In the spirit of new beginnings, this week I would like to share a little about some generous people that are working hard to help others have an opportunity for a new beginning – in life. A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to donate an evening of my time to an event hosted by the Jennifer Brouwer Design Team www.jenniferbrouwerdesign.com to raise money for Yellow Brick House Markham.
A little about Yellow Brick House from their website http://www.yellowbrickhouse.org/
“Yellow Brick House is committed to rebuilding the lives of abused women and children in York Region. With our team of dedicated counsellors, educators, administration staff and volunteers we work hard to ensure women and children have a safe place to turn to if they become victims of domestic abuse.
Yellow Brick House provides two core services: emergency shelter and outreach services. The emergency shelter offers a safe place for women leaving their abusive relationships, while outreach services offers an array of services and programs to women and their children in various stages of their abusive relationship. All services are free of charge, fully confidential and are available in a variety of languages.”
Due to the rising population in the York region over the last few years, a single shelter is no longer sufficient to meet the needs of abused women and children in that community. Sadly, there are times when women and children in need are turned away, and having a safe place to go can be a matter or life or death. A second shelter will be opening soon to provide a second chance for abused women and children. Jennifer and her design team have very generously donated their time and expertise to decorate the new space and this fundraiser was aimed towards achieving that goal. “A truly great space combines safety, comfort, and a bit of beautiful that energizes in ways few women suffering from abuse can imagine. These brave women are heroes for keeping their children safe! This shelter will provide them with a nurturing environment of love, respect and compassion and help motivate them to believe they are worthy of great things!” explains Jennifer Brouwer, owner of Jennifer Brouwer Design.
When Jennifer asked me to provide the photography services for this event I was more than happy to help; a tougher thing for me was putting into words the why when she generously wrote a little thank-you blog afterwards. As a woman and mother, I just can’t imagine the stress of worrying daily about the safety of my children. I can’t imagine having no place to go other than a shelter, and wondering whether I might be found if I was brave enough to get out. I was working on my engineering degreee in 1989 when an enraged gunman shot 14 female engineering students at Montreal’s École Polytechnique, and it horrifies me that over 20 years later women are still suffering at the hands of men that don’t see them as equals. It is so important that communities support these courageous women that take the monumental step of leaving their lives behind to start a new life, and I want to help in any way that I can.
Here are a few images from the evening, and please have a look at Jennifer’s blog as well for more. http://www.jenniferbrouwerdesign.com/blog/2011/08/there-are-no-words/
If you would like to help with the fundraising efforts for this project, please contact the Jennifer Brouwer Design Team at www.jenniferbrouwerdesign.com. If you would like more information on the Second Shelter; Second Chances campaign, or to donate to the new Yellow Brick House shelter please click the link below.
We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. ~Winston Churchill
The best thing you can give someone is a chance. ~ Author Unknown
Photos by Anita Woo.