Three ways you can help Women In Need Society
By Sarah Woodgate
When people are in need, Calgarians respond. It’s one of the reasons Calgary is such a great place to live.
Right now Women In Need Society (WINS) is asking Calgarians for a little help. In late March, WINS Executive Director Karen Ramchuk announced the award-winning social enterprise was facing a difficult decision that would impact thousands of women living in poverty and their families.
Four Family Resource Centres, all run out of Calgary Housing Company (CHC) properties, need an injection of funding to remain open. They have been closed until the end of April when a decision on their long term viability will be made. WINS is appealing to Calgary for the $500,000 needed to staff these Resource Centres and continue to support families.
So many lives have been changed. Over 2,000 people are served through the centres every year. The services offered are used more than 17,000 times.
It serves women like Maria, who first registered with WINS during the summer of 2015 after arriving from Mexico. WINS supported her and her family with basic needs like food, clothing, school supplies, baby supplies, and links to community agencies like Canada Revenue Agency, Fair Entry, and Made by Momma. As a family of six, her husband and four children also attend programming while Maria enrolled in ESL programs. Her efforts allowed her to acquire basic language skills, learn new skills, and build increased confidence to help provide for her family. Without WINS, CHC tenants like Maria will have to find somewhere else to go for services like ESL programs, parenting workshops, employment support, and referrals for items like food or even a mattress.
These resource rooms provide needed social infrastructure supporting the ability of Calgarians to reach their full potential. We proudly partner with WINS to provide services that align with our mission to create comprehensive solutions through inclusive communities in great neighbourhoods, to enable success for all.
The rooms also host a number of programs to build community and social networks to help end social isolation for the families living in the neighborhoods. Women Clubs, Kids Clubs, Girl Clubs – all are focused on helping women and families in poverty to build a support network for themselves as well as keeping children engaged in healthy, supportive activities. Through these networks, women are able to help each other, combining strength and resources to help their families.
For thousands of women in Calgary, these are hard times. With difficult economic times in Calgary comes an increased demand for the services offered at WINS resource centres.
There are three ways that you can help:
1) Make a donation – http://www.womeninneed.net/
2) Donate gently used household goods, furniture and clothing
3) Choosing to shop at WINS stores across Calgary
WINS and the women they serve need our help. Please consider giving what you can.
Sarah Woodgate is the President of Calgary Housing Company.