Mike Uncorked: SSG – Support Services Group!
By Mike Butler
The Valley and beyond is filled with some wonderful organizations that help the less fortunate in our community. We read and hear about many of these organizations but there are some that get lost in the shuffle. Luckily, I have a friend who works for SSG so I’ve been well versed for many years about the superb job this organization does in our community. But many have not heard about them so please take a moment to read this article about Support Services Group.
SSG, comparable to other assisted-living organizations, seeks to encourage self-supported and self-managed living for its members in a manner that allows maximum freedom and dignity.
SSG was established in August 1991 as a co-operative of families who had a vision of their children living in their communities. The cooperative was organized to serve and advocate for persons with a disability and to provide the support necessary for them to live in the community while maintaining personal choice and control. Today, SSG has 120 members living in the Halifax area, the Annapolis Valley, and in Bridgewater. The Valley region helps 50 individuals (between Windsor and Coldbrook) live in their own homes and maintain a lifestyle of pride and self-worth.
SSG, as I mentioned earlier, has been in the background of other more prominent organizations here in the Valley. But lately you might have seen their name pop up in print, or even at a booth at the Wolfville Farmers’ Market, as SSG tries to step up and become more noticeable in the community. There’s a lot of hard work and countless hours of maintenance needed to run an organization like this, and making the community aware is a very positive step forward for SSG.
I am so pleased to announce that Support Services Group is having their FIRST Valley Community Fundraiser in their 25-year history and they need your support. Their philosophy has always been to integrate as much as possible in existing community activities. They have a need to provide things like cooking classes, literacy classes, camping experiences, and other opportunities where there are gaps in services for their members. These things cost money and these activities help to enrich members’ lives, can build self-esteem, and provide opportunities for socializing and engaging with nature.
On Tuesday April 25, SSG is holding a Walkathon to raise funds for social recreational and skill-building activities for its members. There are three SSG regions (the Valley, Metro, and Bridgewater), and all three regions will have members and supporters walking together. The Valley region will be walking in Wolfville on April 25, gathering at Clock Park at 1pm. SSG is very excited to have Scotiabank on board as their main supporter which will be matching funds.
Barbara Aikman, senior coordinator for SSG’s Valley region, and one of my TAN Coffee regulars, expressed her delight in the support SSG has received so far for their walk. She stated, “I love this organization. I love the people, building relationships, sharing in the joys of accomplishments, and helping people work toward their goals. We need people to pledge money to those walking in the fundraiser. People can call our office and they can make a donation or pledge a staff person. Our office is located in unit #4 at 8740 Commercial Street in New Minas, and our phone number is 902-365-2552.”
For more information about the SSG organization and its goals, please visit the website at ssgns.ca. Best of luck SSG and here’s to many more years of helping our community. Thank you very much!