Carol Heckert fondly recalls her elementary school years, almost 60 years ago. "We sang Oh Canada - we sing and sit down at the desk" She nods enthusiastically whe her mom recalls colouring in groups, and doing jigsaw puzzles.
Her mother Laura was one of the first families of Kindale School, the beginnings of enVision Community Living. "Bert Friesen started it all. We just hoped and prayed that it would work out". She recalls the four families in that first meeting in 1956 and the long volunteer hours it took to become a reality. The school was supported by donations and membership fees used to hire the single school teacher for the first six students. "Some months we couldn't afford the ten dollars - the wages were very, very low then".
Your gift to the Foundation on enVision's 60th Anniversary will support the continued growth and development of programs and services of enVision Community Living.
Schooling wasn't the only struggle families faced in the community. "We'd go along Main Street with the baby carriage and people would stop me, Oh! She's pretty!" Laura recalls with sadness, the surprise on strangers faces that her child was normal in appearance. "People were very, very cruel, at the time".
Kindale school opened its doors in 1958 with six students. By 1957, just nine short years later, the school as at capacity with 44 students. That year, the Manitoba Government changed the law which excluded persons with an intellectual disability from schools to one that required schools to educate these students. With education rights for all students acknowledged, the attention of our volunteers and families turned to serving the needs of adults. Today enVision continues to adapt and respond to what is needed.
Carol is one of the longest term employees of Kindale Industries. Her love for the job is apparent as she rolls her eyes in jest "38 years I have worked there... In 2 more years, it's 40!" her mom laughs when she describes the change in personality in her daughter at work. "I wanted her to go bowling, she wouldn't do that until she started Kindale - the teachers sort of got her into it. She's altogether a different person at Kindale.
Carol has been supported through enVision Community Living For 60 years
enVision is committed to providing opportunities for personal growth and development, and the opportunity for people to live the life of their choosing in the community. In 60 years, we have expanded to provide many different types of opportunities, and support to people in limitless ways.
"There's so much that's done for them nowadays. They can live much more normal lives". Instead of being shunned in the community like those days on the street so many years ago, she jokes that Carol knows everyone and makes friends everywhere she goes. "She knows a lot of people!" These changes wouldn't be possible without community support. Like Laura said so many years ago when supporting the school, "We all knew we had to dig into our pockets and help out as much as we could". The same commitment is necessary to fund these vital programs supporting people in our community today. Today enVision serves over 350 people, and continues to grow. We are so grateful that families, friends and communities continue to be generous in their donations to enVision.
Your gift to our Fall Campaign contributes to the everyday well-being and inclusion of each of these 350 individuals. We couldn't do it without you. Thank you for your support as we celebrate 60 years of community living.
Jeannette DeLong Executive Director enVision Community Living
Make your donation to support our Fall Fundraising Campaign. Click the "How to Donate" tab to give with PayPal, or mail your gift to enVision Foundation (2012) Inc., 84 Brandt St, Steinbach MB R5G 0E1
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