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

Juan de Fuca Marine Trail re-opens after lengthy repairs

The trail has been closed since February

Green New Deal meeting in Sooke part of a larger movement

Humanity has 4,000 days left before it will be too late

Council pursues water line extension for north Sooke

Properties affected by Highway 14 project may see water service

Province invests $2.7 million in Indigenous teacher education training

Money to go towards teacher spots and Indigenous teaching practices

Province promises July policy changes to help break cycle of poverty in B.C.

Families providing room and board to kin will no longer be financially penalized

BREAKING: Trans Mountain expansion project gets green light, again

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision in Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon

B.C.’s measles vaccination program gains traction in May

More than 15,000 doses of the MMR vaccine has been administered across the province

B.C. farmers concerned Agricultural Land Reserve changes choking their livelihood

Dozens voice concerns at special meeting hosted on Vancouver Island

UPDATE: Two-year-old involved in Chilliwack pool drowning has died

Toddler was reported to not be breathing as air ambulance called out Thursday afternoon

Police make arrest after report of a man brandishing a gun at Campbell River-area lake

43-year-old man from the Comox area has since been charged with multiple offences

B.C. high school withdraws notices for temporary dress code

Parents previously told the Interior News they felt there was inadequate consultation over the rules

VIDEO: Toronto Raptors announcer credited with calming crowds after shooting

Matt Devlin, the Raptors’ play-by-play announcer since 2008, was praised for preventing panic from spreading

Mini-horse visits residents at Lower Mainland care home

Gunner turned a visit with grandpa into a major event for everyone at the residence

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of June 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Most Read