This Christmas, the Sooke Transition House Society is getting the gift of diapers.
Seventh Generation, a cleaning and personal care company with a focus on sustainability and using environmentally-friendly materials and ingredients, is donating over 31,000 diapers to select women’s shelters across Canada. Sooke was one of the chosen ones, and is receiving 5,500 (140 packages), said marketing representative Jana Madill.
“We looked at women’s shelters, needy shelters across the country and really randomly chose shelters that gave us a wide representation,” she said.
“We’re hoping through programs like this (we can) increase (our) distribution across Canada.”
The initiative started in 2010 as a result of the American-based company wanting to “connect with the Canadian community at large.”
Madill said their focus this year was to reach more women in need and expand nationally. Seventh Generation was founded in 1988 in Vermont, but has only had a presence in Canada for the last 10 years — their products are commonly found in health food stores and chains like London Drugs and Thrifty Foods.
Other than B.C., Ontario, Alberta, Quebec, and Nova Scotia were also recipients. Two or three other shelters on the Island were selected, and eight to 10 on the Mainland.
“There’s no catch to them at all. It was a fantastic day when we got to make the calls to the shelters and said ‘we just want to give you some diapers.’”
Arlene Rees, executive director of the Sooke Transition House Society, said they were obviously thrilled to hear the news.
“(The diapers are) something we can extend to many families,” said Rees. “Diapers are a very expensive item, especially disposables. And no one has the facilities and time to wash them like in the old days.”
The society runs the only transition house — that she said is often mistaken for helping women transition out of prison — this side of Victoria that services Metchosin to Port Renfrew.
“It’s for women (who are often financially marginalized) and children who are escaping situations of domestic abuse or violence,” said Rees, who added the location is undisclosed to protect its residents.
Some of the diapers will be distributed to people in need in the community, and the rest will be kept on site for emergencies. There is room at the government-funded shelter, that provides food, clothing, living space and transportation, for up to nine women and children at a time. There is also a local program office at 6649 Sooke Road with counsellors on hand to offer help.
The diapers are available to all women in the community. For more information, call the office at 250-642-2544, or visit their website at www.sooketransitionhousesociety.com.