HEALTH SUPPORTS IN SHELTER – Valued community partnerships
Some of our valued community partnerships include Manitoba Public Health, who provides visits by a public health nurse bi-weekly. On alternate weeks, Women’s Health Clinic provides doctor visits. The public health nurse helps staff and program participants keep up to date with vaccinations, and provides personal consultations for program participants. Sometimes, the nurse will offer group presentations on relevant topics as well. Having a physician on-site from Women’s Health Clinic is great for women who may not have a family physician, or for whom outings are currently unsafe.
Willow Place is grateful for these invaluable on-site services for our shelter program, which are supportive of our low-barrier approach to serving diverse violence prevention needs in Manitoba.
SOUP SISTERS – In-person soup-making
This January, Willow Place benefitted from an in-person soup-making event by Soup Sisters Winnipeg. This fantastic support is the second event since the onset of the COVID pandemic. Local Soup Sisters, Harriet, Sandi and Miriam, have one again established sponsorship from The Fairmont Hotel to provide banquet and professional kitchen space, as well as staffing. Community members can buy event tickets which include appetizers, participating in soup-making, a light supper, and information on Willow Place services. Ticket sales provide funds to purchase soup ingredients, and the Fairmont staff help with preparing ingredients, supervising the soup-making, and serving guests appetizers and the meal. The event is typically hosted on a Sunday evening, and begins with appetizers and a glass of wine, followed by brief presentations by Willow Place, Soup Sisters and the Fairmont. Guest are then divided into teams to make five kinds of delicious and nutritious soup in the Fairmont’s professional kitchens. While the soup simmers, guests return to the reception/dining area to enjoy soup, salad, bread and coffee or tea. The final step is to return to the kitchen to package and label the soup. A fun group photo with all of the soup finishes off the evening! Winnipeg Soup Sisters deliver the soup to the shelter a day or two later. The soup-making events are a great way for families, friends or work groups to connect and socialize while helping those in need.
ATTEND: Are you interested in attending a soup-making event? For information on the next date and to book tickets, contact:[email protected]
DONATE: CLICK HERE!Donations fund the 50% Soup Program which Willow Place participates in when in-person soup-making is not available – thank you!
KIN KAR RAFFLE – Car raffle and 50-50 tickets on sale now!
Willow Place is grateful to be a beneficiary of Winnipeg Kinsman’s 2024 Kin Kar Raffle. Tickets include the car raffle and also a 50-50 ticket option. When purchasers use Willow Place’s dedicated link to buy either car or 50-50 tickets online, Willow Place will receive a portion of those proceeds.
Please support Kinsmen and help Manitoba charities – we hope you will help us share the word by either purchasing o forwarding our Kin Kar link: CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!
STAFF FEATURE– Community Coordinator, Pam Hadder
|How long have you been in your current role?
I started with Willow Place about 5 years ago – I had been serving as Executive Director for another violence prevention shelter. When that contract ended, I took a break to obtain my Expressive Art Therapy diploma, and Willow Place was one of my practicum sites. I accepted a term position, and then was offered a permanent position as Community Coordinator/Supervisor.
How would you describe your role in three words?
Community, connection; sustainability.
What skills and experience to you bring to Willow Place?
I have a degree in Women’s and Gender Studies, an Expressive Art Therapy diploma, and have completed a university-level certificate program in business marketing. My work background includes professional sales, staffing and recruitment; non-profit management, advertising and marketing; and small business management. My experience managing diverse professional and volunteer teams, developing and implementing business strategies; creating and managing budgets; project management, event planning and management; and creating unique and effective marketing solutions, has helped me to be effective in my current role. I also have over 20 years’ non-profit experience as a volunteer and staff member, including program development, fundraising, grant-writing, marketing strategy, strategic planning, and both staff and volunteer training. I am committed to ongoing personal development and continually challenge myself to further develop skills and expand my knowledge and capacity.
What are the most challenging aspects of your work?
The community team is the smallest team at Willow Place but there are some big shoes to fill! Responsibilities include grant writing, fundraising, donation, marketing-communications, volunteer programs, community relationships, as well as public education. All of these activities are vital to the sustainability of Willow Place, including filling funding gaps and helping to provide daily participant and program needs for our shelter program. I have to manage my time and energies carefully, ensuring I fulfill the most pressing priorities and meet goals as defined in our operations plan and strategic plan. I routinely assess my work to make certain it aligns with our mission, vision and goals as well. To ensure continued success, I must also set healthy work-life boundaries, reach out to my team when needed, and delegate tasks where possible; including use of volunteer resources.
