Since 1980, Halton Women’s Place has been fighting domestic abuse through an amazing network of support. Counselors help women through what Head Fundraiser Carmella Bozzo says are “The most dangerous time of their lives.”
As with any non profit, one of the biggest obstacles is the budget. Bozzo says that while what Government help they receive is just enough to keep their doors open, she applauds the support they have received from the community that enables them to go above and beyond. This February they will host the first of three annual large fundraising events, the Wonderland Gala.
“The event itself is comprised of cocktails, sit down dinner with open bar, silent and live auctions and two big draws,” says Bozzo. “One of which is a ticket to anywhere Air Canada flies and the other is a one of a kind jeweled ring.”
Bozzo says that this event is important, not only because it raises significant money, but awareness as well. I asked Bozzo if in the years the shelter has been helping women and children if they’d seen a decline in the number of cases they’ve handled.
“A decline? Absolutely not,” she responds. “Our shelters are full most of the year.” Bozzo explains that while there hasn’t been a decline, there has definitely been a change in thinking. “Women have choices and options. They know there are places in their community to go and get help,” she says.
If you’re reading this article and want to help, there are a few ways you can. Bozzo says firstly that any financial help is appreciated. It enables them to go out into the community and work in schools with the next generation. “We know that we won’t end violence against women in our lifetime,” says Bozzo. Educators go into schools and work with young students, teaching them about healthy relationships and hopefully “ending the cycle of violence before it begins,” she says. They are also looking for any donations of women’s items as well as baby furniture. Essentially, anything to help with the transition in or out of the shelter is beneficial.
The Wonderland Gala is February 25th at the Oakville Conference Centre. It promises to be a night of whimsy for a great cause. For more information, click here. Again, donations to the shelter help them to go above and beyond. Last year, Bozzo says they assisted more than 1000 women and children, as well as responding to more than 2000 calls on their crisis hotline. The Halton Women’s Shelter is an invaluable part of our community and we encourage you to learn more.
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