Like most moms, Shannon did not ask for a holiday gift, she only wanted to bring joy to her two young boys after a year of hardship.
Leaving an abusive relationship is a lonely and financially straining experience. Abusers create isolation that prevents women and children from having anyone or anywhere to turn, said SOWINS (South Okanagan Women In Need Society).
Shannon’s family welcomed her and her sons with support when they relocated to the Okanagan. Shortly after arriving and beginning their long journey of healing, Shannon and her boys experienced another tragedy.
A family member they were close to suddenly passed away and then not only were they coping with the long-term effects of the abuse they endured, but they were also mourning the loss of a loved one. Her family continued to help as much as they could, but with Shannon only being able to work part-time, it was often difficult for her to keep up with everyday costs, let alone the added costs of the holiday season.
During Shannon’s first winter in the Okanagan, her SOWINS support worker signed her and her sons up for the Share the Spirit of Giving campaign. She listed a few items that her sons needed but left her section blank. Upon receiving her hamper, Shannon was deeply touched to see that the sponsor had included a gift for her, along with a note wishing her hope and wellness.
“Hope,” she said when she read this note, “Hope is what keeps me going. Hope and my boys.” The generosity and thoughtfulness she experienced from the sponsor moved Shannon. That small gesture brightened not only her boys’ holiday but hers as well.
SOWINS Share the Spirit of Giving has been bringing hope to women, youth, and children within our communities for over 20 years.
Today, on Giving Tuesday, SOWINS is asking you to help brighten someone’s holidays this season.
You can sponsor a family and make sure they have a happy holiday or fill a backpack for someone who doesn’t have a home. Click here to learn about the Share the Spirit campaign.
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