What motivates you in your role?
I have been fortunate to have parents who were very community-minded and generous, with a strong work ethic. I am motivated by helping others, my natural curiosity, and an interest in learning. I believe everyone should experience fulfilment in their work. Thankfully, I have worked with inspirational, effective leaders and mentors, who offered encouragement and provided valuable opportunities. I have also experienced employment situations where I was subjected to unhealthy personal dynamics – from this I learned what NOT to do, and it also heightens my appreciation for my current workplace. I also recognize that by overcoming adversity I have bolstered my resilience, and in my current role, I enjoy “paying it forward.”
Do you have people who inspire you?
I am inspired by humble, non-judgmental and hard-working people who seek to make this world a better place. I value honesty, integrity, accountability and earnest interactions. Rather than looking to celebrities, the people who inspire me are everyday people I meet, including Willow Place program participants – I see beauty in their bravery and strength.
Do you have a favorite quote or song?
I love all genres of music, but Willy Porter’s rendition of “Digging in the Dirt,” by Peter Gabriel comes to mind. I had the pleasure of hearing Willy in-person at a song-writing retreat. One favourite quote is from Pablo Picasso: “I am always doing things I cannot do, that is how I come to do them!”
LISTEN – Willy Porter, “Digging in the Dirt” CLICK HERE!
CAPITAL CAMPAIGN – Vision of new facility on the horizon
Willow Place has outgrown its current facility and is in the process of launching a capital campaign for a new building. Our board of directors has created a committee for the campaign, and will be supporting Willow Place leadership to hire a dedicated fundraiser or fundraising team. Our new vision will include expanded crisis support services with more shelter beds, more program space, and the potential for transitional or second-stage housing on-site.
We will share more details in the months ahead, as this exciting new journey unfolds.
Please direct inquiries to our general mail box:[email protected]
|CRISIS SUPPORTS OVERVIEW – How to access Willow Place services
Most of our resources are directed to 24-hour violence prevention services, including crisis support phone, text and chat lines, and our violence prevention shelter program. Willow Place is funded in part by WAGE Manitoba (Women and Gender Equality), and is part of a provincial violence-prevention network. All members are independent charities, but they work together to serve Manitobans in need of violence prevention services. For example, agencies providing shelter share vacancy information each morning – this makes it much more efficient to redirect callers, if our shelter is full. Manitoba shelters are also part of a provincial association, The Manitoba Association of Women’s Shelters (MAWS), and they share best practices, develop training supports, leverage their combined voices and much more.
Although the majority of those we help through Willow Place crisis support services are women and children, it is important to know that any person, any gender with questions or seeking support can contact us 24-hours, every day of the year. Willow Place also provides intake and access to shelter for males and male-identifying individuals, but they are sheltered at another location. All Willow Place services are no-cost and confidential, and for those who don’t need shelter but need counselling support, our outreach services may be a good fit! Outreach services are offered through our shelter, our outreach office, and at two partner sites in Winnipeg’s core area: Access Public Health and Salvation Army SonRise Village. To ask questions for yourself, for a client, or for a friend or family member, or to find out about entering the shelter program, contact Willow Place using the following:
Toll-free Manitoba: 1-877-977-0007
This number directs callers to the closest resource in their region, if calling in Winnipeg, Willow Place is one of the options to choose from Willow Place, local direct number: 204-615-0311 (Winnipeg) Text-only line: 204-813-8887
IMPORTANT! Safe transportation is available to bring individuals to shelter!
What happens in our shelter program?
Our shelter program is a first stage violence prevention shelter program that provides short-term protective shelter. Average stay is about 2 weeks, but stays can be renewed every 60 days – each situation is unique and is assessed individually. Three meals and two scheduled snacks are provided daily, and there is a self-serve area for toast, tea and coffee 24-hours. Laundry and bathing facilities are on-site. We have some larger rooms for families, and individual rooms; sometimes women may share a room with a room-mate. Our capacity is 38 people. While in shelter, participants can access trauma-informed counseling and are able to access support from our dedicated housing specialist and children’s specialist.
