The Bloom Group Celebrates International Women’s Day

This Friday is International Women’s Day, an annual event that encourages all of us to recognize women’s achievements and acknowledge their challenges on the quest for gender equality.

As a provider of services to women in crisis, The Bloom Group understands the importance of reflecting on the accomplishments of women and the work that remains, and we are celebrating the day in numerous ways at our facilities. Here’s how our residents and our employees will recognize 2019 International Women’s Day:

A Special Meal

Women and men living at Victory House and Cordova House in the Downtown Eastside will enjoy a special Greek meal prepared by our Food Service Manager Randy Larcoque. They will start their meals with treats made by Randy and his daughter, something the chef and his daughter have been doing for years on International Women’s Day.

“When I started cooking back in the early 80’s,” explains Randy, “a lot of my friends made fun of me, saying it was ‘woman’s work’ and that I should be working in construction or something.” Receiving criticism based on gender stereotypes made Randy more alert to the obstacles that women encounter across professions. “When I make treats on International Women’s Day, it’s my way of showing that there are no ‘blue’ jobs or ‘pink’ jobs.”

For Randy, that especially applies to his daughter. “I want her to know, the only boundary she has is the one she puts on herself. SO I am always encouraging her to be strong and independent. And everyone is equal in that respect.”

Appreciations & Suggestions

Women residents at Victory House are invited to a team-building activity, organized by UBC Social Work student Merri Tan and Coordinator Nicholas Rathie, that will recognize individual accomplishments and strengths; women will also have a chance to generate ideas and suggestions for Victory House.

Finding Better Balance

Staff and volunteers at May’s Place Hospice and Cottage Hospice  will mark the day with discussions about the adversities many women, particularly care givers, face daily and how the coworkers can help one another achieve better balance. Clinical Care Leader Vivien McTavish is organizing special treats at both locations.

Music by Women Artists

Thanks to input from a resident volunteer at Nicholson Tower in the West End, residents are invited to come together to listen to music by women’s artists during an afternoon tea with beverages and appetizers. Our Resident Services Coordinator Allan O’Shea and Nicholson Tower Coordinator Jason Farrell also are planning bingo games for fun and connection between neighbors.

Innovation Every Decade

At the Central Office, our Director of Finance and Corporate Services Jim Walker is organizing an afternoon when The Bloom Group staff will share their picks for individual women, from any decade, whose accomplishments  and innovations led to improved gender equality.

More programs related to International Women’s Day are being planned for our residents, so check back for updates.