OILRC: “We may not be well-known around Ottawa, but we’re a big deal to the people we work with”

Sara Rose is a Carleton University student and the Fund Development and Event Coordinator for the Ottawa Independent Living Resource Centre. She’s been in living in Ottawa for the past 16 years. Her favourite part of the city is going to all the festivals, especially Bluesfest.

Recently, the United Way called Ottawa the most generous city in Canada. I’d like to add to that by saying we also have some of the greatest local charities. One such charity is the Ottawa Independent Living Resource Centre (OILRC). Its mission is to assist in the individual empowerment of all persons with any disability in the Ottawa area and to provide the tools they need to direct their lives and participate fully in the community.

I have been working for OILRC since July and already I’ve learned a lot about this community and the challenges they face; everything from getting around town to getting help from the government. It is so rewarding to be a part of an organization that makes a positive impact in the lives of those around me.

We may not be well-known around Ottawa, but we’re a big deal to the people we work with. I know all our hard work is worth it when I see how excited our clients are about the services we provide, like computer training, information sessions, or even just a facilitating a fun day at the beach.

Basically, the OILRC helps people with any disability to lead fulfilling, independent lives.

The OILRC has been operating in Ottawa since 1986 and currently serves thousands of members of our community. Its newest program is the Independent Living Employment Assistance Program (iLeap for short). The team has been helping people gain employment as well as gain the skills they need to become employable. It’s a great way to strengthen our labour force, helping our local economy as well as local individuals.

Because funding is limited and the OILRC is a non-profit organization, it runs various fundraisers throughout the year. They had some very successful candy sales and car washes to fund their annual summer getaway. This year, a group travelled to Niagara Falls and Marineland. They had so much fun that they’re already planning next year’s trip! The next big fundraiser will be a Mamma Mia movie sing-along on October 21st. Guests will dress up like the characters, sing along to their favourite songs, and have a great time while raising money for an important local cause.

Thanks for your contribution Sara, and thanks to the OILRC for doing such important work. If you’re interested in finding out more about the work done by OILRC or would like to take part in the Mamma Mia fundraiser, check out www.OILRC.com.