Quota International marked 100 years of living out its mandate of “To serve” on Feb. 6, and the Estevan Quota Club celebrated the milestone two days earlier with an event at Creighton Lodge.
A large crowd, including Creighton Lodge residents and members of the Estevan chapter and the junior quota club, gathered for the event. They enjoyed socializing and entertainment courtesy of local youths William Duncan and Isabella, Charlie May and Jacob Pyra. Birthday cake was served as well.
Also at the event, the local club announced it was now accepting nominations for the upcoming Women of Today Awards. (Please visit www.estevanmercury.ca for more on the awards and the nomination process).
Creighton Lodge was selected to be the site for the centennial celebration because the Junior Quota Club at Hillcrest School had been going there for the previous four weeks on Mondays to play games and visit with the residents.
“That was their act of kindness in the winter weather, was to visit with the seniors,” said long-time local Quota member Valerie Hall.
Hall pointed out that in honour of Quota International’s centennial, the members of the Junior Quota Clubs at Hillcrest and Estevan Comprehensive School each completed at least 10 acts of kindness for others.
There are 10 members of the junior Quota club at Hillcrest and four more in the club at the Comp.
Hall said the students have done a lot to enrich the lives of people in the community. They brought mittens and scarves to Hillcrest, and placed them in a bucket for others to take in an initiative the students called Kindness of Warmth.
“They have socks in it, and mitts and gloves and toques, and anyone who doesn’t have one of those, they’ll give them one to stay warm during the winter’s cold weather,” said Hall.
Others created five care packages, which were then sent to five people from Estevan currently part of the Canadian Forces. The students wrote letters and fundraised for the contents, such as snacks, candy, gift cards and socks, and they also paid to have the packages shipped so that they would arrive in time for Christmas.
Two of the soldiers called to thank the Junior Quota members for the packages.
“The soldiers had to do some research to find out who sent them, because we didn’t send a phone number. They just knew which school, and each of the kids just said their names and their grades.”
If they knew of more Estevan residents in the forces, Hall said they likely would have completed even more care packages.
The Junior Quota members also collected donations for the Salvation Army’s food bank and the Community Hamper Association’s Angel Tree program. Some of them went and visited people they know in local retirement homes, while others shovelled snow without being asked or performed babysitting services on their own time.
“They all listed 10 things they had done personally. Some were with the group, but it was their acts of kindness they have shown.”
One young person wrote about a desire to be kind to others, because she wanted to be treated kindly, too.
Quota International of Estevan is currently looking for members. They are down to five, and Hall said they would like to have more.
To be a member of the club, people need to be willing to care, have a desire to serve the community, and assist disadvantaged women and children, particularly those with speech and hearing difficulties.
Quota has also launched Quota Cupboards, which sees food placed in each of the six elementary schools in Estevan, so that no child goes hungry during the school day.
“We don’t want to think about it, but there are many that are in that situation, as we know from the angel tree and Christmas hampers. I feel that this (Quota Cupboards) has been a very beneficial program to keep going, and not many know about it.”
Hall has been proud to be part of Quota for the past 22 years, and finds it to be a very caring group.
“Even if it means one person that we’re making a difference for, it really feels good to be part of a group that can make a difference,” said Hall.