We also have a full-time teacher and classroom for grades K-8. Shelter staff includes two clinicians, a facility and support supervisor, counselors and support workers. Support workers help with practical needs for our shelter guests, and fulfill an invaluable role. Both support workers and counselors provide groups for women and children – these are a mix of therapeutic, violence-prevention informative sessions and recreational or occasion-themed activities. We also have community partners, contract support individuals, as well as volunteers that provide wellness, cultural, recreational and practical information groups for the shelter program.
What happens after leaving shelter?
Individual needs vary, but our follow up program is offered to all shelter participants when they are preparing to depart. Follow up includes supportive counseling and can be provided in-person, virtually or by phone, depending on the best approach for the participant.
Returning to shelter
It is very common for individuals to access crisis support services (including a shelter stay) several times before successfully breaking the cycle of violence in their lives. Where there are situations of inter-generational neglect, abuse and violence, it can be particularly difficult for individuals to extricate themselves from violent relationships, as unhealthy behaviours are normalized. There is no limit on how many times individuals can access Willow Place or other violence prevention shelter in Manitoba.
DONATION SUBSCRIPTION – United efforts sustain vital supports
What can you buy with $10, with $20? Ten dollars might purchase coffee and a snack, and twenty dollars can provide a month of streaming services like Netflix. But what if 500 people gave up just one coffee and treat a month, or one $20 indulgence a month and diverted it to a Canada Helps donation subscription for Willow Place? 500 x $10 = $5,000, and 500 x $20 = $10,000! Achieving a goal like this would fulfill many fundraising needs for our organization, and allow us to provide valuable in-shelter supports like wellness and cultural activities!
Please consider a monthly donation subscription – what might seem like a small amount can make a significant impact for our crisis supports! Every dollar makes a positive impact.
For information and to donate: CLICK HERE!
Those with questions are welcome to contact Community Coordinator/Supervisor, Pam Hadder:
Phone: 204-615-0313, ext. 237 (weekdays, daytime hours)
Email: [email protected]
The holiday season has arrived, and amid the busy-ness, we reflect on the past calendar year with gratitude, and with hearts open to new ideas and opportunities. We are thankful for the dedication and valuable contributions of staff, and volunteers, including our board of directors, and for the many community partners who help us serve violence survivors every day of the year. Special appreciation to all of our caring supporters who contribute by sharing our information with others who may benefit, and through in-kind and monetary gifts – we could not sustain our work without you.
Willow Place continues to experience increasing calls for both outreach and shelter supports – we provided a record 13,400 stays in the past fiscal year (2022-2023). Our current facility poses limitations on our capacity to provide support, and this has also resulted in our movement toward acquiring a new space and hiring a dedicated fundraiser for this purpose. Watch for details to follow in the coming year, as we anticipate this exciting new phase!
Although rising service demands present concerns, this experience may also reveal positive aspects – potentially, more calls are being received because of reduced stigma and increased awareness of supports. As such, we remain committed to ongoing assessment and continual improvement strategies, ensuring we provide low-barrier, trauma-informed, and culturally sensitive violence prevention supports for Manitobans.
On behalf of all of us at Willow Place, we wish you peace, good health and happiness as we say goodbye to the fading year, and approach the New Year with renewed optimism fueled by your kind support and acknowledgment of our work.
RED ROAD TO HEALING
Indigenous Cultural Programming
Our shelter program was very grateful to initiate new cultural supports this fall with the Red Road to Healing program. The ten-week Indigenous cultural program was created by Shannon Buck, a respected Traditional Knowledge Keeper, and has become well-known and appreciated for its unique supports. Not all shelter participants stay with Willow Place for ten weeks, but they can continue to attend the program after departing. The program also offers flexibility for women to join at any point in the series. Those completing all ten sessions receive a certificate.
Chii megwetch, thank you, to the Indigenous Knowledge Keepers who are facilitating Red Road to Healing for the Willow Place violence prevention shelter program – we are grateful to offer this valuable healing support on-site.
THE POWER OF STORY
Welcome and thank you, Amna
Willow Place has enjoyed visits from storyteller and group program facilitator, Amna, this autumn. Amna shares storytelling from around the world to benefit both children and adults in our shelter program. We look forward to watching this program evolve. We have already seen the excitement and interest Amna’s presentations and performances stimulate, and we have witnessed the power of story to unite diverse cultures and also to promote cultural tolerance and understanding.
Welcome Eniola – Holiday Traditions
Eniola A. is the Human Resource Coordinator at Willow Place and she joined our team in spring 2023. Eniola brings a wealth of experience as a Certified Human Resources Professional with decades of dedicated service in the industry.
