On the coldest nights of the holiday season, residents in YWCA Hamilton’s Transitional Living Program received a gift that will help keep them warm, in body and spirit.
Residents in Transitional Living – our second-stage housing program for women who have experienced homelessness, gender-based violence, additions, trauma, and violence – each received a handmade quilt from the Ancaster Quilter’s Guild.
The Guild, which meets once a month at a church in Ancaster, makes quilts for charitable organizations in the community each year. Last year from September to June, they made 424 quilts of all different sizes – anywhere from a lap quilt to a queen or king size – to be distributed to organizations including Interval House, the Bob Kemp Hospice, Margaret’s Place Hospice, Children’s Aid, and the victim services branch of the Hamilton Police.
Over the holidays, they distributed 55 quilts to our Transitional Living Residents. Each woman received her own quilt to keep in her room, and to take with her when she moves into permanent housing.
One Transitional Living resident, who became emotional when she received her quilt, said that “it genuinely makes me feel like I’m at home”.
For the Quilter’s Guild, it was important to make women in our program feel loved and supported.
“I just thought it would be nice if there was a group of women that would enjoy getting a Christmas present that would make them feel special,” said Guild member Janet Shannon.
These quilts were only one of the generous donations we received during the holiday season. Our 2022 Holiday campaign raised over $41,000 to help meet the needs of women, girls, and gender-diverse people in the community.
Community members hosted 10 different drives, and we received gifts in kind and donations valued at over $38,000 – including items like clothes, warm winter accessories, gift cards, toys, housewares, pet items, food and so much more! Many of these gifts were distributed at our Putman Holiday Market, when we Hamilton welcomed residents of the Putman Family YWCA, members of our Join program, and residents of Phoenix Place to “shop” for holiday presents for their families, completely free of charge.
We’d like to particularly thank the following businesses and groups for their generosity over the holidays:
Toys R Us
La Vie En Rose
Hamilton Shoebox Project
DPAI Architecture Inc.
The team at McDonald’s Delta
United Way Hamilton & Halton
Brands For Canada
Michael Theodore Music
Heather Harvey & Steel City Synchro
Bon Temps Restaurant
CHML Christmas Tree of Hope
Backpack for Brainiacs
Socks 4 Souls
Lynda Layne Consulting
Hearthstone Retirement Community
The Ancaster Quilter’s Guild
We are so grateful to our incredible community for all of our support. Thank you for helping to make our residents and patrons feel loved over the holidays!