SOWINS Share the Spirit campaign lifts off

The holiday season can mean so much more for those who are most vulnerable in our society, for better or worse.

Sheila Robertson (left) and Bethany Handfield of the South Okanagan Women in Need Society (SOWINS) watch as Suzanne Lougheed creates one of the reusuable bags for the organization's annual Share the Spirit campaign last year.

The holiday season can mean so much more for those who are most vulnerable in our society, for better or worse.

The South Okanagan Women in Need Society’s annual Share the Spirit Christmas hamper program hopes to ensure it is for the better.

“I’m always at the location when women come to pick up their hampers and you witness women who break down and cry, they are truly touched by the help that they are getting,” said Sheila Robertson, outreach worker for SOWINS as well as the organizer of the event.

SOWINS is inviting the community to sponsor hampers for families or single women who have used SOWINS services in the past year to help give a Christmas meal and gifts to those with nowhere else to turn.

The hampers aim to feed a family for one week, which equates to about $60 in groceries or grocery vouchers for a single woman and for a family with one child about $125 worth, adding $25 for each extra child in a family. The other component of the hamper is giving each person in a family two gifts. Sponsors will be matched up with families and given a shopping list for items they need.

For those unable to sponsor an entire family, donations and monetary contributions will also be accepted and used for gifts at the children’s Christmas party put on by SOWINS, to create hampers, or as gifts for those staying at the Transition House during Christmas. Donations can be dropped off at the SOWINS office at #303 246 Martin St. which is open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“Not everybody can afford to help a whole family, it is a lot to ask for somebody to do that, so you can drop off a toy, a grocery voucher, groceries, personal care products, all kinds of different things,” Robertson said, noting that all products do need to be new.

The Christmas party for children and families using SOWINS services takes place on Dec. 7 with a turkey dinner and an appearance by Santa Claus with each child receiving a gift, as well as the parents.

The holidays can be a crucial time for women who come to SOWINS.

“We deal with a lot of women who are not only leaving abusive relationships, but poverty is a real issue for them. They are starting over again, or maybe they don’t make that much money, so this is a hard time for them,” Robertson said. “They are wanting to provide Christmas for their family and Christmas for themselves as well. This really helps.”

The deadline for the hampers to be ready is Dec. 9 and the hampers will be distributed Dec. 9-10. Anybody who wants to sponsor a family can call Liz at 250-493-4366 ext. 120 or emailsharethespirit@sowins.com.

 

 

Just Posted

TGIF: Penticton and South Okanagan events listings

Live theatre, concerts, events, art exhibits and more from around the South Okanagan

Penticton Vees trade hockey sticks for paddles at dragon boat challenge

The squad will hit the water for a challenge against Penticton Dragon Boating

Apex Community Association ‘will work for the community’

It has applied for charitable status and the Apex Fire Brigade will join as a charitable entity

Rain in the forecast for much of the Southern Interior

Rain for much of the day in most areas clearing in the evening

Madchild brings demons of drug abuse to Okanagan

Swollen Members rapper takes Status stage

B.C. Hydro applies to decrease electricity rates next year

Province wrote off $1.1 billion debt to help reverse rate increase

Repair work to begin on lakeshore paths in Summerland

Paths were damaged during spring flooding in 2017 and 2018

One sent to hospital following Balmoral Road/Highway 1 collision

Violation ticket issued in second crash at Balmoral intersection in two weeks

Chase RCMP request public’s help to find missing man

Travis Allen Sauls was last seen in Chase on July 14

Smash and grab at Okanagan pot shop

Cash register and products stolen from Starbuds store in Lake Country

Cause of North Okanagan house fire still under investigation

Mom rescued sleeping baby from Thursday’s blaze

Entrepreneur gives Okanagan’s homeless women a boost

The woman says she’ll continue to package and send out bags of products from her self-run business

Speculation tax forces sale of Greater Victoria’s iconic ‘Tulip House’

Bob and Jan Fleming selling their retirement home famous for its thousands of tulips

Most Read