A mainstay in our city for more than 25 years, the Calgary-based Women In Need Society (WINS) is encountering significant financial challenges as a result of a depressed economic environment and an increased need for services. The organization is desperately calling on the support of Calgarians to help keep their Family Resource Centres open.
WINS is a local charitable organization that was founded in 1992 and provides basic needs goods to women in poverty and their families. They currently operate five thrift stores, a donation centre, a Free Good Referral Program and four Family Resource Centres.
“Our greatest challenge is that the demand for our community programs has grown significantly and is outpacing the revenue generated from our stores, limiting our ability to serve the women who so desperately need our help,” says Karen Ramchuk, Executive Director of WINS. “While our retail stores continue to be profitable, a decrease in general retail spending and an increase in client service needs, taxes and wages has affected our organization substantially.”
WINS’ four Family Resource Centres will undergo a temporary closure on March 23, which could become permanent as early as the end of April unless WINS can raise an additional $500,000 to supplement its store revenues. While large-scale fundraising efforts are currently underway, WINS is also encouraging Calgarians to “give where they live” to help keep WINS’ doors open.
Calgarians are encouraged to support WINS in one or more ways by:
1) Making a cash donation by visiting www.womeninneed.net
2) Donating gently used clothing, household goods and furniture to WINS
3) Choosing to shop at WINS stores across Calgary
4) Selecting WINS as the beneficiary of community-based event donations
Between 6,000 and 7,000 individual women are helped on the path of self-sustainability every year through WINS’ community programs. The number of services offered to clients has doubled between 2014 and 2017.
“The women who leverage WINS services are desperately trying to start a new life for themselves and their families,” continues Ramchuk. “They may have fled an unstable country and are making a new home in Canada, or they may have escaped an abusive situation and are ready to move forward. Either way, our resources and services are necessary for these women to establish a secure and safe family environment in Calgary.”
The fundraising campaign will continue until April 15, 2018. For more information and to give, please visit www.womeninneed.net.
About Women In Need Society
Women In Need Society (WINS) is a Calgary-based charity helping women in need and their families. Operating four Family Resource Centres, a Free Goods Referral Program, Employment Program, Recycling Program and the WINS Thrift Stores social enterprise, WINS provides women with the resources, knowledge, skills and confidence to achieve self-sufficiency. For more information please visit www.womeninneed.net.
For interview inquiries, please contact:
Paula Worthington on behalf of WINS