What We Do
Just Singin Round Showcase
This unique Singer/Songwriter showcase features prominent Canadian singer/songwriters and is held the first Tuesday of every other month at the prestigious Vancouver Rowing Club. The evening, which includes a full course dinner, presents some of the most talented singer/songwriters in Canada, allows charities to practice skills taught at the annual retreat workshop, and increases their community profile.
A monthly evening of magic that:
- Generally occurs the first Tuesday of every second month 2022/2023 season includes - April 4, June 6, October 3, and December 5
- Showcases prominent Canadian artisans,
- Incorporates volunteer mentorship
- Allows charity participants the opportunity to cultivate partnership skills and build confidence,
- Blends the art of song with the spirit of collective cooperation,
- Encourages artisans, charity participants, volunteers, and patrons to connect, engage and enhance social /community capacity.
Surrogate Santa Project
During December we partner with Hollyburn Family Services a non-profit organization registered with the CRA that serves seniors, youth, single mothers/fathers, marginalized people, and low-income families in the Greater Vancouver area to provide personalized Christmas hampers to individuals and families in need. We do this by recruiting what we call Surrogate Santas through our vast membership and then matching our Santas with families or individuals who have been identified/vetted by Hollyburn staff who need some TLC and big love. Every identified family or individual completes a profile form that identifies how many people are in the family, age, gender, items they need i.e. winter coat, boots, mitts, food, etc and also a couple of what we call "wish list" items i.e. movie tickets, new toy, games, stuffed animal, etc.. and education toys/games. We ask folks completing the forms to give as much information as they can so Santas can create meaningful and personal hampers. Santa's are not expected to get everything listed on the form, just what they can. The profile is designed to provide as much information as possible to act as a guide so Santas have a choice in items they can look for in case some requests are not able to be found. Hampers are then picked up by a Synergy representative and handed over to the associated agency workers for final delivery. When identified, we will connect Santas with families or individuals wishing to do so, otherwise, the exchange is held confidential.
We ask that Santa's participating in the hamper drive purchase new items including batteries when appropriate and stick to purchasing items listed on the profile form. Synergy volunteers are available to answer any inquiries to ensure the process is as easy as possible. To date, the Surrogate Santa Project has supported over 100 families and individuals in the lower mainland. Agency's Synergy has worked with includes but is not limited to: Hollyburn Family Services, St Leonard's Youth and Family Services, Pacific Community Resource Society, Family Services of Greater Vancouver, Watari Counselling and Support Services, The Kettle Friendship Society, etc...
Synergy begins its call out for Santas in early October to ensure enough time is provided to appropriately match Santas with participants. Synergy volunteers work with interested Santas to ensure price points identified by Santas i.e. I would like to spend $300 on a single parent family, correspond with incoming profile forms.
If you are interested in becoming a Surrogate Santa or are with a Federally registered charity that has families or individuals who could benefit from this program, please contact Yvonne at firstname.lastname@example.org
Since hampers are personalized and designed to be practical, every effort is made to ensure the Surrogate Santa and participating family or individual has an optimal experience.
- Individuals or businesses associated with Synergy
- Matched with appropriate family/individual i.e. Santa identifies they would like to assist a single father with two children -
- Build hamper based on the profile provided by recipient family/individual
- Complete a profile form indicating what they need and like
- Are matched according to the size of the family, cultural needs, and identified requests
- Are connected to a CRA-registered Lower Mainland charity
Training & Education
Training is conducted at working retreats and during the monthly Just Singin Round Showcase. Charity members are taught skills during working retreats and provided the opportunity to apply these skills in a safe and supported environment during the monthly showcase. This approach places meaning between the action of partnership and the teaching of partnership, encouraging members to not only take ownership of what they have learned but also to identify specific goals. Training allows members to find value in what they are learning and incorporate learning into broader organizational development, supporting system management, measurement, and quality improvement efforts.
Capacity building workshops designed to:
- Increase skill,
- Increase understanding and confidence re: systems management,
- Promote effective communication,
- Build community practice,
- Collaborative projects,
- Volunteer/leader motivation,
- Understand and support transition,
- Creating sustainable funding sources.
Senior charity members are partnered with new charity members:
- Take a leadership role at partnership retreats and monthly showcases,
- Provide orientation and transition support,
- Assist in addressing and meeting identified needs of new charity members,
- Assist in skills development and implementation,
- Assist new charity members identify learning moments, opportunities for ongoing connection, information sharing, and social capital building,
- Assist in service evaluation, quality assurance, and outcome measurement.
Adult volunteers are recruited from our charity and showcase membership. Interested volunteers identify their level and area of interest to the Synergy Volunteer Coordinator who then maps out a training plan and orientation as part of the volunteer’s induction into Synergy. Volunteers are encouraged to take an active role in service evaluation and quality assurance efforts. Feedback, committee work, direct service support, and creative program planning are areas of involvement in which volunteers take a lead role in evaluating and shaping what we do at Synergy.
Volunteers determine their own training and contribution plan by outlining how they want to contribute, for what length of time, what they want to learn, and how Synergy can support learning and goals associated with volunteering.
The volunteer coordinator works closely with volunteers to follow up and review all planning efforts.
On a bi-annual basis, all Synergy Volunteers are recognized for their contribution, commitment, and involvement with Synergy. Birthdays and special occasions are also recognized and celebrated at each monthly showcase.