...and Women's Community House (WCH) is grateful for the community's generosity!
Festive season at WCH is not about just sponsoring a family, but supporting the entire agency and the women that will access our service all year long.
Donations to Women's Community House come in many forms including gifts, hygiene and self-care items, food and monetary donations. Although we publish needed items lists every month highlighting our greatest needs, about 70% of all our needed item donations come in the month of December. It's definitely a busy Season at WCH.
Each year, we have a team of dedicated volunteer and staff support welcoming donations at the front door of both of our emergency shelters (Wellington and Clarke sites). Donations are moved to our onsite meeting rooms and sorted. Gifts for women and children are festively displayed. Trinkets, small gifts and stocking items are organized. This December, we are creating 30 children's stockings and 45 stockings for women in shelter, and an additional 25 stockings for women at our Second Stage Housing apartment building. Non-perishable food donations are sent to the kitchens, and new paper products and hygiene items are stored in preparation for our needs throughout the year.
Staff and volunteers support the mom's in shelter as they select gifts for their child/children from the donated gifts. First of all, we acknowledge the importance of safety for the women that need to be in shelter. Sometimes these women are unable to leave the shelter to do their own holiday shopping. We acknowledge that some of these women have already made gift plans for their child/children and, in crisis and for their and their child/children's safety, have had to leave everything behind when they came to the shelter. We also acknowledge the emotions behind accepting a gift that someone else has purchased which will now be their child/children's gift. Women are supported in choosing the gifts that their children would like. We are able to give that choice back to the women and it allows them to provide the gifts from mom to child.
As the Festive Season wraps up in shelter, we do experience some excess donations that may have not been needed during the festive season but are instrumental in the services we provide all year round. With our limited storage space, we are able to put in storage additional hygiene items for use with women and children that will be arriving at the shelter all during the year. We store additional gifts for birthdays and items to replenish our three childcare/playrooms in the shelters and that support our childcare programs. We also share with other agencies, where feasible, from the abundance of items received at Women's Community House during the Festive Season.
This is a very busy time for the London Community. Women's Community House appreciates your thoughtfulness and your generosity not only this holiday season, but all year long!
Thank You, London!