2021 Lakeside Christmas Giving Campaign
What Happens in the First 24 Hours of a Crisis?
In the middle of the night a young mother and her children quietly climb into the back of a car outside their townhouse with nothing more than the hope of escaping a verbally and emotionally abusive home life. She has no family in the area, no money, and nowhere to turn. The shelters are at capacity but she needs a place to stay where she and her children will be safe.
On the same night, a young woman is brought into the police station for questioning. She is the victim of human trafficking and is one of the fortunate ones to escape. She’s tired and hungry. She has no idea how long she’ll be at the police station and needs something to eat in the moment.
On the other side of the city, a father arrives home with his child to find his wife has taken her own life. Police are on scene but the man and his child have nowhere to stay until the home is no longer a crime scene. The family is new to the community and their English is limited. Because of the situation, the landlord has requested they move out.
What do these situations have in common?
They’re true stories and they happen right here in our community.
But the biggest challenge is that neither the food nor shelter that these men, women, and children need is covered by any type of government funding.
So often, victims of domestic violence, human trafficking, and other tragic circumstances are forced to flee immediately … with nothing. In any crisis situation, the first 24 hours are critical.
Whether the need is temporary housing, toiletries, or a simple meal, this Christmas, we’re partnering with just two (of many) local organizations working to care for people in our community, with limited resources.
GIVE. SERVE. CREATE.
That’s the theme of Lakeside’s 2021 Christmas Giving Campaign. We believe there’s more than one way to help, and this Christmas season (and beyond), we encourage you to do what you can, in whatever way you can do it. We’re partnering with two amazing, local organizations who are on the front lines serving the most vulnerable in our community – Victim Services Wellington and HOPE House. Maybe you can make a financial donation (give), maybe you can give your time by volunteering (serve), or maybe you can help create “First 24 Hour Kits” to help those who need immediate care (create). How will you choose to support the Christmas Giving Campaign this year?
Your donation helps with immediate housing, food, and other needs in the first 24 hours of a crisis situation – supports that aren’t covered by government funding. Go to our website and select “Christmas Giving Campaign” to help Victim Services Wellington continue to offer emergency support and intervention.
Victim Services Wellington is a non-profit organization that works in partnership with emergency services to provide immediate crisis intervention, emotional and practical support, and resources to all victims of crime, trauma, and tragic circumstance. They work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Staff and volunteer crisis responders are available to support and advocate for anyone impacted by crime or trauma.
HOPE House is an independent, local charity that is funded entirely by our community and does not receive government dollars. They offer emergency and monthly resources and support to individuals and families in need, operating and advocating on the belief that poverty, food insecurity, inequality, health, and community are all interconnected. They offer Food and Clothing Markets, a Cafe, Breakfast Program, Hair Salon, and other supports.
Both Victim Services Wellington and HOPE House rely heavily on committed, caring, compassionate volunteers.
We’ll let them tell you in their own words how you can get involved.
Phone: 519-824-1212 ext. 7304
Partnerships between local organizations are so important. When victims need food, clothing, or other tangible, non-emergency supports, they are referred to organizations like HOPE House, but in an emergency situation, victims often take no personal items with them. So this Christmas we are creating “The First 24 Hour” Kits to be donated to HOPE House and Victim Services. These are the basics that men, women, and children need to get through those first hours of a traumatic situation. Pack a kit (or two) by yourself, with your family, small group, or neighbours, and drop off at Lakeside North or Lakeside Downtown by Jan. 2, 2022.
* Gift cards enable Victim Services to pick up immediate items such as food, clothing, toiletries, and other necessities in the moment. Please consider donating whatever amount you can afford, whether that’s $5, $10, $25, or $50. Every amount helps.
Women: toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, small box of tampons/pads, and a gift card* (Shoppers Drug Mart, Walmart, Zehrs, Tim Hortons, Petro Canada)
Men: toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, razor, and a gift card* (Walmart, Zehrs, Tim Hortons, Petro Canada).
Children: toothbrush, toothpaste, colouring book, pencil crayons, and a gift card* (McDonalds, Walmart, Tim Hortons)