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

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


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


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)

Just Posted

Chilliwack volunteers are being sought to sit on key committees

Surge in voter turnout could mean interest in advisory committee work

Fraser Valley’s lost lake was at centre of local life for centuries: new book

Sumas Lake was major resource hub for locals before newcomers drained it in early 1900s

Chilliwack’s Ethan Mastin wins St. Francis Xavier football award

The second-year X-Man put together a solid sophomore season for the Atlantic University Sport squad.

Uniquely decorated Chilliwack home combines Halloween and Christmas

Chilliwack couple decorates their house for the holidays using Nightmare Before Christmas theme

Around the BCHL: Tough season for goalies and Prince George makes a move

Around the BCHL is a look at what’s happening in the league and the junior A world.

VIDEO: Close encounter with a whale near Canada-U.S border

Ron Gillies had his camera ready when a whale appeared Dec. 7

Judge gives Michael Cohen 3 years in prison

Judge William H. Pauley III said Cohen deserved a harsh punishment for crimes including tax evasion

Humboldt Broncos, cannabis, Fortnite: Here are Canadians’ top Google searches for 2018

When celebrities died or Canada Post went on strike, Canada turned to Google

B.C. billionaires worth 5,845 times average middle-income household

Economists argue for changes to Canadian tax system benefitting rich

5 to start your day

Row, row, row your car, down a Surrey road, White Rock to allow dogs on promenade and more

Condominium market still ‘a lot better’ than normal in Vancouver suburbs

The Fraser Valley, east of Metro Vancouver, has long been considered a more affordable haven for first-time homebuyers.

Retired B.C. teacher a YouTube Sudoku sensation

A retired Kelowna teacher has amassed quite the following online by teaching the art of solving a Sudoku puzzle.

UN chief returns as climate talks teeter closer to collapse

Predictions from international climate expert, warn that global warming is set to do irreversible environmental damage.

Trump’s willingness to intervene in Meng detention roils Canada’s justification

The International Crisis Group said Tuesday, Dec. 11 it’s aware of reports that its North East Asia senior adviser Michael Kovrig has been detained.

Most Read