Hope For All

Date: February 22, 2021

Our 2021 Charity of Choice

For over six years, we have supported various charities in our community through programming such as our pancake breakfast, shopping events, and gift-wrapping service. The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting public health measures certainly presented challenges to us when planning to execute traditional onsite events, but in keeping firm to our mission to make meaningful contributions to our community, we aimed to innovate in 2020 and stick with our dedication to raise funds for our selected charity. 2020 was certainly a tumultuous year of challenges and pivots, but by the end of it we were able to raise over $20,000 for our 2020 charity of choice, the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre, through various initiatives including Girl’s Night In (our live virtual charity event) and sales from Bower Elf. We also helped cultivate awareness of the Centre’s cause with the activation of the Inside Story: Pop-Up storefront in Bower Place, wherein guests could visit with CACAC volunteers and staff, learn about their services, and find other ways to support them beyond Bower Place programming.

With our focus on supporting families within Central Alberta and considering the challenges our community has faced during the pandemic, we are excited to announce a new partnership with our 2021 charity of choice: The Outreach Centre. Suicide Information & Education Services and Women’s Outreach joined forces on April 1, 2020, to become The Outreach Centre. The Outreach Centre aims to “[Support] individuals and families in their pursuit of healthy relationships, mental health well-being, housing stability, and self-sufficiency” with their various events, services and programs, free online courses (including those centred around suicide awareness, mental wellness, and self-care). Topics that are relevant to many of us during this stressful time.

Their 4 Pillars of Service include:

  • Healthy Relationships (domestic violence)
  • Mental & Emotional Wellbeing (suicide prevention, intervention, and post-vention)
  • Self Sufficiency (those affected by poverty)
  • Housing Stability (homelessness and at risk of homelessness)

You may have heard of the Walk a Mile in HER Shoes® event, but it’s not just our community’s guys sporting fabulous footwear for kicks. This public awareness campaign, through the fundraising garnered by participants, helps The Outreach Centre deliver services for individuals who choose to pursue healthier, safer, and more secure lives. Their goal is to “ensure anyone living in or leaving an abusive relationship has access to someone who can respond to their crisis and support them.”

The Outreach Centre understands the many factors that have contributed to the increase of homelessness over the years including poverty, addiction, and domestic violence, and assists those battling homelessness to find and maintain housing. They also recognize how this dilemma can inhibit the development of children. Their Housing First approach provides a foundation (housing stability) first for life improvement, then offers optional supportive services to supplement the person’s experience.

Suicide is a tragic event, and The Outreach Centre recognizes that it is preventable, yet still has a stigma that can silence those struggling. They offer education programs on suicide awareness and prevention, as well as information about warning signs, and contact information for resources. If you want to learn more, head to their website.

Though 2021 still feels full of uncertainty and challenges, we understand the importance of The Outreach Centre’s work, are confident we can help make a difference through this partnership and aim to help them continue to provide “Hope for all”. If you want to learn more about the valuable services they provide, to donate, or to apply to volunteer, please check out their website.

Maia

Marketing Coordinator

Maia is a lover of plants, cooking (mostly eating), and mountain views.

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