Recently I had the opportunity to work with Woodview Mental Health and Autism Services in creating some promotional material for their indoor sky diving fundraiser. It was a real pleasure to spend a few days visiting the various programs they offer and capturing what they do as an organization in the community.
There were a number of things I aimed to capture. I wanted to show the lush natural surroundings that provide the school with a natural therapeutic setting. I also wanted to show the atmosphere of the centre through its program materials, artwork, the interaction of staff members with clients, and showcasing the students at work and play.
On another day I got the chance to visit some of Woodview's adult clients at their work placement within the community. It was a beehive of activity as clients zoomed past me and displayed their ninja-like skills stuffing flyers for their surrounding cities. I tried to remain a fly on the wall but someone noticed my Batman watch and it led to the inevitable comic book and Star Wars conversations that us high minded individuals have.
Later that day I paid a visit to a group home where adults lived together in a really cool environment. Here I got an inside look into the lives of these folks and how the Woodview staff help to support their daily lives and their continued development as adults.
It reminded me of my university residence days walking through the hallways and rec rooms. Signs ups for social activities, walls covered in collages of various events over the years, and plaques commemorating years of sports tournament champions. You got a sense of a very active and lively community.
What I got most out of the experience was seeing the vibrant community that has been built for these individuals and how the staff work to provide a comfortable environment to live in. As an outsider you could see the staff takes pride in creating an atmosphere of support and growth. These are the kinds of things I wanted to capture.
It was great to be welcomed by everyone there as I got to share a meal with the group. We went on a nice sunset walk which allowed me to take my Michael Bay shot. I had some great conversations ranging from discussing the evolution of Pokemon characters to advice on how to build my next computer.
It's these kind of experiences that make me appreciate my job because I get to spend time in a world I know very little about, meet new people, and learn about parts of my community that most people don't talk about. I don't think these are Pulitzer Prize winning shots by any means but instead they just offer a glimpse into that world.
As a fundraising initiative staff members at Woodview have put together an awesome event to help raise money for their programs. These funds will go to enhancing the services they offer to so many people in the community. The iFLY for Woodview marathon will support social skills for children, life skills for youth, independent living for adults, enhanced communication tools, and building a greater capacity in families.
Indoor Skydiving! Have you ever considered skydiving but you are terrified of heights and don't wish to be thrown out of a perfectly good airplane? ME TOO! Woodview has partnered with iFLY Toronto to put on a very exciting event. The experience provides the sensation of a real life free fall in a wind tunnel flying through 175 km/h winds. You can read more about the experience and what impact you will have with your donation on the iFLY for Woodview website.
Woodview had Toronto native and very talented musician Dan Talevski come out to iFly to try the experience and help promote the event with some media coverage by local radio stations. After being blown around at 175 km/h we settled in for lunch and delicious treats a nearby restaurant and bakery. The day concluded with a visit by Dan to one of Woodview's clinics to visit the kids and even sing a special happy birthday to one lucky student.
Please support this great cause and help out a lot of people in our community live better lives. Even if you don't want to try the event, which looks like a blast, you can still donate to their programs. http://www.iflyforwoodview.ca/get-involved/