To distribute loot bags to children who are temporarily living in Women’s Shelters. Currently, these bags are delivered to 8 Women’s Shelters in the G.T.A. (Greater Toronto Area.)
Loot bags are distributed 4 times per year to each shelter. The program delivers 200 loot bags per quarter, and by the end of December 2020, will have delivered over 4,400 bags and over 18,000 brand new books.
To date, we have delivered over 125,000 individual items to children.
- March Break – books, craft supplies, Easter candy
- June – books, craft supplies, glow sticks, nightlights
- August – Backpacks for each school-age child, which includes books and an assortment of school supplies such as paper, pens, pencils, markers, and erasers
- Christmas – books, candy, craft supplies, nightlights
- School supplies: backpacks, binders, notebooks, duo-tangs, notepads, pencil cases, pens, pencils, crayons, markers, erasers, sharpeners and glue sticks
- Craft items: paint, glitter, origami paper, construction paper, beads, Styrofoam, jigsaw puzzles, yarn
- Miscellaneous items: socks, hair accessories, nightlights, toothbrushes
The contents of the bag vary based on the season.
Shelters We Support
- Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter, Etobicoke
- Halton Women’s Place, Halton
- Herizon House, Ajax
- Muslim Welfare Home, Whitby
- Nisa Homes, Mississauga
- The Denise House, Oshawa
- YWCA of Durham, Oshawa
- Y’s Wish, Oshawa
K2K Program – (Kids 2 Kids)
To write notes or draw pictures, that are distributed to children who are temporarily living in Women’s Shelters.
This program only began in March 2017. To date, notes have been delivered to 4 shelters. Approximately 150 notes have been delivered. Older children sent notes in sealed envelopes. Pictures and notes from younger children were place in binders and presented to the staff at the shelter.
It’s a small gesture of kindness – from one child to another. Those who write the notes do so anonymously or only sign their first name. Those who receive the notes don’t know the origins of the note, but are aware that another child cares about them.
Loot Bags Donated
Individual Items Donated
More than half of the mothers who experience abuse report that their child witnessed them being harmed. In Canada, each year an average of 800,000 children witness a woman being abused. Witnessing domestic violence has many proven long-term impacts on children and youth. This includes vulnerabilities to emotional trauma, psychiatric disorders, suicide attempts, and more.
In fact, children who witness violence often grow up to be victims of violence or abusers themselves, because they receive the message that violence is an acceptable and normal way to resolve conflicts.
This is why Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter invests in caring for children and youth, because we recognize that their needs are distinct from the needs of their mothers, and we believe in the importance of early intervention to break the cycle of abuse.
Source: Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter