JaneGuest blogger Jane Powell Showchuk  

Part One   

Community involvement: another reason why Ranch Ehrlo Society is one of Saskatchewan’s top employers for 2012  

As I was working on the nomination of Ranch Ehrlo Society as a Top Employer in 2011, I asked for employees to submit information about their community involvement both at the agency level and the group home level. The findings were astonishing! Community involvement among Ranch staff and youth is extremely generous and it is far-reaching. It is hard to believe what we accomplish until you sit back and put the pen to paper and document it all.  

Below are just a few of the ways Ranch Ehrlo Society has been involved in its communities at the agency and program level:  


  • The Ranch Ehrlo Society has been hosting a community breakfast at St. Paul’s Cathedral for people in need in Regina. Usually, there are 7 to 10 staff and 4 to 5 youth who attend this monthly event, and they are responsible for cooking and providing a breakfast of pancakes, sausages, cereal, porridge, juice, and coffee.  On average, there are about 125 to 175 patrons attending this breakfast on a monthly basis.

  • For the past several years, the Ranch Ehrlo Society has volunteered at the Adecco Exhibition BBQ.  There are approximately 10 staff and 4 - 5 youth who participate in this event, and they cook and serve burgers and greet the public. Money raised is used to enhance programs at the agency.

  • As part of the agency’s staff rejuvenation program Rick Norick, program director, volunteered with the Committee for Hispanic Children and Families in New York City from February 2010 to June 30 2010.  Rick worked with the host agency to assist in organizing the World Forum 2010 (International Forum for Child Welfare).

  • As part of the agency’s Technology Exchange with Argentina, the agency hosted Emiliano Mazziero from Mendoza, Argentina from the period of December 20, 2010 to March 5, 2011.  During Emiliano’s stay in Canada, several staff volunteered their time to ensure that Emiliano was made to feel welcome and have the best experience possible, including Ted Reed and Don Bayerle to name only a few.  Deb Jordan, former Chairperson of the Ranch Ehrlo Society Board of Directors, and her husband David personally hosted Emiliano in their home during his stay. Emiliano participated in many activities including a great deal of sight-seeing, skiing, dinners, and sports team involvement, to name only a few.


Family Treatment Program    

  • Staff from the agency’s Family Treatment Program facilitated parenting groups without charge for new Canadians from Africa as part of the “Daughters of Africa” program.

  • A staff has taught at the University of Regina and at the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Arts and Sciences for several years, and has an absolute passion for providing her students with the opportunity to learn the necessary skills in advocating for marginalized groups in society, particularly families involved in the Child Welfare arena.

  • Two staff members are active members and volunteers for the Saskatchewan Association of Social Workers.

  • A staff participates in local and national levels of advocacy for persons with crones and colitis.

  • A staff provides personal support work for a sibling group with severe cognitive challenges.

Community Vocational Education Program (CVEP)   

  • The clients and staff volunteer three to five times per week for two to three hours per day to help sort and build food packages for families in need within the community. Groups usually consist of one job coach and three to four participants; however, the Food Bank has called on numerous occasions to enlist additional help when times are busy. 

  • Another volunteer project is with Store/ Habitat for Humanity where one of the CVEP groups work on-site three to four times a week for two to three hours per day.  The CVEP group gains employable skills when working in this real life work setting in the community. 

  • CVEP staff and youth are involved with the Regina Family Service Bureau’s “Shopping for Seniors” program. This volunteer program is a joint partnership developed by the Family Service Bureau in an effort to help seniors who have mobility issues and/or still live at home, to be able to have their grocery orders filled and delivered to their homes. This helps these seniors to maintain their quality of life and dignity for as long as possible.  CVEP, along with Winston Knoll and Riffel High School, take turns filling out weekly shopping orders at the Sherwood Coop grocery store. CVEP is currently in its fifth year and this continues to be one of the favorite volunteer programs for the CVEP participants. 

  • CVEP staff and youth are involved in “Random Acts of Kindness”.  CVEP has several community contracts at churches, residences, and businesses in the community.  CVEP cleans sidewalks, cuts lawns, does basic landscaping, and shovels snow in the winter. 

  • On many occasions, CVEP has stopped the vehicle and gone out to help others who are struggling to finish their shoveling or yard work.   


  • One accounting staff did internal fundraising for the Schizophrenia Society of Saskatchewan.

