a source of happiness. Since I joined CCECA as a volunteer, I have had the feeling that I am still studying at school as CCECA continues to develop and introduce new programs for us to work on, and encourage us to learn more skills by taking special courses such as Row You Own Boat, Alberta Fitness Leadership, Caring with Confidence with Alzheimer Society of Calgary, Taking Care of You, Powerful Tools for caregivers, Mount Sinai Hospital Reitman Centre's Carers Program & Gerontology Studies at Mount Royal University. I am pleased to take those courses as I can learn how to overcome difficulties and serve others better. Also, I am able to learn a lot by helping others.

I remember meeting a 94 years old lady while I was in "Volunteer Visiting Program for Seniors". The lady was clear-headed and she loved writing poems. She once wrote me a Chinese poem to praise and encourage me. In fact, this poem has also shown my personal feelings about volunteer work and has motivated me to work harder to serve the elderly.

The success of CCECA is due to the joint effort of its board of directors, volunteers and staff members. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate CCECA on its 30th anniversary and to wish that its success will last forever.

Volunteer - Becky Tsu

I have immigrated to Canada for almost 40 years. Since I was a child I have learned from my family about helping others by doing volunteer work. In the past, I occasionally volunteered in the Caucasian community by engaging in activities such as providing meal delivery service, helping in fund-raising for charity at casinos, and helping at carnivals. In 2006 I got an opportunity to work for CCECA as a volunteer and had visited the elderly at their own homes as well as care centres.

In the beginning I was very happy as I met with the seniors and made friends with them. However, as time went by, I felt very sad when some of my senior friends passed away. Eventually I quit the job. After quitting for more than a year, I was able to overcome my emotional conflict. I therefore went back to my volunteer work at CCECA. I am pleased that my senior friends still remember me. I am glad that I have returned to this volunteer work because not only can I help the seniors, but I can also learn a lot from them. The knowledge I learn from them is not found in books. For example, they taught me about national education and about Mr. Sun Yatsen's Three Principles of the People. The stories they told me are very meaningful. Their positive and optimistic attitude let me understand the meaning of life better.

I am also in the civic engagement group which helps those who have experienced discrimination to file complaints by contacting the appropriate government department. From this experience I learned that we should fight against injustice.

In addition, I am the receptionist of the Way In department. Although it seems there is not much to do in this position, there is a lot of work to do as the receptionist is the front line of providing the outreach service. Since CCECA works with different organizations and government departments to safeguard the benefits of the seniors, I am able to gain a lot of experience during the process and I have improved my Mandarin a lot. Also, my role gives me the opportunity to learn and share with the seniors. The senior has set a good example for us by leading a happy and meaningful life.

Client - Mr. C

Mr. C, aged, 25 lives with his father who is 82 years old. He works at home and is looking after his father who is recently diagnosed with early stage of dementia. His father has gotten very impatient with every little thing and has started to wander around the neighborhood. Because of their age differences and huge generation gap there were lots of arguments and conflicts between the two. Mr. C feels frustrated and overwhelmed, because he cannot concentrate on his work with his father at home. Since Mr. C’s father referred to our Support Group, we have provided skills and strategies to help Mr. C cope with his father’s disease and emotions. He has also gained some much needed time for himself and support from us.

Client - Ms. Liu

First of all, I deeply appreciate CCECA for giving me this precious opportunity to participate in the Art Inspire workshops.

Since participating this lovely activity, I recognized that after my retirement long time ago, my "elderly life" could be full of fun and joy. This was especially true during the discussion of the psychology for seniors which was full of enthusiastic encouragement and exchange of ideas.

In each activity, . Everyone kindly helped and encouraged each other, learnt and laughed together like a harmonious family. I have difficulties in writing English, but Frank acted like a standard dictionary and taught me accurate grammar and vocabularies. ! Normally, seniors only leave home for big event, we felt that the duration of the activity was too short and wished we could stay in the happiness and laughter longer. This was especially true as the young facilitators always taught and encouraged us with smile, love and patience. We had freedom to create and express our ideas and had never been despised. This built our confidence and made us felt young!

In conclusion, we finally have the opportunity to start and irrigate a new life and develop talent. I think we can use one word “dream” to describe this experience! This wonderful dream is precious. It helps us get rid of loneliness. In addition to expressing my gratitude and thanks to everyone for their love and patience, I hope that this sweet dream will continue forever and will not stop! In the end, I wish you all the best for health, happiness and have a sweet dream every night.

Thank you!

Client - Ms. B

Ms. B needs to take care of her husband, who often loses his temper at home because of dementia, even though she suffers from multiple chronic diseases. She was stressed and often felt helpless when her husband lost his temper. By word of mouth, she learned about our Special Needs Support Group and joined our program with her husband. After participating in our program, her husband wears a cheerful smile on his face in the program. Meanwhile, Ms. B enjoys our various fun activities, and is able to better manage her chronic diseases because of our recommendations and education. She also learns how to prevent and cope with her husband's behavior from our staff and peers in Caregiver Support Group. Ms. B said gratefully, “Thank you so much! It is you who brought me joy again! Every day, I check the calendar, looking forward to attending this program. "

Volunteer - Sau Tim Chan

I have been working for CCECA as a volunteer for 16 years. Every week for two days I work as a receptionist at the Way-In Department, and for three days I provide services to the senior by accompanying them to hospitals, medical laboratories, or medical specialist offices for a check-up or consultation. During these years, I have seen the rapid expansion of the services provided by CCECA.

People from our Chinese community, whether they are new or old immigrants and whichever dialect they speak, may come to CCECA to seek services such as applying for government benefits, looking for medical care, or even finding solutions to everyday life matters.

Once an old lady who had left a bag of salmon fish heads on the Route #3 bus came to ask us to help her write a note so that she could take it to the Calgary Transit's lost and found department to try to find her lost bag. Many local organizations, such as hospitals, clinics, social services, nursing homes, and banks, may refer their clients to come to CCECA to seek help.

Recently, I am quite surprised to learn that a local teacher has written a letter for the parents of a Chinese student whose family has financial difficulties to bring to CCECA so that we can help the family to apply to the Food Bank for food assistance.

From the above examples, we can see that CCECA is being recognized as a major social service organization. The success of CCECA is due to the hard work of its board of directors and staff for the past 30 years.