Earlier this month Shoppers Drug Mart kicked off it’s 16th annual SHOPPERS LOVE. YOU. Growing Womens Health campaign which supports over 500 local womens health organizations across Canada. During the 4-week campaign which launched on September 9th, Shoppers Drug Mart locations will accept donations from customers with a goal to raise $3.6 million to help fund local women’s health charities.
Shoppers Drug Mart locations across the country will partner with a charity in their local community to provide direct funding, resources and programming to meet the health needs of women. Associate-owners in each store select a local women’s health organization to benefit from the funds donated by customers and employees, with 100% of customer donations remaining in the community. Over the last year the program has supported more than 500 unique local women’s health charities in cities and towns across Canada.
Here in Atlantic Canada, 7 Shoppers Drug Mart locations in the Moncton Area have chosen to support Harvest House Canada for the second year in a row, and I recently had the opportunity to speak to Denise from Harvest House about what their charity does, and what the support from the Growing Womens Health campaign will mean to them.
So many times we give a few dollars at the check-out when shopping but never hear how the money helps the charity, so it was really nice to get to chat with Denise and learn more about what an impact the SHOPPERS LOVE. You Growing Womens Health campaign has on their work.
Harvest House Atlantic is a street level organization located in Moncton, New Brunswick in it’s 20th year of operation.
Harvest House offers a full range of services to anyone who needs them including a 36 bed emergency shelter which is the only local shelter that is accessible for those with disabilities, and allows pets (this is huge!).
They have a Community Centre which serves breakfast and supper daily, offers Life Skills Classes, Chapel Services twice/day and an after supper program where those who are staying at the shelter next door and those taking classes can socialize, play pool and listen to music.
There is a nine month addiction recovery program with 21 beds for men, and will be opening a 10-bed facility for women in 2018. A Step-Up program is available for those who just need a little support in getting back on track. Each individual is given their own room in a home situation, and have a “house mom” or “house dad” who oversees everyone in the home. The Step-Up program has no time limit, so individuals can stay there as long as they need to as long as they are moving forward and benefiting from the program.
What I heard over and over in my conversation with Denise is important it is to them to help people in the way they need to be helped. Sp while their programs are in the heart of Moncton where the problem is the worst, if someone comes through their doors that would be better served at a different establishment, maybe one that is out of the busyness of downtown, they will refer them to the place that will best suit their needs. They have a lot of resources and use them to ensure they are caring for the individuals the best way possible.
A new program Harvest House has been working on this year is Harvest House Works, which was created to help people transition back into the work force. The property Harvest House Works is located on has been made into two work areas. One is a book distribution centre which currently has 70,000 books from 36 titles in it’s warehouse. This centre distributes books into the prison system and those individuals who show more of a knack for office and admin tasks can work here through the program to learn things like shipping and receiving, inventory, etc. The other half of the property is going to be dedicated to carpentry (they are still finishing up some renovations, having HVAC installed, etc.), where individuals will learn carpentry skills and how to build things like baby barns, lawn furniture, etc. that will be sold through the organization.
Harvest House Atlantic has been fortunate enough to have the support of many local businesses and individuals who donate supplies, time and money to help keep the organization up and running. That along with partnerships like this one from Shoppers Drug Mart allow them to continue to help as many people as possible.
The costs for running so many programs are understandably high, it costs $1500/month for each person in their addiction services program alone!
The money raised from the Growing Women’s Health campaign will be going directly to all womens services both for addiction services and 7 emergency shelter beds for women.
In talking to Denise it was apparent to me how much they care about their community, and helping those in need. You truly never know what is waiting around the next corner in life, and it is wonderful to know there are organizations like Harvest House Atlantic that are there to help when we are dealt a bad hand.
How You Can Help
Regardless of where you live, I hope this has given you a little more insight into the types of organizations and charities we are supporting when we shop at our local Shoppers Drug Mart and when we purchase and personalize a “Growing Women’s Health” icon; a “leaf” for a loonie, a “butterfly” for $5, an “apple” for $10 or a “bird” for $50. The icons are prominently displayed on the Growing Women’s Health Tree in all participating stores. If you find yourself in a Shoppers location over the next week or so, but sure to keep an eye out for the icon so you can purchase one and help women in your area.
Follow Harvest House Atlantic
Harvest House is really active on Facebook sharing lots of photos and stories. They have some fun projects coming up including a “Master Chef Moncton” competition where teams will have to create a meal out of the Harvest House kitchen using the food they have on hand. They will be judged on the cost, nutritional value and taste. While we may not all be able to head to the launch party to watch, I’m sure they’ll share lots of photos online so be sure to “like” their Facebook page!
About SHOPPERS LOVE. YOU
SHOPPERS LOVE. YOU. is the identity for our long-standing commitment for women’s health. To help women live their best lives, the SHOPPERS LOVE. YOU. program is designed to help women stay focused on making their own health a priority by connecting them to the expertise of our partners at leading women’s health organizations and to others in support of women’s health initiatives across Canada. Learn more at shoppersloveyou.ca
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for SHOPPERS LOVE. YOU. Growing Womens Health campaign for Shoppers Drug Mart. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.