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Volunteers listen attentively to Wellness Collaborative presentations (Photo by Rita Van Fleet)

Wellness Collaborative celebrates third anniversary

By Rita Van Fleet

Steering Committee Chairperson Linda Ricklef recently welcomed volunteers to the Wellness Collaborative Forum celebrating the organization’s third anniversary.

“We continue to grow our services, which would not be possible without our fantastic, caring volunteers, said Ricklef. “We also continue to be surprised at the number of opportunities to help neighbors in this community. As we look back over our three years of service, we also look forward to assisting even more neighbors in need.”

In 2018 the 140 trained Wellness Collaborative volunteers handled more than 250 service requests from neighbors, half of which were with the Rides program.

Since its inception in November 2015, the volunteers have handled 710 services. Client Mary Lou Chester thanked volunteers for the help they had given her and her husband and thanked them it advance for those she would receive in the future.

Chief Ricky Jordan thanked volunteers for delivering services to the community. Jordan discussed safety and emergency issues. In the event of an emergency, Chief Jordan recommended calling "911" rather than the Fire Station because it is the quickest way to get the information to the appropriate emergency services location.

Jordan reminded volunteers and residents to complete a Medical Information Form provided by the Wellness Collaborative (https://www.bcwell.org/medicalform/)

and place it in the refrigerator for Public Safety to access in an emergency. Jordan also recommended entering cellphone, health and emergency contact data on the form so that information can be accessed by emergency personnel. Android users can download the app at https://www.technologyhint.com/emergency-information-android/; iPhone users, at https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT207021.

Wellness Collaborative Board member Ken Nichols discussed the possibility of going outside the gates of Big Canoe to serve others. “The Wellness Board is always looking for the right opportunities to serve, if and when they come along, and will only accept those opportunities if we have enough volunteers,” he said.

Nichols and Meals Coordinator Diane LaCharite announced that meals volunteers will be providing a main dish to the “Celebrate Recovery” program at Trinity Church one Friday every other month for a year.

Healthy Living Committee Chair Christine Flaherty reviewed the programs that had been offered by the Healthy Living Committee. She invited volunteers and residents to attend upcoming Health Living Committee presentations to be announced. Sign-up forms to attend presentations are located in the Wellness Collaborative alpha box. The walking classes are ongoing and details are available in the weekly Big Canoe Active Lifestyle newsletter.

Judy Bellenger, Wellness Collaborative Board member representing the Big Canoe Chapel, discussed the services offered by the men of the chapel to Big Canoe residents—members and non-members—to include repairing lights, building ramps, replacing light bulbs and smoke alarm batteries, etc. The chapel also offers on loan an array of medical devices, including wheelchairs, walkers, commodes and other equipment. Bellenger encouraged volunteers who identify a client need when visiting a home to refer them to the Chapel office at 470-273-6768.

In closing, Ricklef encouraged volunteers to contact the Wellness Collaborative at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with comments or suggestions to improve or enhance services. For additional information about the Wellness Collaborative or to request services, call 706-268-3334, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or visit https://www.bcwell.org/.

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