Close to Home Campaign exceeds goal!

Women’s Centre of York Region (WCYR)’s Close to Home campaign (C2H) has wrapped up and the results have exceeded the target of $100,000. The campaign started in September 2011 and ran for six months. The goal was to raise funds to bring more WCYR programs and services close to where women live in their own communities. When all results were counted, the campaign raised $143,135.63!
WCYR Executive Director, Kirsten Eastwood explained the reason for launching the campaign, “Last fall, we realized that most women have to come to our Newmarket Centre, since that is where we run most of our programs. Our clients are often challenged by transportation (both public transit and the price of gas), which may make it impossible to physically get to Newmarket. In other cases, childminding or work schedules mean they can’t access service when and where they need it. We recognized that if we are to truly serve women in the region, we have to physically be in all parts of the region. While on-line access is effective at reaching women, face-to-face support connects women.”
The campaign also had a real community focus on connecting to local businesses. WCYR has over 200 community partners, mainly small and medium sized businesses in York Region. Ms. Eastwood said, “We wanted to let businesses know they could play a role in bringing programs to their community that could support their employees, suppliers and customers. Collectively, we wanted to raise awareness that abuse and poverty exist in our communities and everyone can play in a role in moving women from dependency to independency.”
One of those businesses was The NewRoads Automotive Group. The various dealerships held a Hallowe’en dress up day where employees donated funds to WCYR and this created a healthy and fun competition at the company. They also made WCYR one of the beneficiaries of their March Girls Night Out event, which raised funds and donations of food and personal care items for WCYR. “Jim VanDusen from The NewRoads Automotive Group said, “We got involved because at NewRoads we believe participating in our community and giving back where we can really matters. We see WCYR providing critically needed services and have been pleased to support their “Close to Home Campaign”. Working together we truly feel we can make a difference in the lives of local people who need a friendly helping hand.”
The news was officially announced on daytime York Region by host Jeff Moore who was Chair of C2H. Mr. Moore was instrumental in promoting the campaign by asking people to join him in ensuring all women have access to support close to where they live. Mr. Moore said, “I believe everybody deserves a sustainable and healthy life. WCYR helps women get there with hope and dignity. That is why I support and trust the work they do.”
As a result of the campaign, WCYR is able to run their life skills program in new locations in Markham and Keswick with the plan to expand their job readiness and self-employment programs to Markham this fall. WCYR will continue to focus on engaging local businesses to create and maintain healthy communities for their clients. “At WCYR, we believe in supporting local businesses so they thrive and play a key role in their communities as employers and supporters of WCYR”, Ms. Eastwood said
WCYR is celebrating 35 years of providing counselling services and skills development programs for women who have experienced abuse or significant financial instability.
WCYR’s goal is to move women towards sustainable livelihoods. WCYR will be running a number of events to celebrate this milestone anniversary. For more information visit Women’s Centre of York Region.