Please share a bit about your background
I have a commitment to excellence and a deep understanding of the intricacies of HR management, a solid foundation in HR Policies, and I have consistently demonstrated the ability to navigate the dynamic landscape of human resources while staying abreast of industry trends and best practices.
What are some of the key responsibilities of your role at Willow Place?
In the role of Human Resources Coordinator at Willow Place, I oversee a range of critical HR functions. This includes but is not limited to recruitment and onboarding, employee relations, benefits administration, HR documentation and compliance, training and development and performance management. During my tenure, there have been notable contributions to enhancing the HR processes and employee experience at Willow Place. These achievements stem from a strategic and proactive approach to HR management, fostering a positive workplace culture and ensuring HR policies align with the organization’s goals.
My organizational prowess, excellent communication skills and keen sense of empathy and discretion contribute to effective employee engagement, conflict resolution and a continued collaborative and respectful work environment. I remain dedicated to fostering a workplace where employees thrive and organizational goals are met with efficiency and integrity.
We know you love family gatherings; can you please share a holiday tradition?
A traditional recipe my family enjoys for the holidays is JOLLOF RICE. Nigerian Jollof Rice is more than just a dish: it is a culinary masterpiece deeply rooted in the vibrant culture and traditions of Nigeria. This beloved one-pot rice dish holds a special place in family gatherings, celebration and everyday meals, making it staple across the country.
This dish is a symbol of unity and togetherness, its preparation and consumption brings people together, transcending ethnic and social divides. Whether served at weddings, festivals or Sunday Family dinners Jollof Rice is a culinary ambassador reflecting the rich diversity and shared love for good food in Nigeria.
In Nigerian Household, the preparation of Jollof Rice is often a collaborative and festive affair. Families pass down unique recipes through generations, creating a sense of continuity and tradition. The dish is not only a centerpiece for celebration but also a comforting daily meal, reinforcing the importance of family bonds and shared experience around the dining table.
The ingredients for Nigerian Jollof Rice are a harmonious blend of flavors, creating a delicious and aromatic dish. Common ingredients:
- Long Grain Parboiled Rice: The foundation of Jollof Rice, chosen for its ability to absorb flavors without being mushy.
- Tomatoes and Tomato Paste: a vibrant red color and rich taste comes from ripe tomatoes and tomato paste, forming the base of the dish
- Onions and Bell Peppers and Scotch Bonnet: These aromatic vegetables add depth and sweetness to the dish, enhancing its overall flavor profile
- Vegetable oil: Often used for sautéing and frying, contributing to the dish’s richness
- Spices and Seasonings: A combination of spices like thyme, curry, bay leaves and seasoning cubes or powder provide provides the characteristic savory and aromatic notes
- Prepare the base: blend tomatoes and bell peppers to create a smooth base. Sauté finely chopped onions in vegetable oil until golden brown.
- Add tomato paste: stir in tomato paste, cooking until the mixture thickens and the oil separates
- Seasonings: add a blend of spices and seasoning, adjusting to taste preferences.
- Rinse and parboil rice: wash and parboil the rice until its partially cooked. Drain excess water
- Combine ingredients: mix the parboiled rice with the seasoned tomatoes mixture, ensuring an even coating
- Cooking: cook the rice mixture over low to medium heat, allowing it to absorb the flavors. Add water as needed until the rice is fully cooked.
- Fluff and serve: once cooked, fluff the rice with a fork to separate the grains. Serve hot, garnished with additional ingredients like fried plantains or grilled chicken.
Nigerian Jollof Rice is a celebration of culture, family and the joy of sharing a delicious dish with loved ones.
WELCOME NEW VOLUNTEERS
New, specialized team members
From the onset of COVID, Willow Place had to rapidly adapt. Included in this was our volunteer program. We used downtime enforced by health restrictions to envision, rebuild and streamline our volunteer program, and to find ways to provide more hands-on support for new volunteers.
Most recently, specific needs have arisen in our busy shelter program. These have included cultural supports, translation support, and donation support. Thank you to Volunteer Manitoba for the platform they continue to provide – Willow Place appreciates the visibility and credibility of Volunteer Manitoba services, and the assistance provided to help us recruit for these specialized needs.
Those with questions about our volunteer program are encouraged to contact Shannon on our Community Team: [email protected] or call Shannon at 204-615-0313, ext. 224
FUNDRAISING AND DONATION HIGHLIGHTS
Caring community makes a difference!
