Membership Pays, Pay It Forward

February 26, 2018

CWES logoThis March, Calgary Co-op is hoping to make a difference in the lives of women and children facing family violence and abuse.  For the month of March, anyone who cashes their Co-op refund cheque in the store, will get a voucher that ensures a donation to the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter.  

“These donations are critical to the operations of the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter,” explains Kim Ruse, the Executive Director of the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter. “We rely heavily on community support to provide our programs and services to Calgarians. Over half of our budget is supported through donations from community members.”

Membership Pays, Pay It Forward

This unique fundraiser for the women’s shelter is made easier for Calgary Co-op members since you can easily contribute to the cause by simply bringing in your member refund cheque.

Did you know you can use your member refund cheque to pay for your Co-op purchase? If you do, right now you can also pay it forward and make a difference to women in need.  

Here’s how it works:

  1. Use your member refund cheque to pay for your purchase at Co-op
  2. You’ll receive the balance in cash or Co-op gift cards
  3. For each cheque, the Co-op Community Foundation will donate $5 to the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter
  4. Co-op will also match any donation you choose to make. 

Co-op is hoping to raise $50,000 through this process.

Family Violence Affects Us All

Shockingly, 1 in 2 Canadian women will experience at least one incident of physical or sexualized violence. 

“The issue of family violence and abuse truly cuts across all sectors of society, says Ruse. “It is often an invisible issue that is masked in stigma. This type of promotion and support truly supports people impacted by encouraging the conversation at a community level.”

In addition to providing for basic needs, including food, clothing and toiletries, The Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter offers counselling, assistance and — in serious cases— a safe haven for women who fear for their safety, their lives, or the well-being of their children.

Though the Emergency Shelter is the cornerstone of the organization, it’s much more than a shelter. The services that support it help approximately 16,000 clients each year through a number of innovative safety, healing, and prevention programs. Started back in 1973, the shelter was a small, volunteer-run organization. Today it’s grown in both size and impact — and need. The Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter has seen an increase in referrals over the last few years.   

Ruse says the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter is grateful for the support of Calgary Co-op and its customers. 

“Donations such as these are directed towards projects that are preventative in nature. These donations will support programs that work with children and youth in their schools and families to help them live lives free from violence and abuse. We provide specialized counselling to children and youth who have been traumatized. We also work with children and youth around building their capacity to choose and build healthy relationships.”

Through each small gesture on the part of Co-op members, bring their refunds cheques in and using them in-store, we can make a much bigger impact as a community. Help Calgary Co-op raise $50,000 for women, children, and families so they can have a safe haven today, and a brighter future tomorrow.

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