By Simon Methot
The JCI movement started on Oct.13, 1915 with one active citizen who had a passion for positive change. Since then, millions of young active citizens have united to create sustainable impact in their communities.
One hundred years later, Junior Chamber International chapters worldwide are celebrating 100 Years of Impact. Here in Canada, we’ve decided to ask our 14 active chapters to submit stories of impact in their communities brought on by projects led by their local JCI. Here is our first story.
1961 Steinbach Jaycees offer a 24-hour ambulance service
The Steinbach Junior Chamber of Commerce, considered in the day to be one of the most active in Manitoba, proved its leadership qualities again in 1961 by inaugurating an ambulance service in the area.
Incorporated as a town on Dec.31, 1946, Steinbach, Manitoba was a growing community located 58 km southeast of Winnipeg. In 1961, with a population of 3,739 inhabitants, Steinbach needed many modern-day amenities but did not have the resources to make them a reality. This is where the Steinbach Jaycees decided to step up for their hometown.
The Steinbach Jaycees purchased an ambulance as well as provided 24-hour service to Steinbach and district residents. A blitz campaign raised $1,500 for the purchase of the unit through a donation from the town and municipality, as well as a smorgasbord donated by a local food store.
With the permission of the town council, the ambulance was stored at the local fire hall. Jaycees became volunteer drivers and were required to all successfully pass and maintain first aid training.
They took turns being on duty to provide round-the-clock service. This service continued until the area was taken over by the South Eastman Regional Health Authority.
An asset to the community
The people of Steinbach, through their generosity with this project, helped to further the idea that Jaycees are an asset to their community.
The JCI 100th anniversary celebration connects young active citizens across local, national and global communities to reflect on the positive change created in the last 100 years, while looking forward to some of the new challenges we face in this globally connected world.
The challenges transcend borders, and so, our solutions toward sustainability must also be global. No one individual, organization, or sector of society can provide sustainable solutions alone.
We, as Jaycees, encourage all young people to take ownership of the problems faced by their communities; and as the JCI movement propels into the next 100 years of impact, we’ll do our part to rise to the challenge, too.
You too can get involved. Join us at a JCI Winnipeg’s Month End Mixer to share your vision of a better community, engage JCI members toward betterment, and discover the avenues of potential and impact that exist within JCI Winnipeg. Visit jciwinnipeg.blogspot.ca for more information.