Tuesday, June 29, 2010

In a sea of negativity, in she walks...

People continually amaze me with their generosity.  They really, really do.  I work at a Women's Centre.  This is not a women's shelter, we are more of a resource/referral/advocacy agency for any woman in our region.  A few months back I, along with a couple of women I sat on a committee with, started a community drive gathering donations of toiletries for women to access for free.  We have always known there was an issue with this stuff, we keep pads on site from which women could take a couple, as well as being the drop-off for folks gathering those little bottles from hotels.  It can get freakin' expensive you know?  Especially if you are on a fixed income (social assistance up here in Canada), as most of the women we work with are.

Well, we realized that there is wayyyy more of a need than a couple of pads and little bottles, so "Women Helping Women" was born.  We did some advertising, told everyone that we worked with, and were completely overwhelmed by the community's generosity.  Offices put out donation boxes and held comptetions to see who can get the most stuff collected.  I'm pretty sure every church in our area had a box for us next to their food donation box.  There were massive boxes coming in, garbage bags full.  We got donations of money to buy what we needed.  A baby shower was held with the intention of all gifts being a donation.  It was nuts.  And, this program is popular.  I have no idea how many women have used it since March.  Some only once, some come in each month.  All are generally surprised that they can come here and get free stuff.  It's currently the absolute favourite part of my job.

So, our stock has been getting pretty low and I put out another call for donations.  And, this afternoon in walks a woman I went to school with, carrying a bag full of stuff (everything from deodarant, toothpaste, pads, tampons, baby soap, bodywash).  We had a great chat about what we were up to, how great the program was, yada, yada, yada.  I mentioned how difficult it is for women to have to buy these things when on social assistance and she proceeded to tell me she knew all about that as she is on social assistance.  I was all, "you're on social assistance and you're donating to US????"  She does have supportive parents, but mostly she has a keen eye for deals, buys in bulk when she can and is a master budgeter.  Even with a really (and I mean really) limited income, she wanted to be able to donate to this project.

I am humbled and, oh, so happy today.  I really just wanted to write this post to continue to thank her and thank her and thank her.

Edited to add:  I wrote this post with the intention of later posting it.  About two hours after she dropped off the first bag she came back with another from her mom.


  1. That's amazing, sometimes moments like that restore your faith in humanity. There's too many of the ones that destroy it! Im glad your drive was a success. :)

  2. I still keep thinking about her and it brightens me up when I'm feeling cruddy :)