November was Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Manitoba, and Willow Place launched our Power of PJs campaign, together with other Manitoba shelters in the Gender Equity Manitoba (GEM) network. Thanks to caring community, we were able to exceed our goal of collecting 150 pairs of new pajamas for women and children in shelter! November also was highlighted by community fundraising including Hockey Helps the Homeless, Royal LePage Shelter Foundation (Ecuador Trek). We are so grateful for the funds raised by these endeavors, and also for the awareness they raise.
Our shelter program is currently accepting donations of stocking stuffer gifts and new unwrapped gifts for women and children. Our deadline to receive items is December 19. For information and to arrange your donation, please contact Renee or Pam:
Renee: 204-615-0313, ext. 231 ([email protected])
Pam: 204-615-0313, ext. 237 ([email protected])
Our shelter program needs to replace a sectional sofa and is hoping we can find a donor. Our needs are a bit particular due to the busy nature of our spaces. The sectional can be gently used but needs to be leather or pleather, with seating for 6-8 adults, dark in colour (brown, black or grey), and with no rips or punctures. If you are able to help out, please contact Pam:
204-615-0313, ext. 237 ([email protected] )
Thank you for your kind support! To quote celebrated Indigenous author, Richard Wagamese, “We are all one drum and we need each other.”
Learn more about Richard Wagamese: CLICK HERE!
Request for Proposals (RFP)
We support Manitobans in nurturing healthy relationships in a safe space. Our vision for Willow Place within the next five years is a holistic expansion of our capabilities and reach, building a comprehensive
support system for those affected by gender-based violence in our community and beyond.
Willow Place has outgrown our current space and is seeking to plan and execute a capital campaign for a new building to broaden and enhance our service delivery capabilities with the necessary resources to sustainably support this evolution. We aim to retrofit a new building as a beacon of safety and transformation, embodying our commitment to healing and growth.
Our vision for this project is a new emergency and transitional housing for women, children, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ individuals who have been affected by gender-based violence. Willow Place’s pursuit of suitable shelter accommodations has spanned numerous years, reflecting the pressing need to enhance its capacity. The existing facilities are inadequate to serve the needs of Willow Place’s residents. Moreover, the number of bed nights for the past year (13,446) has increased by more than 3,500 from the year prior (9,764). The need for a larger shelter is evident as the shelter frequently operates at full capacity or above capacity. This endeavor aims to provide a safe haven and comprehensive support services to best meet the needs of those who have experienced gender-based violence. The proposed project envisions the establishment of a shelter that can accommodate 48 beds with approximately 43 emergency beds and 5 transitional beds. Furthermore, the facility will house 14 offices and common areas designed to cater to the Participants’ needs. These communal spaces include a commercial and teaching kitchen, dining area, classroom, lounge, childminding room, workshop room, spiritual space, and medical examination room.
Key Consultancy Objective
Willow Place seeks to engage an experienced fundraising consultant or consulting firm to provide strategy, direction, counsel, accountability, design, and implementation of a comprehensive fundraising campaign to raise the money needed to support our new building. The consultant will work in consultation with the Willow Place Executive Director, the Board of Directors, and the volunteer capital campaign committee to design and implement their plans.
Key Deliverables and Outcomes
- The Case for Support. This is the document that explains the campaign publicly. It must be clear, and concise and include financial goals for campaign programs and projects. The case must also be an inspiring and deeply persuasive demonstration that our new building is necessary, highlighting the unique qualities and needs of Willow Place. The expected outcome is to have a text with persuasive language that convinces potential donors that the need for a new building is valid, urgent, and compelling.
2. Create and implement a project plan that includes:
- A campaign overview that outlines milestones, activities, budgets, targets, and timelines.
- Roles, responsibilities, and deliverables of those involved in implementing the campaign, and lines of communication and accountability.
- Current and new donor prospects to be targeted and the strategies to be employed for targeting them.
- Creation and oversight of a gift matrix.
- Key messages, target audiences, and marketing and communication initiatives.
- Fundraising events/initiatives.
- Recognition of donors.
3. Management of volunteer capital campaign committee that includes:
- Drafting and communicating job descriptions and expectations to members.
- Maintaining regular communication to keep members up-to-date on campaign progress and upcoming milestones.
- Advise committee in decision-making and establishing targets and timelines.
