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Mary Byberg Inspires Women To Believe A Better Life Is Possible

11 May

Last year, Nellie’s volunteer Fundraising Chair, Mary Byberg was a recipient of Harlequin’s More Than Words Award and received a $15,000 grant for Nellie’s Shelter.

We are so pleased to announce that Harlequin has now released a fictional e-book based on Mary’s life story that will inspire other women and moms to know that there is a better life after an abusive relationship.  This e-book is available from Harlequin to download free here.

Mary has been an inspiration at Nellie’s since 2004 when she started volunteering on the Board of Directors. She has spent countless hours working hard to help raise money for our shelter, and awareness of the issues by speaking publicly about her own life experiences.

Reaching out for help and support from a shelter when she needed it most changed Mary’s life forever. And now, she’s passionate about giving back to the community and helping others find a way out.

This Mother’s Day, make time for yourself to read this wonderful story, and make your donation that will give inspiration, hope and a better future for the moms and kids who are residing at Nellie’s today.

Happy Mother’s Day from all of us at Nellie’s.

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Nellie’s Jewelry Making Program

6 Mar

As part of our International Women’s Day Blog Series we would like to introduce you to one of our staff members, Joanna. Joanna works as a counsellor at Nellie’s Shelter and she facilitates Nellie’s Jewelry Making Program.  Joanna’s love of jewelry making started at a young age as her grandmother and mother taught her how to make acorn necklaces. Soon she was making more complicated pieces such as star-quill earrings and eventually created her own custom jewelry.  Her work is grounded in authentic Native traditions and she uses procupine quills, beads and stones in a traditional style with contemporary flare.  Today Joanna shares her passion with the women and children at the shelter, showing them how to be creative and how to design their own custom jewelry.

(Beautiful pieces of jewelry made by the women at Nellie’s Shelter)

At the Jewelry Making Program, each woman creates a “One of a Kind” piece that they can be proud of owning including handmade necklaces, earrings and bracelets.  At Nellie’s we celebrate the courage that it takes to walk away from violence. We want to support women through their journey to freedom. With a holistic healing approach, we aim to provide creative and expressive ways for woman to move away from their worries and come together to focus on a new way of self expression. Creating something beautiful for themselves is time spent healing.

Many women at this group have told us that they have not had an opportunity to do something fun and creative in a long time.  Having dedicated and caring staff like Joanna guide women through this process helps them to develop self-confidence and new forms of expression.  This group is also a place for discussions to occur among women in an informal setting.  If you’d like to get involved in this program, we are always looking for items we can make jewelry with including beads, stones and gems. Next month, the women will be creating dream catchers.

Women share their thoughts on Supper Drop-In

20 Oct

Last night we asked the women attending our Wednesday night Supper Drop-In Program what they like best about it.  Here is what they had to say:

“Nellie’s is saving my life. Without this I would be hungry every day.”

“When I step in, I feel that I have a family.”

(Adriana, Nellie’s Community Outreach Worker hosts the Supper Drop-In Program every Wednesday night).

“The staff, volunteers, and students are a part of our life.  Thank you Nellie’s for that.”

“My daughter loves attending the Wednesday Drop-In Program to have a warm and amazing meal and to play with the other kids.”

(Nellie’s Placement Student Anna helps with the Supper Drop-In Program).

Thank you to our Summer Student Employees

16 Sep

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”    -Confucius-

( from left to right Emily McDonald, Maria Sicutad , Awo Abokor, and Erin Callaghan).

Our student employees worked unbelievably hard this summer to support the women and children in our care.  We are so grateful for the talent, skills, ambition, and passion that they brought to Nellie’s.  A world without violence is possible, and these young women are working to make it a reality.

Emily worked on our Community Support & Outreach Team with women who were seeking assistance in the areas of immigration, legal issues, child welfare, and housing.  We are proud that Emily will be continuing her work with Nellie’s as a Relief Staff.

Maria worked with our Development Team to assist with fundraising, administration, and event planning.  Maria played a very important role in planning our Online Holiday Auction and will continue on as a volunteer at Nellie’s.

Awo worked with the children at Nellie’s in our Children’s Summer Camp.  Awo planned activties, games, and arts & crafts for the children, as well as fun summer outings around the city.  To read more about Awo’s experience, click here.

Erin worked with our Transitional Housing & Support Team to assist women to access safe and affordable housing.  Erin supported women throughout the intake and application process for subsidized housing and connected them to resources around the city that they can access when they are living on their own.

On behalf of all the women, children, and staff at Nellie’s, we would like to thank Emily, Maria, Awo and Erin for making this summer at Nellie’s a great one for everyone.   Thank you as well to  Human Resources & Skills Development Canada for providing the funding for our Summer Student Employee Program.

Nellie’s staff interviewed by She Does The City

13 Jul

Jenna Pettinato, Nellie’s Development Associate was recently interviewed for the “Her Career” section of the online magazine She Does The City

When asked what the best thing about her job is, Jenna replied: “The thing I love most about fundraising is that I get to make people feel good. The best description I’ve heard of this work is that fundraisers connect people to their dreams. We are the medium between what people see as unjust and wrong in the world, and what they can do to contribute towards making things better. Giving has a very practical benefit (it helps us run our programs and services) and it also has a very deep emotional or spiritual benefit that helps people actualize their passion, commitments, and dreams.”

To read the entire article you can click here! 

 Happy Reading 🙂