At this time of year – there are many requests for donations from organizations helping others …. here are two of them:

Email patricia@growvantage.com if you’d like to highlight a cause that could use some help

Gilda’s Club Simcoe Muskoka: Providing Support to people with Cancer and their loved ones:

Cancer rates are growing (last year the stats were 1 in 2) and especially at this time of year, people need more support. Gilda’s does not receive government funding. They have had to become inventive in raising funds.

The Raw and Reflective Calendar is one of those fundraising projects created by Sharon Smith (Connect Hair Studio) who leads a group of volunteers every year.

At $25, this annual calendar is organized by a group of volunteers led by Sharon Smith (Connect Hair Studio), who began this project several years ago. Everyone volunteers their time to arrange, photograph, design, write and publish the stories from those who are battling cancer to those who have beaten it. These are inspiring stories that grace the monthly pages of the next year’s Raw and Reflective Calendar.

The 2023 calendar is on sale at Gilda’s Simcoe Muskoka and Connect Hair Studio: Here is how to purchase a calendar for only $25 each.

From Gilda’s: https://gcsm.gnosishosting.net/Portal/Donate/RRCalendar

From Connect Hair Studio: 274 Burton Ave 12 – 13, Barrie, ON L4N 5W4, 705.503.7702, info@connecthairstudio.com


Bringing Christmas To Women and Girls Who Are Homeless or At Risk – Shannon Murree

Courtesy of Dan Blakeley, Barrie 360 Published: Nov 24th, 2022

There are toy drives, toy teas, and food drives to help families in need get through the holiday season. There’s also a Shoebox Project for Women.

Local realtor, Shannon Murree, brought it to Barrie and Simcoe County nine years ago, specifically for women and girls. “We are looking for luxury items, anything between, you know, like a luxurious soap or shampoos, nothing sharp, nothing with alcohol, up to $50 worth.”

Murree says it’s something that’s fun for schools, for the whole family, for a corporation, for friends getting together, throwing stuff together in a shoebox, and donating it to women and girls who are homeless or at risk.

How great is the need? Murree walked out of a Barrie big box store this week with 290 plastic shoeboxes to be filled. “Definitely over the last couple of years, we’ve seen an increase in everything … whether it’s the cost of everything going up, challenges in people’s lives, addictions, mental health, (some) just on the cusp of homelessness.”

Murree rarely meets any of the recipients, to see the impact the Shoebox Project for Women is having. She does sometimes hear from the organizations she works with or the caseworkers. And once in a while, “one of the recipients comes back, and they’re out of their situation, and they remember how the shoebox made them feel, and now they’re volunteers for us.”

Click here for a list of drop-off locations, how to make a cash donation, or how to get involved.

“We’re just trying to do something special for the women and girls, just to remind them that they’re empowered, and they’re special, and they’re not forgotten during the holidays.”

Patricia Dent

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