50 years of friendship at the NHCIA [Bancroft This Week]

By Nate Smelle

Supporters of the North Hastings Community Integration Association (NHCIA) got together to celebrate a milestone for the organization on April 22 marking its 50th year of service in the community. Working closely with children, youth and adults with intellectual disabilities the NHCIA provides individualized support for all self-advocates and their families.
Bancroft’s Mayor Bernice Jenkins took part in the celebration along with approximately 50 others who filled NHCIA offices in downtown Bancroft. She remembers when the organization first formed back in 1965. Reflecting on the NHCIA’s humble beginnings in a home on Hwy. 62, Mayor Jenkins expressed her gratitude for the work of the organization, pointing out that it has now grown to employ 50 people in the community.
“I remember some of the first teachers and I remember some of the first clients [self advocates],” said Jenkins.
“At the time we no idea that it would grow the way it has. I like to believe, and I am proud to say on behalf of the town of bank that we are an inclusive community. As we feel that we are inclusive you’re also inclusive. You is self advocates make us better people and we hope that we make you better people too.”
As a board member at the NHCIA Bancroft’s former mayor Lloyd Churchill was also in attendance. Addressing the filled room he stressed how important the work they are doing is in making Bancroft a better place to live for everyone who calls the community home.
“We have a tremendous organization here in Bancroft doing a tremendous job,” said Churchill.
“When you look at the people that you serve often people will say that they are handicapped but I say they are not handicapped they are being given bigger challenges in life to work with than most of us have.”

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