- Monthly reports to Willow Place tracking progress and outlining any decisions that need to be made as necessary.
- Adequate funds raised to support Willow Place’s goal to retrofit a new building.
- An assessment of the increase in donor engagement and monthly donors following the end of the campaign.
This contract is part-time and is expected to begin in December 2023. It is anticipated that it will take 3 years to raise the necessary funds. Willow Place expects to move into a new building in 2026 and for the fundraising campaign to wrap up in 2025.
Profile of Consultant/Firm
1. Understanding and affirmation of Willow Place’s mission and values.
2. Demonstrated knowledge and experience of fundraising multi-million dollar campaigns.
3. Excellent project management skills, as demonstrated through successful management of personnel, schedule, and budget to complete deliverables on past consulting projects.
4. Proven track record in facilitating communication and collaboration among various organizational departments and positions.
5. Experience with a variety of donor streams such as individual gifts, endowments, online fundraising, social media fundraising, and institutional grants from foundations and government.
6. Demonstrated experience and success in a variety of marketing tools such as direct mail, website, social media, phone soliciting, presentations to philanthropist individuals and groups, etc.
7. Demonstrated knowledge of, and connections to, the philanthropic and donor landscape in Winnipeg.
8. Collaborative and inclusive communications style.
9. CFRE designation an asset.
Proposals should include:
1. A letter of interest that outlines your interest, qualifications, and availability.
2. A fee schedule.
3. Current CV/resume for a single consultant, or CVs for up to three people who would be delivering services on behalf of a firm.
4. Information about 2-3 comprehensive fundraising campaigns you and/or your firm successfully planned, implemented, and executed.
5. Three references from past clients.
Proposals should be submitted on or before November 15th, 2023 to Willow Place, attention of Marcie Wood, Executive Director:
· By email: [email protected]
· Or by mail: P.O. Box 1786, Winnipeg, MB, R3C 2Z9
ECUADOR TREK UPDATE
Winnipeg Realtor, Chris Pennycook
Willow Place is delighted to once again be supported by local Royal LePage agent, Chris Pennycook. The Royal LePage Shelter Foundation raises awareness and much-needed funds for shelter programs across Canada, and the annual Trek is a significant part of this commitment to helping those in need. THANK YOU, Chris and all those who have contributed to make this amazing event possible.
As of September, Chris had already raised over $40,000; and he hopes to once again raise over $100,00! You can follow his program and donate by visiting Chris’s fundraising page: CLICK HERE FOR INFO!
IZZY CHAT APP
Innovation improves access
This past summer, Willow Place launched the Izzy chat application with support from Gender Equity Manitoba. The app provides another option for those seeking violence prevention supports to connect with crisis-support staff at Willow Place. Located on our web site, Izzy appears as a white and purple box in the lower right of the screen. Clicking on the box launches the chat application.
A special THANK YOU to our wonderful Willow Place shelter program staff who demonstrated commitment to learning the Izzy app and whose feedback helped to customize Izzy to meet our crisis response needs.
IMPORTANT: any person, any gender can call us for info or support – 24-hours, every day!
Other ways to connect with Willow Place staff include:
Manitoba toll-free: 1-877-977-0007 (directs caller to closest regional resources)
Winnipeg local: 204-615-0311
Text line: 204-813-8887
Thank you, Anna!
What inspired you to apply for the Willow Place volunteer program?“
I felt a calling to volunteer – specifically somewhere that supported women in crisis. I did a Google Search to see what organizations felt aligned with my mission and values – I am a Tranformational Life Coach focused on the neuroscience of ‘stuckness’.”
What types of activities and supports have you participated in for Willow Place?
“I have done art sessions, supported and played with children, organized art and storage spaces (so the incredible staff can access what they need, when needed), and supported community outreach activities to help spread the word about this vital organization.”
Are there volunteering highlights you’d like to share – what have you noticed or learned?
“So many! 1) Watching staff in action – how they care for and truly seek to support the residents is a testimony to Willow Place’s commitment to empower families. Staff attitudes are contagious, empowering and uplifting. As a volunteer that matters a lot, in creating a space that I love to come to week after week. 2) The residents of Willow Place – I love interacting with children and seeing their artistic expressions, and being a part of such a positive, forward-looking space. I love that women in shelter have chosen to stand up for themselves and that Willow Place provides them with guidance to create a new narrative for them and their families. It feels hopeful. 3) I know the importance of holding space for people and treating them not as broken or missing anything, but I see it in action at Willow Place and it is inspiring. No one talks down to anyone; there is an atmosphere of respect. Women are not treated like they have done something wrong or that they are lesser than others. There are so many skilled and artistic women passing through! HIGHLIGHTS: when children offered to tidy the paper cabinet with me – they worked so hard! Hanging out with staff at golf fundraiser day – we were treated so well and everyone was an absolute delight.”
