A few years ago, I volunteered to be a companion at Perley Health (formerly The Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre), our retirement home for Seniors and Veterans. It was an incredible experience for me and totally opened my world to the joys of giving back. I had regular visits with veterans of the Navy, Army and Air Force, then in their 80’s and each with a whole internal library of stories that they were happy to share. They talked about fear, about loneliness and not knowing if their far-off loved ones would know whether they were alive in POW camps or dead in some far-off land.
As I helped to build PowerStick, I often thought about these men and how they were spending their final days. While some enjoyed reading and watching television in their rooms, others took advantage of some of the programs offered by the Therapeutic Recreation and Creative Arts program. They took classes in the arts such as writing, painting and drawing. In all of these activities the audiences were keen and the instructors attentive. And many of the unique creations adorn the walls of Perley Health.
As the Promotional Products industry started to encourage its members to think about giving back, my mind kept returning to the Perley, and to those veterans who had given us so much. Our “giving back” efforts had included such ventures as winter clothing donations for our city’s homeless and planting trees across North America for every order we receive. However, the idea of giving back to these veterans of foreign conflicts just felt different. So many in this great city have connections to the Perley, having had a grandparent or parent spend their final days there. It would be fitting for PowerStick and its products to help in improving these individuals’ days.
We approached the Perley executive with our offer of help and after several discussions decided that two of our products would be appreciated by residents and staff. The Perley has a very active therapeutic recreation and creative arts program that serves to unearth new talents and refine the appreciation of creative works, surrounded by artistic works and exhibits throughout the home.
At PowerStick we have developed a completely customizable 100-piece and 200-piece puzzle which we presented to the Perley. They selected a photograph of a veteran saluting the flags on Remembrance Day and we produced them in large quantities as a creative activity item for residents.
In addition, PowerStick designed a custom Perley Health branded PetitPop fidget gadget that doubles as a stress-reliever for staff that also serves as a handy keychain.
Residents and staff were presented with these items and many have become quite attached to them as functional distractions. Both the Puzzles and the PetitePops have been very well-received by the residents and staff alike.
As Second World War Veteran Warrant Officer (ret’d) Roland Lalonde, aged 100, said:
“As a Canadian Veteran, your generous donation of puzzles and PetitPoppers has brought joy and relief to our lives. Your donation has also served as a reminder that our service is appreciated and valued by society. It is heartwarming to see that PowerStick recognizes the importance of supporting veterans and the sacrifices we made as a nation. Your commitment to giving back to the community is truly commendable, and we are incredibly grateful to be the recipients of your kindness”
For me personally, this felt like coming back to an organization that had given me such a meaningful experience. For PowerStick, it has allowed us to do something that enhances our appreciation for our deserving veterans and that our entire company rallied around as a “feel good” project.
About Perley Health
Perley Health is a unique and innovative community that empowers Seniors and Veterans to live life to the fullest. Home to more than 600 Seniors and Veterans in long-term care and in independent apartments, Perley Health provides a number of clinical, therapeutic and recreational services to residents, tenants and people from across the region. https://www.perleyhealth.ca/
PowerStick’s team of industrial designers, engineers, assemblers and branders design and manufacture innovative, high-quality, tested and certified personal tech products, including chargers, speakers, trackers, home and office items and phone accessories along with custom packaging and variable data printing. Based in Ottawa, Ontario, PowerStick sells exclusively to distributors through the promotional products industry’s distribution channel.