Highlanders’ financial aid to vulnerable women will be matched to unprecedented levels this festive season.

The YWCA of Peterborough and Haliburton has launched a ‘Double Your Impact’ fundraiser, injected with funds from multiple community donors who have pledged to match donations made before Dec. 31 up to $88,000. It’s the highest amount raised for the matching fundraiser to date.

A Dec. 2 media release thanks Jennifer Fraser, Olivia and Gord James, Liz Hunt of Electric City Real Estate, Ontario Insurance Network, Herod Financial, local Desjardins Insurance agents, Tammy Lee Hanlon, Kirk Norris, Kyle Harrington, Mike Harrington, Todd Spalding and Brian Mulligan and five anonymous donors for the funds.

The YWCA offers counselling and support for women experiencing violence and abuse. The organization also runs the Haliburton Emergency Rural SafeSpace (HERS) temporary housing for women fleeing abusive situations.

“A future free from abuse doesn’t belong on anyone’s wish list,” said the YWCA. “Yet, on any given night, [more than] 6,000 Canadian women and children sleep in shelters because they aren’t safe at home. Give the gift of safety for women and children experiencing gender-based violence.”

YWCA’s Crossroads and HERS shelters and support programs aren’t fully funded by the Ontario or Canadian government. That’s why donations are so vital.

“[We’re] unable to cover basic operating costs without fundraising. As demand for gender-based violence supports continues to grow, the need for funding has reached critical proportions,” the organization said.

Donors can register as holiday sponsors or donate gift cards. More information is available at ywcapeterborough.org.

$50K donation to HERS

On Dec. 14, the YWCA announced the David and Patricia Morton Family Foundation had once again donated $50,000 to support its services for women and children experiencing gender-based violence in Haliburton County.

“We are deeply moved by the continued support from Patricia and David in the Haliburton County community,” said executive director Kim Dolan.. “As the demand for our services continues to change in the COVID-19 recovery period, the Mortons’ compassion for others ensures that we can serve the rural women and children in Haliburton County, providing them with the resources and support they need to feel safe again.”

“We feel fortunate to be able to continue to support such a worthy cause,” said Patricia Morton on behalf of the foundation, “because isolated rural women are especially vulnerable to domestic abuse and gender-based violence. And, shockingly, this abuse is now significantly on the rise throughout rural Canada, as in rural Haliburton County. Thank goodness our YWCA is here for these oppressed and endangered women, and dedicated to providing the essential safety and vital support services to help them move forwards to build much better lives.”

Community members who wish to donate or find ways of supporting YWCA services in Haliburton County are encouraged to visit ywcahaliburton.org or contact Ria Nicholson directly at 705-743-3526 x113 or rnicholson@ywcapeterborough.org

YWCA’s support and crisis services are also available for women who experience violence. For more information on confidential support, resources, safety planning and more, call 1-800-461-7656 or text 705-991-0110.