RCRG - Blog - Learning Objectives
Did you know?
More than 100 young leaders have graduated from the Youth Now program.
Each year, over 100 non-profit professionals attend our training opportunities.
Over two dozen non-profit organizations have participated in the Youth Now program.
The CCRR provides nearly 400 child care referrals per year.
On average, the CCRR hosts 30 workshops and training courses each year.
Every year, over 500 child care providers and parents attend CCRR training opportunities.
Every year, RCRG completes over 3,000 grocery orders for local seniors.
Nearly 300 seniors make use of our Better at Home services.
Our volunteer drivers complete more than 1,200 trips annually.
At least 350 people per year find a volunteer position using our Volunteer Match program.
Close to 500 volunteers support RCRG’s programs and services.
Volunteers contribute nearly 23,000 hours to our organization each year.
Each holiday season, the Richmond Christmas Fund helps more than 2,200 low-income residents.
Every year, the Christmas Fund provides over 600 children with toys, books, and sports equipment.
The Richmond Christmas Fund was first started by Ethel Tibbits, in the 1930s.
The number of Neighbourhood Small Grants we’ve awarded has increased every year since 2014.
Block parties are the most popular type of Neighbourhood Small Grant project.
Every year, the Richmond Women’s Resource Centre serves over 7,300 local women.
The Richmond Women’s Resource Centre currently offers 16 programs and services.
Nearly 60 volunteers support the Richmond Women’s Resource Centre, contributing nearly 2,500 hours per year.
Richmond is home to over 350 registered charities, all of which rely on volunteer support.
There are nearly 13 million volunteers across Canada.
International Volunteer Day is celebrated throughout the world on December 5.
There are 35 volunteer centres in British Columbia.
In 2016, the Foundation awarded 10 grants to non-profit organizations, worth a combined $59,000.
The Foundation manages $4.5 million in nearly 50 Forever Funds, returning CPI plus 4%.
In 2017, the Foundation distributed $198,000 as community and Canada 150 grants, scholarships, and charitable disbursements.
Foundation activities result in the enhancement of our community and residents’ sense of belonging.
ROCA has raised over $21,000 for local charities.
ROCA has performed its Elementary School Concert Series to over 8,000 students.
ROCA provides mentoring and life changing opportunities for aspiring musicians.
The Richmond Arts Coalition was founded in November of 2005.
RAC co-produces the ArtRich exhibition every two years!
RAC highlights Richmond's arts events in a monthly email.
The Richmond Music School is the oldest not-for-profit music school in Richmond.
The Richmond Music School offers affordable music lessons through its diverse programming.
Our students performed 40 hours of music to welcome the Olympic athletes to the 2010 Olympic Games.
< back to RCRG Blog

Learning Objectives

Published September 21, 2020

To all the students who completed co-op work terms this summer, we salute you. Not only did you find yourselves in a new environment, learning the ropes of a new job, but you did it while the world was changing around you. 

As an organization that benefitted from not one but two brilliant co-op students, we can assure you that your contributions made an incredible difference, as we attempted to navigate the challenges and changing realities of COVID-19.

Certainly, Timothy 
Lai made a difference. When he joined RCRG, at the beginning of summer, he knew that he'd be working with our Seniors Community Support Services. But he couldn't have known all that his role would entail - that, over the next three months, he'd find himself at the forefront of a massive effort to keep Richmond seniors healthy and connected to their community during the pandemic.

Needless to say, Tim's experience was like that of no other co-op student before him. In this blog post, he writes about it eloquently, displaying the calm demeanour that's served him so well in such uncertain times.

My Role

Richmond Cares, Richmond Gives (RCRG) is a non-profit organization that serves as a hub for volunteering and giving, and provides support services for those in need within our community. During the summer, I had the opportunity to be part of RCRG’s Seniors Community Support Services (SCSS) team, in the role of a Program Assistant. 

