Having recently met some of the women, children and men the YWCA supports; I can imagine how impactful this holiday season will be for them.  At this time of year, throughout the YWCA, there are many who are not expecting to have a very merry holiday.

However, last week I witnessed the generosity of our city and realized that our clients would enjoy more than they expected.

Samaritan’s Purse Calgary Christmas Shoebox campaign delivered more than 300 shoeboxes to the YWCA that will be distributed through our emergency shelter and transitional housing programs.  Each box contained hand packed basic needs items and some extra special products such as Holt Renfrew luxury and beauty items.

While the team of YWCA volunteers unloaded boxes, they explained how the contents of each parcel was valuable to women who were vulnerable and that each item was meant to make clients feel special.

Following the shoebox deliveries, Urban Barn donated more than 100 blankets that the clients of the YWCA will use to find comfort, security and a sense of self from something they can call their own.  “The donation of these items is important to a variety of YWCA programs,” says Sue Tomney, CEO of YWCA of Calgary.  “Providing basic needs items and those extra special things at this time of year adds a little joy at a time when women and children here may have little to look forward to.”

The gifts the YWCA receives over the holidays are some of the most treasured of the year.  These gifts provide the comfort of warmth and kindness.  However, the time for giving does not end with the holidays.  The need continues throughout the year.

The YWCA of Calgary, Calgary’s largest and longest serving women’s organization, operates an efficient central supply chain to support the distribution of gift-in-kind items from our donors to our clients.  Many donors prefer to give tangible items rather than cash donations and the YWCA works hard to ensure we are able to effectively manage this.

With the support of our donors, the YWCA will continue to provide women the opportunities they need to build a thriving future.