Staying Connected
In March 2020, at the very beginning of the pandemic when everything was locked down, support workers at Channel Resource Centre in Amherstburg knew it was important to help people they support stay connected to others.

In some cases, people who had been used to seeing each other 4-5 times a week, were not seeing each other at all. They needed a way to connect, so the group began using virtual tools such as Zoom for meet ups and have continued this weekly since the start of the pandemic. However, in some cases, people were not able to connect through Zoom or did not feel comfortable with that platform.

On the suggestion of a parent, a few support workers who worked at the Resource centre that were re-deployed to other supports and services, took the initiative to begin a card and letter campaign. They followed up to gather consents in order to obtain addresses and birthdays of the people who wished to take part.

People began sending cards immediately! Some sent cards to say "hi", while others sent greeting cards for birthdays and holidays, including Thanksgiving and Christmas. People are now excited to check their mailbox to see if they received a letter, card or picture, and everyone involved loves sending mail as well!

This has been a heartwarming movement that has reassured everyone that we are in this together and that some day soon, we will be able to connect face to face again.
Changing Times
Walt Disney once said that times and conditions change so rapidly that we must keep our aim constantly focused on the future. We at Ensemble, are looking and planning for the future of Ensemble as we also adapt to changing times.

Ensemble is updating our website and social media presence to better provide information to families and provide support.  Ensemble will also be planning upcoming virtual events and workshops to support families.  

At Ensemble, our mission is to connect, educate, strengthen, and empower families and communities so that all people with disabilities are respected and valued. We want to connect with you to do our best to serve the needs of your family. 

We - at Ensemble - ask that families contact us if they have suggestions about website and social media changes that they would like to see. 

We can be reached at ensemble@communitylivinessex.org or 519-776-6483, ext.225.
 
Check out the below link for some more thoughts on how we can all embrace change.
Windsor-Essex County Health Unit’s
COVID-19 Vaccine Roll Out Plan 
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit has provided updates regarding its COVID-19 vaccine roll out plan.  Their plan is to begin mass inoculations by April, with the majority of local residents vaccinated by September, assuming there is no further significant disruption in the supply of doses.
 
There is good news regarding the supply of vaccines. The Prime Minister has announced that based on discussions he’s had with Pfizer and Moderna executives and with officials from the European Union, the contracted supply of vaccines will be coming to Canada. CBC news has confirmed that the scheduled shipments of the vaccines have already begun to arrive.
 
Dr. Ahmed further explained that they plan to inoculate 10,000 people each day when enough vaccine doses arrive and that there is capacity to vaccinate up to 20,000 people per day. This will be accomplished by using every resource at their disposal and with help from area pharmacists, primary care providers and other community partners.
 
In accordance with the provincial framework for vaccinations, upon completion of the first priority group, health care workers in hospitals, long-term care and retirement homes and other congregate care settings, the next group to receive the vaccine are adult recipients of chronic home care, seniors ages 75 and over, seniors ages 60 to 75, essential workers, and communities at risk.

To help fit the provincial framework for our community, the local health unit has created a regional prioritization committee to make recommendations on the distribution of the vaccine in a fair, equitable and ethical way. 
Together, We Are Unstoppable
Community Living of Kincardine and District is hosting an inspirational series with the focus, “Together, We Are Unstoppable.”

A 3-part free webinar series with motivational speaker, author and decorated athlete Tracy Schmitt, also known as the Unstoppable Tracy, who will share ways to face the challenges of the pandemic, as well as how to stay motivated during this difficult time.

The webinars are live-streamed at 10 am on the Kincardine and District YouTube channel so there is no need to register. They are also available to view at your convenience anytime after they’ve aired. Even though the first one was last week, you have lots of time to watch it before the next two, February 25th and March 25th

Check it out here,

This series of webinars is being presented by Community Living Kincardine and District in partnership with OASIS and Sponsored by Bruce Power, the Frank Cowan Company and Bruce Telecom. 
Black History Month
February is Black History Month in Canada, and Windsor-Essex County is rich in Black history. Canadians of African descent have played important roles in the cultural, political, social, and economic progress of our local communities. Our region has been populated by people of African descent since the 18th century. Even though COVID-19 has put a hold on all in-person activities this month, there are still many ways you can commemorate Black History Month virtually. 

