Women and families in need of a holiday hand

Vernon Women’s Transition House Society collecting donations and funds

While many of us take the luxury of a license for granted, being able to drive is a dream for others.

Therefore efforts are in gear to make that wish come true for some of the clients at the Vernon Women’s Transition House Society shelter and the Support to Young Parent Program.

“For these young women not having a driver’s license can be a big barrier to overcome, so when we’re able, we do what we can to support them to learn to drive,” said Micki Materi, VWTHS co-executive director of programs.

Driving lessons are one of the wish list items for residents in the Support to Young Parents program, which is being supported by some other local ladies.

Local beauty salon Lihilihi Lashes is raising funds and collecting items for the society. Owner Malia Cater says the response from clients has been inspiring.

“It’s like Christmas over here in the salon and I am so thankful every day to all of you that have been giving what they can,” said Cater, surrounded by bags of toiletries, children’s items, food and toys in her makeup salon.

“Any little bit helps.”

Along with collecting items, the salon is raising funds for the Transition House through a raffle ticket draw for an Xtreme Lash gift bag (valued at $225). Tickets are $2 each or three for $5, available at the salon (#4 2706 45th Ave.). The draw has been extended until Dec. 22.

“I figured extending the date would give it more time for more people to donate,” said Cater.

Such support is greatly appreciated.

“It’s contributions from businesses like Lihilihi Lashes that ensures that we can continue to offer our programs to the women and children who need it most. I’m always so grateful when I hear of a community member taking on an initiative like this” said Rosalie Paquette, program coordinator for Vernon Women’s Transition House Society.

It is especially appreciated this time of year.

“Times can get tough for families during Christmas, and we see that increase in need the most clearly in our residential programs,” said Materi.

Such programs provide affordable housing and support to pregnant and parenting teens and young women, offering on-site support from Public Health, Mother Goose, as well as addictions and mental health counselling services.

“The staff do everything in their power to ensure that these young women are supported and have all the tools they need to become empowered, successful parents” said Materi. “But during the holiday season, funds for some of those extra supports can get tight.”

The financial donations Vernon Women’s Transition House Society receives from fundraisers such as the Lihilihi Lashes not only goes towards the essentials of the society, but also helps them afford to support the needs of individual clients and residents.

Counselling is another expense the society has, as it tries to support the women and young moms who are fleeing abusive situations with their kids.

For more information on the Support to Young Parents Program, hosting a fundraiser, or making a donation visit vwts.ca


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