Brittany Meszaros was 24 years old when she was found dead in April 2020 at the home she shared with her common law partner.
Police allege it was a domestic incident and Alexander Moskaluk was charged with manslaughter.
She would have turned 25 this November and, as the holidays approach, her family is planning to try and help women who may find themselves in the same situation as Brittany.
Meszaros loved kids and animals, so as the family prepared for their first Christmas without her, they thought it was only fitting to organize donations in her honour.
Her sister, Samantha McElwain, said that they’ve partnered with three restaurants to take donations for Brenda’s House, which helps families fleeing domestic violence.
“She had great things to do in her life and unfortunately that got taken away,” said Samantha.
“We just wanted to honour her with something she would love.”
Director of development for the Children’s Cottage Society, Elisha Jackson, said the donations will come at a crucial time this winter.
“We know that parents are so committed to making their kids happy,” said Jackson. “They’re going to do whatever they can to get Christmas gifts for their kids. So if we can provide some of those toys for them, they can concentrate on other things, like getting housed.”
Brittany was the youngest of four sisters. Her sister Chantelle McElwain said that the family hoped that they could help others to try and get through a tough Christmas holiday.
“I think it’s just helping us get through the holiday season,” explained Chantelle.
“We’re just concentrating on helping other people.”
At the Mr. Schnapps location in the northeast, one of the donation bins was already nearly full Friday afternoon.
The sisters hope that something positive will come from their sister’s death.
“She’d love it… She’d be so proud. She’d be right in here with us.”
The family is hoping to make the fundraiser an annual event.