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Give Me Shelter campaign returns to help women’s shelters during COVID-19

Click to play video: 'Jessie’s House joins shelters that will benefit from your Give Me Shelter donations' Jessie’s House joins shelters that will benefit from your Give Me Shelter donations
Our annual Give Me Shelter Campaign donation drive on Tuesday saw a big push to help families fleeing domestic violence. This year, our campaign will help out six shelters, instead of just five. Morgan Black has more on the intimate story behind the creation of Jessie's House: a new facility in Sturgeon County in memory of Jessica Martel – Dec 8, 2020

Global News Give Me Shelter campaign is asking for online cash donations or gift card drop-offs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Each year, thousands of women and children flee domestic violence and find shelter at one of the Edmonton and surrounding area’s women’s shelters.

Donations are shared among WIN HouseWINGS of ProvidenceA Safe PlaceLaSalle Shelter and Lurana Shelter.

Click to play video: 'Give me Shelter: Wings of Providence' Give me Shelter: Wings of Providence
Give me Shelter: Wings of Providence – Dec 8, 2020

For the past 16 years, people have stepped up with toys, unwrapped gifts, much needed toiletries and gift cards in an effort to help make the holidays a bit brighter for women and children seeking shelter.

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Increased need during COVID-19

Jan Reimer, executive Director of the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters said shelters in the province are facing more challenges than ever during the pandemic.

Read more: How Give Me Shelter donations helped an Edmonton woman escaping her abusive marriage: ‘We felt that love’

“The increased numbers of COVID-19 have had an impact on staffing. Shelters are going above and beyond to maintain safety,” she said.

She said having access to a shelter provides safety and support for women and their children.

“It gives them the space to think about next steps, how they will move forward on their path to healing. They are essential,” she said. “every hour of every day, a woman is abused by a current or former partner. This is very prevalent. We know what shelters see is the tip of the iceberg.”

Reimer said many women don’t seek out formal services, turning instead to friends and neighbours.

Read more: Crisis calls to Alberta women’s shelters up 10% in 2 years

“You don’t have to come to a shelter to be supported by one,” she said. “For women to know there are others who care about them, working to support them, that they have value. It’s such a key message for women to hear.”

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Click to play video: 'Give Me Shelter: WIN House' Give Me Shelter: WIN House
Give Me Shelter: WIN House – Dec 8, 2020

Carole-Anne Devaney said she knows Global Edmonton viewers will miss the drive-thru and gift drop off.

“It’s such a special event for us. We are definitely going to miss that. But the need is still there. We just have to get creative,” Devaney said. “A lot of people love to give something tangible, but people have to remember a gift card or cash donation can go a long way as well.”

How to donate

Your online donations can be made directly to one (or all) of the five Edmonton and area women’s shelters here.

If you prefer to donate a gift card, you can find a donation box at Global Edmonton at 5326 Allard Way in the front entrance.

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If you need to speak with a women’s shelter near you — you can call toll free 24/7 at 1-866-331-3933.

Give Me Shelter runs from November 23 through December 18.

Click to play video: 'Give Me Shelter campaign returns to help families fleeing violence during the pandemic' Give Me Shelter campaign returns to help families fleeing violence during the pandemic
Give Me Shelter campaign returns to help families fleeing violence during the pandemic – Dec 8, 2020

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