An Okanagan mother recently wanted to do something special for her birthday, so she put out a challenge to her network to fundraise for Kelowna Women’s Shelter. Dee Rooks organized prize packages, which she raffled off to those who donated $20 or more. In total, Dee raised nearly $4,000 for the Shelter. We sent her a questionnaire to give us some more insight into her fundraising motivation. Thank you, Dee!
What inspired you to host this fundraiser for Kelowna Women’s Shelter?
As a young single mother, it has quickly become a priority to me that I create a life my son is proud of. I was inspired to raise money for the Kelowna Women’s Shelter because I have recently ended a verbally and physically abusive relationship, and I want to support other mothers with the same goals as mine: to create a life they are proud to call their own, and where they and their children are safe. The Kelowna Women’s Shelter provides this opportunity to women and their children in our community, and I couldn’t have thought of a better way to celebrate my birthday than by asking my friends, family, and strangers to donate to such an incredible group of women who have dedicated their careers working hard every day to not only provide an immediate safe escape for women who need it, but also provide opportunities for a better life that they may not have had otherwise.
What did you already know about Kelowna Women’s Shelter prior to starting your fundraiser? Was there anything you learned throughout the process that surprised you?
I knew that the Kelowna Women’s Shelter provided immediate safe housing for women and their children if and when they needed it. I learned that they not only provide this immediate reactive care, they also provide meals, clothes, long term housing support, free counselling services for women and their kids affected by domestic abuse, and are working with schools to teach our children exactly what a healthy relationship is. The Kelowna Women’s Shelter doesn’t JUST aid in immediate reactive care, they are working towards a better future – free of domestic violence – by teaching our kids these valuable life skills earlier in life.
Did you expect the fundraiser to be as successful as it was?
I never imagined I would raise as much as I was able to – the support was incredible! I am extremely thankful to everyone who took time out of their day and opened their wallets to show some support for this amazing group that will do great things with our money. Thank you everyone!
What else would you like the public to know?
A safe household is something many of us are fortunate enough to take for granted. But the reality is that domestic abuse in relationships has affected all of us in some way. Everyone has a story, or knows someone close to them who has a story. Opening the door to these donations also opened my inbox which was flooded with messages from some of the most amazing women in my life, who sadly all had very similar stories to mine. Supporting organizations like the Kelowna Women’s Shelter supports a future that our daughters and sons won’t carry these same traumas that we do, because they will have learned from our history and simply do better because of it.
I believe in a future where domestic violence is just a page in a history textbook, and encourage you to stand with me and support the women at The Kelowna Women’s Shelter who are working every day to make this goal a reality. Donate – Donate – Donate!
Thank you again for your amazing generosity, Dee. We couldn’t do what we do without people like you. Happy Birthday!