The Gathering Place

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
Prince George Native Friendship Centre
City & State:
Prince George, 
British Columbia
Organization Website:
Organization's Mission Statement

We are a dynamic team facilitating individual, family and community growth through the power of friendship.

Submission Information

Impact Essay

The Gathering Place

The Prince George Native Friendship Centre (PGNFC) is a large non-profit organization that is now celebrating forty years of community service. We have our main building which is called “The Gathering Place”, as well as eight off site locations. PGNFC employs over 200 full and part time staff, many of which started out as clients themselves. We are 100% devoted to direct service programs, and all of our programs are open to anyone in the community free of charge. We provide services for all members of the community including: Children, Youth, Adults and Elders. Last year we delivered services to over 56,000 low income individuals.

I can say with complete confidence that the PGNFC makes an enormous positive impact on the community of Prince George and the surrounding areas. Not only have many individuals experienced life affirming changes through accessing our services, but both Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal communities have been enhanced through our work. The services offered by the PGNFC include: Employment search assistance; shelter, housing and outreach for adults and youth; emergency resources such as food hampers and clothing; community garden and community kitchen programs; education including literacy, prep-cook training and pre-school programs; Infant and family development programs; one-on-one assistance for special needs children; counseling and wellness programs; adult and youth drop-ins; life-skills and recreational activities for youth, summer camp for kids; and family summer camps. We also have some events that take place outside of our regular programs including: Community night (a free family event open to anyone in the community), which consists of a soup and bannock supper followed by crafting, drumming, videos, card games, computer lab, etc.; Elder’s luncheons which are free for anyone who considers themselves an elder; and Community Family Christmas dinners to name a few.

The PGNFC has over 100 computers and about 90% of those are PCs which are running MS Windows XP, and 100% of our computers have some version of MS Office installed on them. All of our programs rely greatly on Microsoft products to assist us in effectively and efficiently delivering services to our clients. We utilize Microsoft Office to seek funding, plan and organize projects, recruit staff, volunteers and clients, and to increase awareness of our services in the community. In such a large organization and with so many programs running at the same time good communication is vital, which is why we rely heavily on MS Outlook to connect with each other, plan meetings and share files and information.

The heartbeat of our communications are our servers that are running MS Server 2003 and 2008, they store and backup our valuable work. We also utilize MS Exchange Server, hosted by our Internet Service Provider, this gives us the freedom to quickly and easily edit, create or delete PGNFC email accounts during staff changes and turnovers.

MS Word is one of the most widely used software products in our organization. Our staff relies on this product daily, often taking advantage of the many templates available. Some examples of MS Word at work in our organization include: letters, posters, signs, newsletters, cover letters, résumés, application forms, registration forms (volunteer application, Christmas hamper application, program application, housing application, workshop registration), assessment forms (300 + emergency needs assessment forms per month and literacy assessments), interview questions for staffing and client recruitment, proposal writing to secure funding for our programs, templates such as our job posting template, certificates for clients and volunteers, booklets for our Annual General Meetings, meeting minutes and agendas, report forms, and memorial cards for clients who can’t afford to purchase them.

MS Internet Explorer is installed on all of our PCs and is another one of our most widely used software products. Program staff use IE to do research, enter information into online databases, online ordering of food and supplies, fill out online proposals, and assist clients in filling out online applications for employment. We also have a resource room with five computers for clients to use for online employment search, cover letters and résumé writing; IE is an invaluable tool for these clients. Another popular use for Internet Explorer occurs every second and fourth Tuesday of the month during “Community Night”. We have a computer lab of thirteen computers that we make freely available to the public. Most of our clients use their computer time to surf the internet, play online games, visit social networking sites and check their free email accounts such as MS Hotmail. We also offer a Family Tree Literacy program that allows clients to learn how to use a computer as well as how to research their family histories.

MS Publisher is a very popular product as well. We have used the business card template to create business cards as well as lunch cards that can be redeemed at the River Room Restaurant, (The restaurant is serviced by the participants of the Smokehouse Kitchen six month training program under the guidance of PGNFC staff). MS Publisher has also been used to create some of our brochures to promote our programs and services.

MS Excel Spread Sheets are used extensively throughout our organization. It’s magical ability to track numbers has helped us to: manage budgets; track client numbers of monthly and annual usage of the food hamper program; track use of emergency resource items such as winter clothes, bus tickets, and gas coupons; create order forms for bi-weekly food bank orders; track centre-wide volunteer hours; and to track client progress in PGNFC programs.

MS Power Point presentations are a fun tool to add to any workshop; it’s so easy to create interactive presentations that bring workshops to life. We’ve created presentations for employment related workshops, health and wellness workshops, project reporting, Annual General Meetings and Staff Quarterly Meetings.

MS Picture Manager – Photos are very important for both promoting our programs to our funders as well as capturing special moments for our clients to reflect back on. MS Picture manager helps us to organize, edit and print our needed photos.

So as you can see there is never a dull moment at the Prince George Native Friendship Centre. With the help of Microsoft products, we will continue to deliver safe, healthy, and relevant services to our clients.

Submission Category
Optimize Mission Delivery