GBF sends out ‘Wellness Kits’ for new community pilot program

A woman in a white shirts, another in a blue shirt and a man in a black shirt stand in a row sorting items on a table.
Volunteers were busy last week at the GBF Wellness Centre on Elm St. filling the 100 wellness kits that will be going out this month. Sorting the items here are (L to R) Anne McCloskey, Linda Rowlison and Jamie Stevens. Marks – Photo

By Tristan Marks

One hundred individuals around Grimsby will be receiving a special care package from GBF, filled with a variety of items all included to help promote wellness.

These care packages are part of a community wellness pilot program, sorted and distributed from the GBF Wellness Hub on Elm Street.

This comes as GBF has expanded its purpose to not only care for the basic needs of residents of Grimsby, but also the wellness of the wider community.

“This is all about promoting wellness in the community,” said GBF president Irene Podolak. “Each item in the care kit is there to help promote physical, mental, environmental and social wellness.”

The list of items, which include things like toothbrushes, pencils, water bottles and even stuffed animals among much more can be categorized into one of those four types of wellness

Podolak mentioned.

GBF has identified a need for promoting:

• Physical wellness, which includes exercise and healthy eating;
• Mental wellness, which includes mindfulness, self-reflection and keeping the mind engaged with positive things;
• Social wellness, which is about maintaining and forging new social connections to friends and family; and
• Environmental wellness, which refers to keeping one’s home, room and living environment clean and orderly.

The 100 individuals who will take part in this pilot project include some existing GBF clients, residents of Grimsby’s longterm care homes and others.

The care kits will go out within the next two weeks and after a period of time, GBF volunteers will follow-up with the participants to collect feedback on how the kits helped.

If GBF’s board judges that the pilot was a success, the Wellness Hub will then scale up the program and have it available for individuals even beyond Grimsby.

“We’ve always taken care of individuals who’ve struggled, but we want to now show our care for the wellness of the whole community,” said GBF executive director Stacy Elia. “This also means that if someone reached out to us from outside of Grimsby we won’t tell them no.”

Along with this program, GBF has also distributed “Wellness Bingo” cards, which list a number of goals and activities for each of the four wellness categories. Those who fill out the bingo card by completing those activities can redeem it at GBF for a prize.

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