Paul Henderson/ The Progress Members of the Chilliwack Fraser Rotary Club pack holiday gift bags on Dec. 20 for women at Ann Davis and Wilma’s transition houses.

Chilliwack Rotarians offer something special for women in transition houses

Local club puts together gift bags to add a dose of comfort during a difficult time of the year

A woman lucky enough to find the sanctuary of a women’s shelter after fleeing an abusive relationship can be like someone fleeing a fire.

They usually show up empty handed.

“They arrive with the clothes they are standing in,” Chilliwack Fraser Rotary Club member Lynne Goodwin said this week. “They leave with nothing, they have no lipstick no nail polish, nothing.”

• RELATED: Chilliwack community comes together to fill Christmas hampers

At transition houses in the Chilliwack area such as Ann Davis and Wilma’s, the women are provided with a bed and the necessities, but if they have no money, anything beyond that is a stretch.

So over this holiday season, members of this Rotary Club hatched an idea: gift bags to bring a little dose of comfort at what can be a difficult and emotional time of the year.

(More photos below)

The club put out the word and were overwhelmed with donations. Between the club itself and members, $500 was donated. A further $150 came in from other sources, and Safeway and Superstore gave $25 gift cards.

Then each gift bag contains aesthetic products from Soul2Sole, beauty items from Champagne and Lace, lip balm from Sardis Health Foods and much, much more. (For a full list of gifts and who donated see this story online at www.theprogress.com.)

The 20-or-so women between the two shelters, and their kids, were also given 50 game tickets and 50 hot dog and pop vouchers from the Chilliwack Chiefs, as well as cookies and party platters for their common rooms.

“This has gone way past what we ever thought it would be,” club member Linda Rook said. “It’s amazing the among of goods we’ve been able to provide.”

The gift bag idea is a first for the Rotary Club, and represents putting the clubs ideals into action, Rook added.

Full list of donors:

Cash Donors:

Chilliwack Fraser Rotary Club – $200

Members of the Chilliwack Fraser Rotary Club – $300

Gwynne Vaughan Park Society – $100

Lynn Swanson – $50

Safeway- $25

Superstore – $25

Gift Bag Goodies (each bag contains):

$30 product gift bag – Soul2Sole

Choosing to Smile book – Glenda Standeven

$10 gift card – Tim Hortons

Free consultation certificate – Sheila Smelt & Associates

$5 gift card – McDonalds

Coffee mug – CIBC Chilliwack Banking Centre

Mary Kay products – Kathy Funk and Maureen Covey

Various beauty items – Champagne & Lace

Lip balm – Sardis Health Foods

Eyeglass cleaning cloth – FYI Doctors

Chocolates – Trudy McAuley

Gift bags – Linda Rook

Coffee – Starbucks Salish Plaza

Printing – ACE Signs

Pen – John Martin MLA


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Members of the Chilliwack Fraser Rotary Club pack holiday gift bags on Dec. 20 for women at Ann Davis and Wilma’s transition houses. Ann Davis transition house manager Shelley Bolan is second from right. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

Chilliwack Fraser Rotary Club member Walter Sussel photographs other members and the gift bags they packed on Dec. 20 for women at Ann Davis and Wilma’s transition houses. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

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