Vitality AwardThe Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Centre is the proud recipient of a Downtown Calgary 2013 Vitality Award for enhancing the downtown with community integration and vibrancy by volunteering to tend the  downtown community gardens.

Michael Frisby, DI Manager, Internal Relations/Volunteer Services, shared the following message with DI staff. We wanted to share it with you.

“In 2013, Jorge took the lead on a client volunteer program – Downtown Community Garden– that was developed and initiated by our brilliant Manager of External Relations, Jordan Hamilton. This program involved the planting, tending and harvesting of vegetable gardens in garden enclosures along Stephen Avenue Mall. All of the work was done by Jorge and teams of DI clients, working as volunteers. Once ready for harvest, the food was used in our very own kitchen and served to our clients. If you ask Jorge, or Jordan, they will talk about this program with passion and heartfelt appreciation.

Today, I was honored to accompany Jorge to an awards ceremony hosted by The Calgary Downtown Association. The DI was chosen to receive the Vitality Award for 2013 for the Downtown Community Garden program. This is an honor for our Jorge, our agency, and for all the wonderful clients who gave so much to this program. The DI was spoken of so highly in this ceremony and I was proud to be there and learn more about the positive impact our staff and clients had on the culture of our city in a year of rebuilding after the flood. Many thanks to Jorge and Jordan for their leadership on this. Many thanks for all of the clients (too numerous to mention) who represented our agency and the folks we serve with class and humility.”

Debbie Newman, DI Executive Director, shared the following:

“Jorge and I spent time together today reflecting on the accomplishments of the Garden and the relationships built by all who found a passion for gardening.

The importance of finding a cause for our clients whether it be volunteering at the Centre or the opportunities created by forging outside relationships in the community break down the barriers and misconceptions that are created by those who live amongst us. Kudos to Jorge who has forged trust amongst many of our clients and to Jordan and all staff, volunteers and donors who make the DI an Employer of Choice.

Please come and see the award in Administration. Thanks to all the other staff, volunteers and donors whose work does not go unnoticed.”