Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?
– Martin Luther King Jr.
2015/16 was a special year for Spinal Cord Injury Ontario, being the year of our 70th anniversary. Since 1945, we have served people with spinal cord injuries and other physical disabilities in our province with honour, dignity and respect. This firm foundation gives us the support to continue our work with confidence and humility into the future.
In the past year, we served 1,928 clients. Our client satisfaction rate was 81% and 90% of clients would recommend our services to others. Through Employment Services, we found 84 clients a paid job placement in the community. Through Knowledge Enterprise, we held 216 group educational sessions. There were five changes to government priorities with 1,627 community Peer Activists taking part in our campaigns. Our online community grew with 3,725 people now participating through our social media channels and 57,808 unique visitors to our website. Changes over the year to the structure of our membership program, have also created an opportunity to grow this important part of our organization.
We are incredibly appreciative to have had the commitment of 571 volunteers deliver 5,365 hours of time to our organization. We depend on our volunteers and the expertise they bring to our community.
Throughout the year, we collected people’s Honour stories [link to the Our Stories section of the website] – stories that acknowledged those in our community who have been identified as making a significant difference. Please take the time to visit our website to read or watch these stories. There are many among us who deserve to be honoured.
We reached significant milestones with some of our signature events. Our Wheelchair Relay Challenge marked its 20 th year with a 70s themed race celebration. On a sad note, last year we lost Barbara Turnbull, a wonderful member of our community. We had the first Barbara Turnbull Open golf tournament in 25 years, without her. She is greatly missed. In the fall, we held a gala with a Canadiana theme in recognition of our 70 th anniversary. We also took time at this event to acknowledge the retiring Bill Adair, the organization’s CEO of 22 years.
Staff members spent time in the year focused on change management training to prepare for a change in leadership and for future organizational-wide strategic planning. In October, we welcomed Stuart Howe to the position of Chief Executive Officer and the transition has been smooth and seamless. Our annual Staff Survey revealed that 93% of staff members are satisfied with working at Spinal Cord Injury Ontario
Of our $10.6 million budget, we are ending the year with a small surplus of $1,000. We raised $2,248,000 from donations and other public support. $ 1,291,000 was specifically from fundraising efforts. Thank you to those in our community who are able to financially support the work of our organization and ultimately, people with spinal cord injuries and other physical disabilities.
Overall, 2015/16 was a year to reflect on our past, celebrate our present and position ourselves for the future. Thank you to all of you for being a part of this past year. We hope you will continue with us into the future as we strive for change and work to ensure people with spinal cord injuries live fantastic lives. We look forward to your contribution to our community.
What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world is immortal.
- Albert Pine