By Jenn Watt
Published Feb. 28 2017
When Georgia Shank heard that the YWCA had to close its shelter last year due to increased use and lack of funding the news affected her on a personal level.
Shank is a survivor of an abusive relationship and used shelter services in Minden and Peterborough. The YWCA’s help was crucial during that period of her life and she couldn’t fathom the service being lost for other women in similar circumstances.
“I was in a really bad place and the YWCA really helped me” she says. “When I heard they had to close the doors of the shelter in Minden due to lack of funding it really upset me. It was really close to my heart to think that some women perhaps in the same situation I was in wouldn’t have the same resources I had. I don’t know what would happen to those people or what would happen to me if that service wasn’t available in Minden.”
The YWCA offered Shank a place to stay where she could be safe as well as emotional support and counselling services.
In order to make sure those services are available to other women and children Shank is organizing a special fundraiser at the Haliburton United Church. On Saturday March 4 from 2 to 5 p.m. there will be an afternoon of music from local performers and The Two-bit 3some and Friends – a local group. Admission is by donation with all funds being matched (up to $10000) by Susan and Keith Hay. (There is also a bake sale at intermission.)
Shank says she was hesitant to tell her story which she had shared on a personal level with others but had never detailed publicly.
“I think it’s important that people know” she says. Those facing abuse – physical emotional psychological or otherwise – need to know others have been through it and have survived.
“So people know they’re not alone. It’s better to ask for help than to continue to live in a bad position” she says.
Ensuring the YWCA continues to receive the funding it needs is part of that.
“I hope that we see a lot of people out at the event. It’s really important that we come together as a community” she says. “It’s a crucial service in the county.”