An annual charity drive that collects donations for women and children fleeing domestic violence is officially underway.
The 19th annual Global News Give Me Shelter campaign kicks off on Tuesday.
The campaign builds awareness and collects donations to ensure women and children fleeing domestic violence have the items they need when they arrive at women’s shelters.
This year, cash and gift card donations will be collected and distributed to six Edmonton and area women’s shelters: A Safe Place, Jessie’s House, La Salle, Lurana Shelter, WIN House and WINGS of Providence.
Karen Kadatz is the executive director of A Safe Place in St. Albert. She said the shelter is grateful for the campaign, particularly ahead of Christmas.
“Families come to us all year, of course, but at Christmastime it’s probably really difficult to leave your familiar surroundings and come into a place that you’re not sure about,” Kadatz said.
“Christmas is really, really a hard time. People mark their years, what they did last Christmas or where they were. So being in a shelter is incredibly challenging.”
At A Safe Place, Kadatz said they try to make the stays as safe and welcoming as possible. The shelter takes in all types of people fleeing different violent situations.
“We do our best to make their experience while they’re here as close to home as possible. Families stay in one bedroom all together. It’s bigger than an RV and it’s cozy,” she said.
“There are many different forms of domestic abuse. It could be your intimate partner, but it could also be your parents, or your children if you’re elderly.”
The monetary donations allow shelters to support families with the items they desperately need. Often, people escape their living situations with little to nothing.
“The donations that we receive, we use all year round to support families,” Kadatz said.
Last year, Give Me Shelter raised more than $200,000 for Edmonton-area women’s shelters.
This year’s Give Me Shelter campaign runs from Nov. 29 to Dec. 15.
To donate gift cards, Global Edmonton has set up a donation box at the front entrance of the station at 5325 Allard Way. Gift cards can also be mailed before Dec. 13 to:
5325 Allard Way
Cash donations can be made online.
Anyone at risk or experiencing family violence can reach the Family Violence Info Line 24 hours a day at 310-1818.
The Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters also has a map of shelters across the province for anyone needing support.
Additional family violence supports are also available online.
&© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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