The Revelstoke Women’s Shelter is gearing up for its biggest fundraiser of the year: The Coldest Night of the Year (CNOY).
On Feb. 24, groups across Canada, in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity (HFH), will walk throughout their communities to raise money for those who are experiencing hurt, hunger and homelessness.
HFH works with local charities to organize the event and best serve their respective communities. RWS’s event currently has 25 teams and 66 walkers registered, and $12,310 raised with the goal of raising $20,000.
Not only does RWS help women experiencing domestic abuse, the local organization also heavily invests into enhancing their outreach programs.
Outreach programs seek to offer the community mental health services and community-building activities that help strengthen family bonds and self-confidence in participants. RWS’s shelter is funded through BC Housing, whereas the funding from the outreach programs comes from community support.
The outreach programs include Crafty Kids, which provides activities for students at Columbia Park Elementary School who need some extra support or are facing other vulnerabilities. The goal is to build connections and confidence with students so in the future they will be less susceptible to abuse.
Other outreach programs include periodic lunchtime at the high school, regular yoga sessions with Adria at the Community Centre, pottery classes and art classes.
Counselling services is another outreach service that RWS hopes to continue to offer. Counselling is offered to both men and women (at different locations).
“We’ve noticed that women, children, and men need counselling services to help them be a healthy family,” said RWS Executive Director, Lynn Loeppky.
The shelter currently has three counsellors who are doing their practicum with RWS. One of RWS’s biggest goals with their fundraising efforts is to continue to employ counsellors and offer this vital service to Revelstoke. Residents of Revelstoke can book up to 10 counselling sessions on RWS’s website.
While the mandate of RWS is for women who are fleeing abusive situations, the outreach programs serve to help the community at large and has an indirect and profound effect on this mandate.
“A lot of our programming is trying to connect people, trying to keep them from being isolated and vulnerable because at the end of the day, that’s when abuse happens,” said Loeppky.
Those interested in participating in Revelstoke’s CNOY event, can register and/or donate on CNOY’s website. Check-in begins at 4 p.m. on Feb. 24 at the Community Centre.