Dear friends and supporters,
As 2018 came to a close, I spent some time reflecting on the past year. In doing so, I am filled with an enormous sense of gratitude. This year we have felt the incredible support of our amazing and ever so generous community.
Most recently, you embraced our Gift of Hope program this holiday season and so thoughtfully gave. This allowed women and children to enjoy special family nights, engage in music therapy sessions, and receive clean, comfortable sheets, that they can take when they leave shelter. Gift cards were given to women so they could purchase gifts for their children, and gift cards for our shelters will help us purchase infant formula when needed, birthday gifts for the children, and other great extras. We can’t thank you enough!
Thank you for understanding that we have storage limitations to manage physical items during the season. This has lessened the demands on staff time, freeing them up to spend more time with the women and children.
A few of our generous donors…
The Wagner Family
IBEW Local 804
There have been many highlights for Women’s Crisis Services in 2018. We honoured our 40th anniversary of service helping women and children move beyond violence. 2018 was also a significant year for women worldwide with the emergence of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movement. This led to an increase in dialogue and awareness around the many forms of violence experienced by women and girls. This was great to see, yet it also highlighted that there is much work to do.
Highlights for us in 2018
- We launched internal task forces to enhance on-boarding for new staff, to evaluate and improve our safety planning, risk assessment and other forms of documentation, and to plan an information night at our Haven House shelter so that community members could learn more about what we do and how they can help.
- We held our first “Hats Off to Mom” brunch on Mother’s Day and our “WAAM-A-PALOOZA” concert fundraiser where the sounds of The Who, Leonard Cohen and Marvin Gaye shook the rafters of the St Jacobs Playhouse.
- We further developed our partnership with Family & Children’s Services. We now have an Outreach Worker onsite at their offices to consult with, attend home visits, and share their unique domestic violence expertise. As an active partner of the Resilience Project, we updated, researched and evaluated our group for women in shelter, now called, “Moving Beyond”.
- We increased our social media presence. Thank you to our amazing followers for engaging with us and sharing our posts! It really helps. We can’t do this alone.
- While working hard, we also played hard. We had a great team day at a Toronto Blue Jays game, and a staff appreciation event, where we had a motivational guest speaker and our own version of the Amazing Race.
Hats Off to Mom
Blue Jays Team Day
Staff Amazing Race
WAAM-A-PALOOZA Celebrating 40!
Coming up in 2019
- We will continue to be a strong voice for women and children experiencing domestic violence as we work towards our ultimate goal of a community free from abuse in any of its forms.
- We will continue to develop and expand upon the services we offer children, with a particular focus on the youngest, thus the most vulnerable.
- We recognize the importance of upstream thinking and will be focusing on prevention work and removing barriers to support.
- On May 12, our “Hats Off to Mom” Mother’s Day brunch is sure to be even better than last year! Tickets on sale soon.
Thank you so much for your ongoing support. Happy New Year!
Chief Executive Officer
Women’s Crisis Services of Waterloo Region