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Local money making a difference one book, one ride, one dance, one dinner, one plant, one Mother’s Day basket, one legacy at a time

Cowichan Women Against Violence (CWAV) Society couldn’t do our work without the stable and long-term funding of our government partners. About 75% of our program funding comes directly or indirectly from government. That constitutes stable income for our counselling, crisis and pre-employment programs as well as Somenos Transition House. In any given year, up to additional 10% of our funding, often in the form of multi-year grants, comes from large foundations like the Canadian Women’s Foundation and the Vancouver Foundation.

Like many non-profits, CWAV has a loyal and significant group of donors whose generosity allows us to provide services beyond what that core funding affords. With this money, we provide additional program hours and fill gaps in services. At the moment, this money represents the remaining 15% of our annual income. From it we fund one-third of our Children Who Witness Abuse counselling and, in the past year, donations have covered short falls in the budgets for a Strengthening Parenting course and our summer Youth Stand Up leadership project.

We have a growing number of supporters who donate to us because they want their charitable contributions to benefit people in the Cowichan Valley. They join a trend of philanthropists choosing to give back to the region that made them successful

The support of local non-profits is an extension of the “support local” and “buy local” movements.  It recognizes that keeping money local stimulates and strengthens the local economy and the resilience of the community. 

CWAV would like to recognize some of the people and organizations that work at the community level to support charities and non-profits like ours.

Two of our supporters have set up charitable foundations to ensure their support lasts well into the future. Eight years ago, Cobble Hill residents Jim and Jackie Barker decided to have a used book sale to raise money for local charities. They established The Garden Foundation with the proceeds and by the end of this year’s sale on October 17th and 18th, the foundation will have raised $100,000.  The profit from that investment provides annual funds in perpetuity to the Barkers’ chosen charities – CWAV Society, Duncan S.P.C.A. and Cowichan Family Life.

The Garden House Foundation’s 2015 sale is at George Bonner School, 3060 Cobble Hill Rd, Mill Bay from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, October 17, 2015 and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday, October 18, 2015. Most books are less than $3. 

The Canadian Women’s Ride Day Foundation was established in 2014 by Joley Baker and Greer Stewart, owners of Westcoast Roar in Mill Bay. The income to that foundation comes as a result of the annual women’s motorcycle ride which is held in the valley each July. This foundation supports CWAV and Women in Need in Victoria.

Other local organizations use their relationship with national foundations to funnel money to CWAV. Contributions from local real estate agents to the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation are channeled back to Somenos House. Similarly, each year Winners and HomeSense work in partnership with the Canadian Women’s Foundation so purchases made locally during the national Shop for Hope campaign are donated to Somenos House.

Shimmy Mob is an international organization created to promote belly dance as an art form. They use flash mob type belly dances to help shelters that help women and children. CWAV’s Somenos Transition House has been the shelter of choice for Shimmy Mobs in Duncan, Thetis Island and New Westminster.

Other organizations that have leveraged local money to help CWAV Society include Dinter’s Nursery’s Mother’s Day Basket event where, for a nominal fee, kids make a flower basket for their moms and grandmas. The Mill Bay Plantaholics use their annual plant sale as a way to support CWAV. 

The more we can grow this pool of local money, the more we can do.

Our initiative to build 20 units of second-stage apartments would mean women with and without children would have a year or two of safe, affordable housing as well as staff support to get ready for independence. Second-stage housing is based on the premise that “housing is only the first step and once people have secure, quality housing it is often a catalyst for people to achieve other goals.”  

We want to include 20 to 30 affordable rental apartments in the project would add new permanent housing to the valley. These units and the commercial space in which CWAV would be a tenant would provide the operational dollars needed to hire staff to support the women and children in the second-stage units. Donations from local supporters will be critical to the success of this project.

CWAV is using our November 7th Gala as enjoyable way to support local giving. Proceeds from ticket sales and the auction will be used to help develop the business plan and conceptual design of the building project. A charitable income tax receipt for $50 will be issued for each ticket and items donated to the silent and live auctions may also qualify for a tax credit.

We hope you’ll take the opportunity to purchase books at The Garden House Foundation sale on the 17th and 18th and tickets to the November 7th Gala. 

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