Clare Yazganoglu, left, executive director for Women in Need Community Co-operative, and Natalie Beach-Day, store manager, stand on the stairs inside the WIN store in the Goldstream Station plaza in Langford. (Black Press file photo)

Victoria non-profit empowers women escaping abusive homes with a fresh start

Organization’s gift certificate program helped around 400 women last year

The Victoria Women In Need Community Cooperative helped empower around 400 women in need through its most recent gift certificate program.

The organization was able to give out 532 gift certificates, totalling $39,538, to women for use at its four Women In Need retail shops around Greater Victoria through 2018.

The shops sell different donated items ranging from clothing to kids toys. Proceeds from the stores go towards five different programs — including the gift certificate program — that the cooperative runs to help women through various struggles.

Mabel Marin, a spokesperson for the organization, said women are very appreciative of having an opportunity to buy new items for themselves through the gift certificate program, especially when they are starting fresh after escaping abusive relationships or leaving transition houses.

“It empowers them to choose the items they need for themselves and their kids,” Marin said.

READ MORE: Local women’s non-profit hosts haute couture event

Women can apply for the program either directly with the organization or through its many partners like the Victoria Women’s Transition House Society, Young Parents Support Network, Hulitan Family and Community Services Society and Bridges for Women Society.

“It could be anyone who needs to be in the programs,” Marin said. “It could even be you or me.”

The organization’s partners often have gift certificates on hand as well.

Marin said many women that are making use of the program are getting back on their feet and need to purchase items like new clothes for a job interview or cookware for a new home – everyday items they have been forced to leave behind.

Giving women the opportunity to choose what they need, rather than just give them items, is an important experience, she said.

READ MORE: New store a WIN in Langford

The Victoria Women In Need Community Cooperative has been supporting women in Greater Victoria for over 25 years as a not-for-profit organization. It runs five different programs that help women with communication skills, developing businesses to be self-sufficient, setting up a new home after a transition house, and referring women to services they need.

Marin said many women participate in all five programs while some will only need help in a few areas.

The four retail stores are stocked with community donations said Marin, but the group can always use extra furniture.

The organization is in the process of moving from its current donation centre to a new, larger one at 555 Ardersier Road on Mar. 1.

shalu.mehta@goldstreamgazette.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Young cyclist struck near Galloping Goose Trail

Minor injuries reported by police

New Coast Guard ship crashes into Ogden Point breakwater

‘It is fairly unprecedented that it would happen’

The shores will not rock in 2019

Atomique Productions announce Rock the Shores festival will not return in 2019, future is uncertain

Video shows logging operation on disputed Saturna Island land

Tsawout First Nation members opposed to logging on reserve land

Family still searching for missing Langford man two weeks after disappearance

Family hopeful he is alive, offering $10,000 reward

VIDEO: Keeping the hope alive, 28 years later

Annual Michael Dunahee Keep the Hope Alive run raised money for Child Find B.C.

Bobrovsky perfect as Blue Jackets blank Canucks 5-0

Vancouver shut out for 10th time this season

Fundraising campaign launched for man caught in SilverStar avalanche

In only two days, the GoFundMe surpassed its $15,000 goal

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps says future assembly deliberations won’t be closed to public

Reversal comes after Saanich Coun. Judy Brownoff raised concerns

Terror at sea: Helicopter rescues frightened cruise passengers in Norway

The Viking Sky cruise ship was carrying 1,300 passengers and crew when it experienced engine trouble

Search and rescue team helicopters injured climber from B.C. provincial park

A 30-year-old woman suffered a suspected lower-limb fracture in Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park

DOJ: Trump campaign did not co-ordinate with Russia in 2016

Attorney General William Barr said special counsel “does not exonerate” Trump of obstructing justice

Most Read