Cresteramics. (File photo)

Cresteramics. (File photo)

Cresteramics Society for the Handicapped: A Board Perspective

Cresteramics is seeking two new board members

Submitted by Cresteramics Board of Directors

On Oct. 12, it is AGM time, and as is true for many organizations, we are canvassing to add two members to join our team. As current directors on the Cresteramics Board, we are often asked what it’s like to be part of this organization and why we continue to serve.

You’ve likely heard the name “Cresteramics”. Perhaps you are somewhat familiar with our services here in Creston because you know an individual or family member that is part of the program. You may have noticed our storefront on Canyon Street (The Gift Shop) or been one of the hundreds of people who have shopped there. Or, maybe this is the first time you are hearing about us.

Cresteramics Society for the Handicapped originated as a supportive program for individuals and families as far back as 1951, when the Endicott Centre was established to help Kootenay residents born with physical and mental disabilities. Both the young children and adults at this facility created ceramics, products, and gifts for friends and relatives. In 1977, Cresteramics evolved to help our members create and sell commissioned work. Over time, we diversified our products and services in order to cater to both our members and clients more effectively, starting solely with ceramics. Today, with funding from Community Living British Columbia, we offer nearly 30 different programs that run in the community as well as in house. Our work program exemplifies the diversity of experiences offered with the partnerships and collaborative projects with other organizations and businesses over the years.

Two board members are parents of clients. They continue to serve on the board because they understand the challenges and the relevance of the benefits to individuals and to the community where they can be valued, visible, accepted, and treated as contributing members of society. Opportunities include community supported employment around town, volunteer activities, high-school to adult transition programs, and various activities involving education, healthy living, and social development and life skills.

Here is what our board members are saying about Cresteramics:

• “I feel valued as part of a Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities accredited program, and it brings me a real strong sense of giving back to the community.”

•“We have a passionate and effective executive director, administrative assistant, and outstanding staff. Current board members are dedicated thoughtful people that work well together.”

• “I am kept informed and included, and my ideas and participation are welcomed both as a board member and as part of the program.”
• “The values that Cresteramics stands for are alive and influence every level of operational, administrative, and governing principles.”

• “Through my governance role, I can contribute meaningfully to a program that results in joy, satisfaction, and fun for individuals and families.”
• “We serve a community that needs people to advocate for them. Cresteramics not only fills a need but is groundbreaking with its vision, continually reviewing and innovating with input from participants, cargivers, staff and board.”

These short descriptions serve to give only a glimpse from the outside, for the heart of the program is in the caring connections and individual relationships that are alive and nurtured everyday in tandem with relevant programming. Our staff are appreciated for their their skills, personalities, dedication, initiative, and creativity in addition to superhero flexibility. As Executive Director Donna McCready says, everyday is different, and the team works together to respond and adjust to challenges and changes for the good of all.

If any of this has resonated with you to contribute your skills and experiences, contact us at 250-428-7412 to arrange for a conversation. For more, visit www.cresteramics.ca or The Gift Store on Facebook.

Creston ValleyVolunteer