Kind Kits being collected for women and children in need

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WATCH: The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the danger for women in abusive relationships and made the homeless more vulnerable. It's why a collective of women from different parts of the country are joining forces to help those in need. As Jill Croteau reports, they're calling on others to help in a very simple way – Nov 9, 2020

They are small tangible things that can make a monumental impact in a woman’s life. “Kind Kits” are being assembled by women across the country to be gifted to abuse survivors and homeless women.

Hotel toiletries, airline kits and makeup bags are being assembled for women in need. Donations are being accepted in several Canadian cities.

It’s an initiative by The Uncommon Woman. Women from across the country have been recruited to help support the cause.

The Uncommon Woman founder, Marlo Ellis, with some donations. Courtesy: Marlo Ellis

Aime Hutton is leading the Kind Kits movement in Calgary.

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“A woman can hold a little hotel shampoo bottle and knows that it’s hers and she doesn’t have to share it with her abuser. It gives her hope to move forward and keep going and not alone and that people want to help her,” Hutton said.

Aime Hutton at drop-off location. Courtesy: Aime Hutton

Hutton is a survivor of an abusive relationship close to 25 years ago. She’s thrilled to come full circle, helping women who have walked a similar journey.

“I know I deserve love and I am deserving of a great partner. It’s been a lot of work to accept that in myself,” Hutton said.

Kind Kits poster. Courtesy: Marlo Ellis

The Kind Kits in Calgary are being given to the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter. CEO Kim Ruse said these items are lifeline.

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“It makes people feel less isolated going through a traumatic experience,” Ruse said.

“This is an issue already behind closed doors and in isolation and having a pandemic has been very challenging for people seeking help, so to have a group be so thoughtful and considerate and pull together something tangible, but speaks to the connection to the outside community, is very valuable and we are very grateful for it,” Ruse said.

Read more: Domestic violence ‘shadow pandemic’ on the rise in Edmonton

Businesses have been more than willing to be donation drop off points. The manager of Midas on 17 Avenue, Moe Zain, agreed without hesitation.

“Every little bit helps,” Zain said. “We want to support the community.”

This movement is spreading across the country. Kind Kits are being assembled in Thunder Bay, Ont., Brandon, Man. and Rocky Mountain House. Frankie Nobert is leading the program in Rocky Mountain House.

Frankie Nobert at drop-off location in Rocky Mountain House. Courtesy: Frankie Nobert

“To know it can make someone feel valued is important and sometimes it makes someone feel valued to just say, ‘I see you,'” Nobert said.

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Donations collected in Rocky Mountain House will go to Mountain Rose Women’s Shelter.

Donations are being accepted until the end of November. The following locations in Calgary are accepting donations:

  • Phythotherapy Booth in the Crossroads Market: 1235 – 26 Ave. SE
  • Joy and Vitality Centre: 163 Quarry Park Blvd SE
  • Black & Gold Lash Academy in the SW
  • Pawsitively Pooched: 728 Northmount Rd NW
  • Midas 2529 – 17th Ave. SW
  • Exmore Bespoke Leather:  261055 Crossiron Blvd
  • Bumble Bee Baskets: 4112 – 8 St. SE

The following are drop-off locations in Rocky Mountain House:

  • TeaRocks Shop: 4908 – 49 Ave.
  • Glamour Studio Eco Salon+Spa: 4704 – 46 St.
  • Anybird Treasures Unique Boutique: 5016 – 50 Ave.

If you or someone you know is facing domestic abuse, resources are available online or by calling the Family Violence Info Line at 310-1818.

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