Women Inspiring Women Women’s Institute met Thursday, March 10 in the Community Room at the Paris Fairgrounds. The topic for the evening was 'good mental health'. Guest speark Lill Petrella, of CMHA, Brant Haldimand-Norfolk presented on how to stand up against the stigma associated with mental illness.
Members heard an overview of the symptoms of mental illness as well as strategies to live with the disease, including several non-medical treatments such as proper diet, B12 supplements, and so on. Petrella talked about stigma busters: people devoted to fighting stigma in the media or community. As well, she touched briefly on the subject of Mental Health First Aid.
The WI held a raffle in support of 'Ride Don't Hide' which is a national bike rally fundraiser and awareness builder in support of mental health education programs.
After the presentation, members broke into smaller groups to share ways they cope with stress and challenges.
Online Resources for Mental Health
Integrated Mental Health Crisis Line
Mental Health Crisis Line
Toll Free 1-866-811-7188
CMHA, Brant Haldimand-Norfolk
Main Telephone 519-752-2998
Self-referrals are welcome.
Mental Health First Aid Canada
The program does not teach people how to be therapists. It does teach people how to:
· Recognize the signs and symptoms of mental health problems.
· Provide initial help.
· Guide a person towards appropriate professional help.
Click on this link to read the work done by supporters of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) as they tackle stigmatizing Hallowe’en events such as Haunted Insane Asylums.
The rest of the evening was devoted to social and sharing time.
As promised, here are the details of future projects or events that involve our WI.
Brant District Grant
Before I talk about the grant, first a refresher – let’s call it “WI 101”
There are several administrative levels in the WI. The branch is the foundation. For our WIW WI, the tiers above are Brant District, Hamilton Area, Federated Women’s Institutes of Ontario (FWIO), Federated Women’s Institutes of Canada (FWIC), and at the very top, Associated Country Women of the World. (ACWW)
Part of our fees go toward each level. In return, each level does similar work that the branch does – that is, educate, support, and advocate.
The Brant District has two main projects in support of the community. The first is a bursary. The first place award will be in the amount of $1000 and the second place award will be in the amount of $700.
The bursary is open to graduating students (male or female) who are planning some form of higher education. They must reside in Brant County or live with a member of Brant District Women's Institute and be sponsored by two Women's Institute members in good standing. All Brant District Branches can sponsor applicants and have application forms available.
NOTE- The judging committee will not accept emailed applications. They require the actual signatures of applicants and sponsors as required on page two of the application form. Applications must be received by July 31, 2016.
If you wish to nominate a student, please email The Secretary for forms.
Bite of Brant is the second annual event for which Brant District WI volunteers their service. In a nutshell, it is a two-day event held at the Burford Fairgrounds. Grade 5 students are invited to learn about farming and agriculture. Organizers and volunteers are fed a hot meal at lunch time and this is where Brant District WI shines. For over twenty years, these gals have catered the lunch. Which includes dessert. Pie, to be precise.
And that’s where our WI comes in. As associated members of Brant District WI, we have been asked to contribute four bakedpies – homemade, or a good quality (i.e. large-sized) store-bought pie. Fruit filling is suggested. The pies must be delivered no later than 10 o’clock on April 14th to the Burford Fairgrounds. Alternately, they can be taken to Ellan Riddle’s house and she will freeze them.
If you’d like to volunteer your pie making skills and ingredients, please let me know as soon as possible!
Vesey’s Fundraiser is back. Last fall we raised about $200 to support our own WI by selling bulbs from Vesey’s, a seed company in PEI. It is a fundraiser that is used by WI’s across Canada. The spring fundraising brochure is available online. The deadline to get your order in is April 15th, 2016. For more information, contact The Secretary.
Next meeting: Pinterest Potluck – Happy Birthday to Us! Thursday April 14, 2016, Paris Fairgrounds.
When Life gives you Lemons – Make Jam!
If you live anywhere near a social media outlet and you follow the Women’s Institute, one of the most frequently used headlines you will read is “WI – More than Jam.” Not to be contrary, however, the Women Inspiring Women WI of Brant County are all about the jam! Strawberry jam, to be precise, made the old fashioned way without pectin. The recipe has three ingredients: berries, sugar, and lemon juice.
On June 3rd, about a dozen members and guests gathered in the basement kitchen of the Paris Presbyterian Church, turned on the tunes, and commenced jammin’. Event organizer Andrea Roddy provided everything needed to prepare strawberry jam, including the aprons!
Throughout the process, Andrea shared safety tips about the proper handling of canning equipment and jars. “Many hands make light the work” is a saying that could have been coined for this group. The women, hulled, mashed, stirred, and poured. There was even some math involved. And timers. No worries! We had our apps for that!
The canning event was not without its “lemons”. No worries – creative minds rallied in an instant and all hiccups were overcome. For example, a pizza pan works as a canning pot lid. Need a funnel? Trim a plastic bottle to suit. One member made an emergency shopping trip to buy more jars and another solved the dessert emergency by bringing ice cream and shortcake shells. The cheerful room fell silent for a spell while the gals sampled the leftover syrupy goodness.
During the last stage of the jamming event, the WIW WI members labelled the jars and conducted one final round of clean-up. The group may repeat their canning adventures once cucumbers are ready to pickle. Stay tuned!
If you’d like a copy of the jam recipe, here is the link.
Carrying on with the strawberry theme, the following Sunday saw twenty-five women and friends meet at the Adelaide Hunter Hoodless Homestead for a pot-luck picnic. The weather was as fabulous as the food and friendship.
Many new faces were at the event. Mia Ferguson, a former WI member who resides at Telfer Place made a special effort to pay a visit. She had read about Women Inspiring Women WI in the papers and said that the new WI is the talk around the residence. Planners hope to organize a get-together between WIW WI and the women at Telfer.
Women Inspiring Women WI meets the second Thursday of the month from September through June. Over the summer there are no formal gatherings, however the group holds informal craft events and other social outings. See the events calendar for details.
Prizes for best dressed "Bee Inspired" outfit! Fun and interactive Photo Booth! Signature Drinks available at the bar! Hands on Honey activity!
May 14th Agenda
* Bee Inspired surprises throughout the night!
Women Inspiring Women WI will be collecting Feminine Hygiene products for the local women's shelter. If you wish to donate, bring your supplies to the meeting and Rachael, our new WI "Group Giving Coordinator" will ensure all donations make it to the shelter on behalf of our WI.