Self-care is important for those working with violence survivors – what are some things that support your self-care?
“I am very intentional about my self-care. Each day I spend time on ‘me’ – rejuvenating, releasing, growing, supporting and caring. I enjoy long walks, meditation and breath work; quiet time including gratitude practice, reading and crossword puzzles (or something that gives my brain a fun break!), morning coffee with my husband, daily writing and stretching practices; music and movement for stuck energy, intentional early bedtime, drinking lots of water, and filling my body with healthy and delicious food. I also enjoy sitting on my deck, hanging with friends, spending time with my family, and bi-monthly I take a day off for a spa day. There is so much more – self-care is super important to me!”
Do you have a favourite quote, song or saying? Why is it so special to you?
“I have a few, but my two faves are:
1) ‘The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are. – Carl Jung.’ There was a time in my life where I was homeless, alone, suicidal and hopeless. I couldn’t even get dressed because the idea of putting on clothes was too much. The idea of a ‘me’ that was loveable was not even a dream. I had no idea who I was. Now I do, and I love her. This quote is everything because now I understand how true it is.”
2) “ ‘Clearing,’ by Martha Postlewaite: ‘Do not try to serve the whole world or do anything grandiose. Instead create a clearing in the dense forest of your life and wait there patiently, until the song that is yours alone to sing falls into your open cupped hands and you recognize and greet it. Only then will you know how to give yourself to the world so worthy of rescue.’ I love this poem because I spent years forcing businesses to life that ended up being little more than beautiful prisons. I didn’t understand why they felt so empty. When I stopped trying to force something into creation and simply allowed myself to walk where I was pulled – well, that is when all the magic really started to unfold. This poem is also a truth I never fully understood well until I started living it.”
WE APPRECIATE YOU, ANNA!
Volunteer program inquiries: Shannon at 204-615-0313, ext. 224
HOCKEY HELPS THE HOMELESS
Fundraising tournament – save the date!!!
The annual Hockey Helps the Homeless fundraising event is coming soon! We are delighted to share that team sponsorships are SOLD OUT, but you can still get involved as a donor, game-day sponsor, silent auction prize sponsor, spectator or volunteer. Email [email protected] for sponsor and donor inquiries or visit the tournament web site: CLICK HERE!.
Did you know that all games are FREE to attend? The tournament takes place at Seven Oaks Arena, Winnipeg, on November 3, 2023 – we hope you will join us and cheer on the players! Who knows, you may even rub shoulders with some of your hockey heroes and grab an autograph or two.
Willow Place is grateful to be one of three charities who will benefit; the other beneficiaries include Resource Assistance for Youth (RAY), and Red Road Lodge and wishes to express appreciation to the Winnipeg organizing committee, volunteers, and Hockey Helps the Homeless headquarters’ amazing team!
For game day or draft night volunteering:
THE POWER OF PJs
November is Domestic Violence Month
Each fall, Willow Place announces the Power of PJs campaign. Beginning November 1, we seek donations of new pajamas for women and children in shelter. Our goal is to provide every shelter participant in December with a new pair of PJs.
Since the onset of the COVID pandemic, calls for counselling and shelter are growing. In 2022-2023, Willow Place’s crisis supports operated at 134% of capacity. Willow Place could not provide many essentials without support from caring community members. We hope you will help us spread the word, and that you please consider donating new pajamas this November. Beyond providing material needs, this campaign helps to highlight the growing need for violence prevention services in Manitoba. Support for Power of PJs also lets those sheltering with us know that others care about their well-being and want to help.
For questions and to donate:
204-615-0313, ext. 237 or ext. 231 (weekdays, daytime hours)
Safe Halloween and Holiday Giving
Willow Place currently has a number of in-kind donation needs. We require small pumpkins, candy, and craft kits or craft supplies for Safe Halloween activities in the shelter program. We are also collecting holiday gifts and stocking stuffers for women and children in shelter – deadline for holiday giving is December 18th – THANK YOU for your support!