Author Archives: Tannis Sprott

Press Release from April 11, 2016 (Meeting 3. Year 2.)

100 WWCG Press Release – Tuesday, April 12, 2016

100 WWCG donate $14,100 to North End Harvest Market

The story of a local grassroots organization creating a market to offer free fresh fruits and vegetables to low income individuals and families in order to meet their healthy food needs touched the hearts of 100 Women Who Care Guelph. The North End Harvest Market, a part of the Guelph Neighbourhood Support Coalition here in Guelph, was the recipient of  a $14,100 donation from 100 WWCG.

The goal of the Market is not only to help improve the diets of their clientele by providing healthy food alternatives, but also to feed their souls by creating a welcoming community where they are treated with dignity. The volunteer run organization provides a fun, family centred experience by offering entertainment for the children while shopping at the Market. There are 150 people per week served by the Market, which is supported by donations of food from local farmers, or funds from groups such as 100 WWCG, who have whole heartedly embraced the concept of investing in our local community by supporting such groups as the North End Harvest Market. Visit their website www.100womenwhocareguelph.com for more information or to become a member.

 

A Thank You from GW Women in Crisis

Sly Castaldi, Executive Director of Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis, extends her heartfelt thanks for our donation last quarter.

Sly Castaldi, Executive Director of Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis, extends her heartfelt appreciation for our donation last quarter.

I want to start out by saying thank you very much for being selected to receive your generous donation. I think what 100 Women Who Care is doing in this community is absolutely phenomenal and I want to explain why.

I think our stories are somewhat parallel. Women in Crisis started in 1977 with five young women at the University of Guelph. Women between the ages of 16 and 25 are at most risk of sexual violence and these young women wanted to do something about the sexual violence happening on campus. One woman’s boyfriend was president of the University’s Central Students Association and he provided them with a room and a phone. As soon as the rape crisis line opened they were receiving calls. They soon realized they needed to do something about women being assaulted in their own homes. They found someone to provide them with an apartment and started hiding women in this tiny little apartment. One of the first women they hid was Marianne, who our shelter is named after, and her children. They could only house one family at a time, so as the need started to get bigger they got a house. They applied for seed funding, hired a staff member and started to become both a sexual assault and a domestic violence service. Then they started getting calls from women in the county and they realized women who live in the rural areas of Wellington County face particular kinds of barriers. Again they sought out funding and started providing the Rural Women’s Support Program.

I wanted to tell you our “her story” – of how the organization came about, because five women cared and started to do something that turned into what we have today – Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis.

I don’t always like to refer to ourselves as a charity because I believe it is a right for women and children to live a life free of violence and to live to their full potential. So I am resentful of the fact that every year we have to fundraise 15% of our budget just to keep the doors open to serve the 1500 women a year who walk through our doors. The Transitional and Housing Support Program, which was showcased here, is the program that sees the largest number of women. We provide services to anywhere between 600 and 700 women every year in that program area alone. Not all women need to go to Marianne’s Place, but they need help figuring out how they’re going to leave, how they’re going to support themselves, where they’re going to live and we provide that support so at some point they can make those decisions. Even if the women have left the abuse does not stop, it just gets more sophisticated. We are there if they need help with custody and access, help with finance, help with housing, help with the family, help with trying to rebuild a family outside of what they knew. They may need support with Family and Children’s Services, because if you have children, you are forever tied to your abusive partner.

The interesting part about our organization is it’s unique in Ontario and it’s unique in Canada as we provide fully integrated programs and services. We don’t ask women to separate their lives and go over here to deal with sexual violence and over there to deal with domestic violence. Chances are they have experienced violence on that continuum and we work with them on what their needs are at that time. We don’t ask women to make a choice, to leave, to do anything. We don’t make their choices, it’s their life. We respect the choices that they make because they are the expert of their own life. Our slogan is “You don’t have to be hit to be hurt. You don’t have to leave to get help. You don’t have to be in crisis to call.” This resonates with women in our community.

Today we are comprised of a 28-bed shelter called Marianne’s Place, a Sexual Assault Centre, a Rural Women’s Support Program, a Transition and Housing Program, and a Family Court Support Program. We provide services to 1,500 women a year through our organization. Our 24-hour crisis line responds to between 3,000 or more calls every year. That’s in this community, that’s in your community. Those five young women who wanted to do something about sexual violence had no idea what they were about to create and build for this community.

I want you to know the story of our beginnings, because it’s a brilliant story. It’s a story of survival, it’s a story of meeting needs, it’s a story of caring, and we should care for our sisters. So, 100 Women Who Care, think about what you are doing in this community. From that perspective I say to you “thank you”. You have no idea the difference your group is making to all of the charities in this community. You have no idea how many women that $100 cheque you wrote helps in this community. On behalf of my Board of Directors, on behalf of all the women who walk through our doors, or who may walk through our doors, or those who never have to walk through our doors, but are grateful to know it is there for anyone, I say “thank you”. Thank you for what you’ve done, thank you for the support you have given to my organization. I wish I had thought of this 100 Who Care idea. It’s brilliant, and congratulations. I really, deeply appreciate what you’ve done for us. Thank you.

 

Notes from Meeting 5 – October 5, 2015

We can’t believe it’s year two already!

After extending a warm welcome back to our members, a reminder of the $46,600 we contributed to Guelph last year, and a brief update on procedures, we launched right into picking our three charities up for contention.

We heard three very passionate speeches on behalf of the Alzheimer Society of Waterloo Wellington, The Children’s Foundation of Guelph Wellington, and our eventual winner (drum roll please) Dunara Homes For Recovery Inc., who received approximately $12,400 to aid their cause.

Dunara Homes for Recovery, our 5th winner! Michele Mactaggart (left), proud presenter on behalf of Dunara Homes, and Tannis Sprott of 100 WWCG (right) celebrate our newest winner.

Dunara Homes for Recovery, our 5th winner! Michele Mactaggart (left), proud presenter on behalf of Dunara Homes, and Tannis Sprott of 100 WWCG (right) celebrate our newest winner.

Many of our members were unfamiliar with Dunara Homes for Recovery. They have been quietly working away in our community since 1981, helping those suffering from mental illness as they transition from an institutional setting to a community setting, providing all the support they need on their road to recovery. They work towards autonomy, individual responsibility, engagement in the community, empowerment, hope, self determination, the elimination of stigma, and the opportunity for meaningful choice for their clients.

Our latest gift to Dunara Homes for Recovery was graciously accepted by Executive Director Yvonne Bowes (on right) and Yoland Webster, their Program Manager (on left), presented by 100 WWCG Organizing Member Tannis Sprott (centre).

Our latest gift to Dunara Homes for Recovery was graciously accepted by Executive Director Yvonne Bowes (on right) and Yoland Webster, their Program Manager (on left), presented by 100 WWCG Organizing Member Tannis Sprott (centre).

We were delighted to hear back from Sly Castaldi from Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis, our winner from July. She was able to draw a parallel between the beginnings of GWWIC and 100 WWCG (other than the obvious alphabet soup of Gs, Ws and Cs), saying you never know when you start something how important and far reaching it can become, and she applauded 100 Women Who Care Guelph for making an incredible difference to all the charities here in Guelph.

We hope to have her comments posted here shortly so those of you who missed her wonderful thank you will have a chance to hear it, so check back soon!

You have until January 4th to get your charity nominations in before our next meeting on Monday, January 11th, 2016, from 7 – 8 pm (registration begins at 6:30) at the Delta Guelph Hotel and Conference Centre, where we will choose our next member nominated charity! Help us to grow by inviting your friends to join you in this amazing venture. See you there!