  • John Freeman Walls Historic Site in Puce is hosting virtual tours, which cost $10. Click here for more information.
  • Museum Windsor, Windsor’s history museum, is highlighting their Black history-related collections all month long on their Facebook page. Visit their page here.
  • The River Bookshop in Amherstburg has partnered with the Amherstburg Freedom Museum to curate a window display featuring artifacts from the museum and books by Black authors. Visit their website for more information.
  • Tourism Windsor-Essex has a full listing of all activities, virtual sessions and webinars taking place this month. You can check out their list here.
Weekend Events
Join Lorena and learn how to make this super easy recipe. Chocolate donuts baked with a cakey texture, soft and of course delicious!
Groundhog Day
Ontario’s Wiarton Willie did not see his shadow on Groundhog Day and is predicting an early spring for 2021.

“Well folks, my prediction is official,” the groundhog posted on Twitter.

“With cloudy skies and snow falling upon us this morning in Wiarton it was very hard to find my shadow — even with all the camera lights around! Fans of spring rejoice, an Early Spring is around the corner,” he said Tuesday.

Folklore has it that if a groundhog sees its shadow on February 2, it will retreat into its burrow, heralding six more weeks of cold weather.

No shadow is said to foretell that spring-like temperatures are on the way.
Mindful Mike Workshop Series
for Support Workers Region
Click anywhere on the below posters to register.
Stay Fit and Healthy
Perform a Random Act of Kindness
Helping others, volunteering, or simply doing one random act of kindness can improve self-esteem. Self-esteem improves mental wellness in a variety of ways including a self-empowering sense of social connectivity. 

  • Smile
  • Hold the door open
  • Give an honest compliment
  • Thank someone who you appreciate
  • Be a good listener
  • Offer your help to someone
  • Treat someone to a coffee or tea
  • Let someone go past you in the grocery queue
  • Send flowers or chocolates to a friend out of the blue
  • Give away something you consider valuable
  • Clean up someone else’s mess
  • Complement a stranger
  • Take a minute to direct someone who’s lost, even though you’re rushing
  • Put a coin in an expired meter
Super Bowl Sunday
Super Bowl LV kicks off on February 7th in Tampa between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs.

The Super Bowl is the annual championship game of the National Football League.

Since 2004, the game has been played on the first Sunday in February. It is the culmination of a regular season that typically begins in the late summer of the previous year.

The Buccaneers, who will be the first team to ever play a Super Bowl in their home stadium, will don their white jerseys and pewter pants, while the Chiefs will sport their red jerseys.

Tune in to watch the game Sunday, February 7, 2021 at 6:30 pm and the infamous half time show. This year, Canadian artist The Weeknd will set foot on the world’s biggest stage and perform at the 2021 Super Bowl halftime show. 
Recipe of the Week
Potato Soup
Add some character to a basic potato chowder with a jar of roasted red peppers. The extra flavor gives a deliciously different twist to an otherwise ordinary soup. 
Laughter is the Best Medicine
Weekly Poll Question
What is your favourite rock band from the 80s?
Queen
Bon Jovi
Guns N Roses
Journey
Motley Crue
Poll Results

What is your best personal remote work hack?

Take regular breaks to eat, to go for a walk, to jog, etc. 19%
Talk to your colleagues regularly and share how you feel. 9.5%
Over communicate. Keep in touch with your team all the time. 9.5%
Every once in a while get up and go for a walk, or at least look out the window. 19%
Create a dedicated work desk with a proper work setup. 28.6%
If you can, work in a separate room with a door. 14.3%