Various services are offered through SCSS, with the goal of maintaining seniors’ independence and improving their day-to-day quality of life. Whether it’s shopping for their groceries or just providing companionship over the phone, these services have become increasingly important amidst the trying times of the pandemic, because of the larger physical and mental impact on the senior community. 

Like most businesses and organizations, RCRG’s workplace services, culture, and procedures have been drastically impacted by COVID-19. I joined the team in a phase when all these adjustments and changes were still being tested and applied. 

Over time, the Shop-by-Phone program became the focus of my duties in the SCSS department. With so many aging clients having difficulties getting access to basic supplies, in addition to their ever-increasing physical needs, the program has become more important than ever to those who require day-to-day support. Other services and programs, such as friendly visiting and transportation, underwent major revisions or had to be cancelled outright due to health and safety complications.

What I’ve Gained

At the start of the work term, I set a few learning objectives:

• Improve overall understanding of a professional office work environment

• Develop improved understandings of the intricacies of communication

• Expand population pool that I can professionally and smoothly work with, including fellow co-workers, seniors, and Cantonese speakers

I had plenty of opportunity to practice and develop what I had originally set out to learn - and much more! - due to the varying, flexible nature of the responsibilities in this position, many of which I did not consider when I started. 

Problem solving was often needed for clients in the Shop-by-Phone program, who would sometimes have items missing, or would accidentally be charged twice. 

With the large volume of grocery orders that are handled during the pandemic, orders occasionally get mixed up somewhere in the process of payment, shopping, and delivery. Thanks to the warm and welcoming nature of the staff here, in addition to a thorough introduction and orientation to the office, getting acquainted with the office environment and culture was far easier than I had initially anticipated. I quickly found the nature of the office was that of real dedication to the community, and a commitment to supporting those in need.

My Accomplishments and Contributions

It was both inspiring and fulfilling to contribute to a workplace with such a community-oriented focus. Getting firsthand experience directly assisting in the day-to-day matters of senior clients was a humbling and educational experience. You can learn so much from a senior just from a quick conversation with them. 

I was also able to be part of RCRG’s continuing development of its COVID-19 procedures. One such example was looking into, contacting, and handling the installation of a plexiglass safety screen partition for the agency vehicle. 

Being fortunate enough to have access to my own vehicle as well, I was able to help deliver groceries and medical prescriptions to clients on multiple occasions while we were shorthanded on volunteer drivers. I was able to assist and personally handle shopping troubles clients had, alongside my regular duties of taking client orders, and enrolling new clients in the programs they wanted.

Another project I played a part in was the process of screening volunteers by conducting interviews and referral checks, keeping in contact with them via email, and recording their hours in our database. 

I was also assigned with gathering data and organizing client statistics into a made-from-scratch Excel sheet to keep track of client demographic information. The sheet compiled information necessary for reports such as average age, gender, and first language of those who utilized our services during that fiscal quarter. 

In my time here, RCRG has also been offering caregiver programs and workshops. I had the opportunity to both participate and assist in their development. Recognizing that many clients would be unfamiliar with newer technologies such as Zoom video conferencing, I created a small, easily accessible guide for these clients, with both visual and written directions for those still getting used to the technology.

My Impact 

Being my first ever co-op work term, every project and task was a new chance to apply and learn new skills in an office environment, something I have never had the opportunity to do. 

My ability to communicate was substantially improved after being in so many new situations with new problems to solve, not to mention my many interactions with a very diverse client base. Listening to their concerns and stories, helping them work through problems, informing them of services, or just having a casual conversation with them was a very organic method of improving my communication skills. Besides, what better way to learn about talking to clients than talking to lots of different people in different circumstances? 

They were simply cases of applying communication and problem solving, both of which are areas of self-development that are applicable to every facet of life. This new lifestyle amidst the pandemic has undoubtedly created unique opportunities to experience and apply myself to the workplace, and I have grown much as individual because of my time here.