In 2008 Mary Martin, a Board member of SHS, asked me to join the Board of Directors.  I showed my willingness because volunteering is my passion and I am always interested in volunteering opportunities.  Prior to joining the SHS Board I had never heard of the organization.  I was invited to attend the Board meeting and was introduced to the Board members.  It was a unique experience to me.

After meeting with the Board Members, Executive Director Paul Wheeler, and Board Chair Doug Tennant, I accepted the Board position (as a Director).  I was amazed to learn the way SHS supports individuals with developmental disability to be active and independent.  The different programs designed for the personality development, employment, teaching and recreation and leisure activities are very unique.

Over the period I have learnt a lot about the role and mandate of SHS and found it very impressive.  SHS plays an important role in making its clients active, useful and independent citizens of society.  SHS works with individuals and their family members to design the type and amount of support needed to help increase independence and realize dreams.  The staff of SHS is professional, talented and cooperative.  Marie Sabine is an amazing person.  She provides excellent administrative support to the SHS Board.

SHS strongly believes in the development of its Board members.  Several training programs have been organized for the Board members so that they can perform their role effectively.  During my time on the Board I have attend several conferences organized by Community Living BC and was very pleased to see the active involvement of persons with disabilities.

After joining the SHS Board, I have learnt that disability is not a curse as many of South Asian families who have a child with a disability believe.  I introduced SHS to the Muslim community and to parents who have children with developmental disabilities.  Some of them are now using SHS’s services.

Supporting people who have disabilities to be active members of society is tremendous work that must be acknowledged and appreciated.  Thanks to all such organizations like SHS who are making serious and sincere efforts to support good lives for people with disabilities.  Thank you, Mary Martin, for bringing me to SHS.  I extend my sincere thanks to both the Executive Directors and the staff members for their tireless contribution to making SHS a pride of the community.

Semiahmoo House Society, a non-profit organization located in Surrey/White Rock, exists to provide quality services and supports to people with disabilities and their families in the community. The Semiahmoo Foundation, located in Surrey/White Rock, exists to fund, support and enhance the programs and services delivered by Semiahmoo House Society.

Muhammad Afzal Malik, Board Member

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