    • Another accounting staff  volunteers with the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada

    • Another staff has the following community involvements:

      • St. Paul’s pancake breakfast every month

      • Ehrlo Golf Classic committee member

      • Breast Cancer Action Saskatchewan volunteer

      • Kinsmen Telemiracle volunteer

      • Kids Help Phone Small Business Christmas party fundraiser volunteer

      • Mosaic (Scottish Pavilion)

      • Regina Highland Games

      • An active member of Beta Sigma Phi, which is an international women’s organization that does various projects each year to raise funds for various charities in the city.

Ehrlo Early Learning Centre   

  • EELC participates in the Z99 neo-natal fundraiser on an annual basis. The annual bake sale at W.F. Ready School, which raised $1073.50, has become a tradition at the centre. This year the other four sites supported the cause by setting out empty baby bottles to collect donations from their families, which cumulatively added another $504.07 to the total. Over the past seven years approximately $7200 from the proceeds of these events has been donated to purchase new equipment at the unit!  

  • The Ruth Pawson EELC team held a bake sale to fundraise for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.  The EELC Pawson team also participated in the Teles Walk for a Cure.

Ehrlo Counselling   

  • The Cognitive Disability Strategy works with various community organizations, including the school systems, the health region, justice, corrections and public safety (youth and adult), social services, etc. community organizations, aboriginal family services, the Regional insectoral coordinator, etc.  The spirit of this strategy is designed to work with families and individuals with a cognitive disability where there is a gap in service within the community.

  • The Cognitive Disability Strategy works with numerous community organizations, as the spirit of this strategy is designed to work with families and individuals with a cognitive disability where there is a gap in service within the community. Specifically, the Cognitive Disability Strategy has the following community-based relationships:

    • Regina Fetal Alcohol Support Network

    • Acquired Brain Injury Network Meetings

    • Eleven and Under Initiative (Headed by Regina Police Service)

    • Strong working relationship with the Regina Autism Resource Centre

    • Job Coach Working Group with Saskatchewan Abilities Council

    • Strong working relationship with Partners In Employment

    • FASD Centre – Regina Community Clinic

    • Involvement with the Saskatchewan Complex Needs Protocol Process as required

    • Close working relationship with the Regional Intersectoral Committee Coordinator (RIC)

    • Strong working relationships with the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region, Saskatchewan Ministries of Corrections Public Safety and Policing, Social Services

    • Effective working relationships with property management company’s who provide housing to CDS clients 

  • Ehrlo Counseling staff work with many organizations, school, families, EFAP programs, and insurance companies to provide counselling.

  • One counsellor is a First Nations and Inuit Mental Health approved therapist.

  • Another counsellor volunteers at the Bereavement Center doing counselling and the Kid’s Camp.

  • Ehrlo Counselling employees have has also provided communication, bullying, and suicide intervention (ASIST) training to various organizations.

  • On an annual basis, Ehrlo Counselling Services provides a tremendous amount of pro bono counselling to individuals who are in need of counselling services, but are without the means to pay for these services. In response, Ehrlo Counselling provides over $110,000.00/year in pro bono counselling services to individuals who require services but cannot afford to pay for it.

Avant-Garde Beauty College

1.   The staff provides complementary hairstyles and manicures to:  

  • Cosmopolitan learning center

  • Sophia house

  • Rainbow youth centre

  • Wascana Rehab

  • Canadian Mental Health Association

  • Pioneer Village

  • YWCA women’s shelter

2.  The staff also volunteers for a number of fundraisers, including:  

  • All Nations Hope Aids Network

  • Shave heads to raise money for Neonatal (Z99)

  • Collect food for the food bank and donate free haircuts.

Clinical Assessment & Resource Services Office   

1. Volunteer with the Saskatchewan College of Psychologists:  

  • Three employees continue to supervise provisional psychologists for their 1500 hours as part of becoming a fully registered psychologist

  • Three employees have sat on the oral exam panels for provisional psychologists

  • One staff sat on the Professional Conduct Committee for a two-year term

  • One staff has been on the Registration Committee since 2005

2. Volunteer Supervision of Practicum Students: University of Regina:  

  • Two employees have supervised Masters of Educational Psychology students in their practicum

3. Volunteer Presentations for the Regina Public School System:  

  • One staff presented last spring on Self-Harming Behaviour in Adolescents

  • Two staff in 2010 and 2011 presented at the Career Fair: Psychology as a Profession

So as you can see by these few examples, Ranch Ehrlo Society’s community involvement is astounding and it certainly attests to the absolute quality and commitment of the staff at Ranch Ehrlo.  

Stay tuned for my second blog --- community involvement at the group home level --- it is remarkable!  

-          Jane Powell Showchuk, director of special projects