FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John Women’s Resource Society received an $11,555 donation from Shopper’s Drug Mart Friday afternoon.
The funds were raised as part of the retailer’s Growing Women’s Health campaign, which aims to help fund women’s shelters across Canada.
Manager Tammy Koponyas says the FSJ Shoppers was second in fundraising out of 1300 stores.
“We’re very fortunate in our community because our customers and community embrace it fully. It’s really community-driven. It’s the community who’s donating through us at the store,” Koponyas said.
Lisa Jewell, housing and outreach coordinator with the WRS, says she’s thankful for the ongoing relationship the society has with Shoppers.
“I just want to acknowledge the fact that the management and the staff down at shoppers, any single time we have phoned and said, we need some help for something they’re there,” Jewell said.
The past year has brought significant challenges for the WRS that have seen a 104 per cent increase in clients accessing outreach services. In 2021, 12,013 people accessed the society’s outreach services compared to 5,873 in 2020.
“That’s food, hygiene, and household items. Basic essentials that they wouldn’t have been able to receive anywhere else, if not, for being able to come here and access what we have to offer,” Jewell explained.
Jewell also hinted at the society possibly holding a fundraiser in the near future that will allow them to move locations as their current location is too small and has plumbing issues.
“We lost all of our plumbing last week. We had no water, and our sewage backed up all over the basement. None of us were able to use a washroom at work,” Jewell said.
Jewell also said if the society were able to relocate to a larger space, they’d be able to hire more social workers.
“We could expand programming and introduce new programs and services to people of low income. addressing even more of the service gaps in Fort St. John if we had more space,” Jewell said.
Jewell advises residents to check the Society’s Facebook page in the coming weeks for a fundraiser announcement.
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