The Charity Challenge unites the spirit of runners with a unique fundraising program with the main purpose of creating healthy communities that thrive together. For Servus Credit Union, Community Engagement means they help to build strong supportive communities that connect people.
One of Servus Credit Union’s members, the Women’s Centre of Calgary, knows a great deal about the importance of a supportive community as they provide vital services to women in Calgary. They are also participating in the Charity Challenge as part of the Servus Calgary Marathon. We wanted to share a little bit about the great work they do in our community.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit the Women’s’ Centre of Calgary and the services you provide?
A: The Women’s Centre of Calgary is a safe space for women in Calgary to get assistance, connect with others, and work for change. We know that barriers in society often prevent women from living a dignified life. We believe in the potential of all women and that they are strong and capable.
We have 25 years of working towards social inclusion for all women. Our programs and services are almost entirely run by volunteers, making them foundational to our work. In 2022, over 8,500 individual women access the Centre for assistance, support, and connection, and 749 volunteers dedicated 22,481 hours to community.
Our mission is to be every woman’s place for support, connections, and community. While the Women’s Centre is open to all women, 80% belong to one or more marginalized groups, making them more likely to face social isolation and inequity. Our vision is women supporting communities, communities supporting women.
Q: How long has the Women’s Centre of Calgary been participating in the Charity Challenge with Servus Calgary Marathon?
A: We have been participating in the Charity Challenge since 2012. This year marks our 12th year participating!
Q: How much have you raised via the Charity Challenge?
A: We have raised over $90,000 by participating in the Charity Challenge.
Q: How are funds used that are raised via the Charity Challenge?
A: Donations will be directed towards the area of most need. Here’s some examples:
- Girls Programs: the only free girls’ programs in Calgary with a focus on leadership and activism.
- Holistic support for newcomer women as they are settling in Canada, which includes opportunities for connection, employment transition workshops, day to day support in navigating the Canadian systems.
- Opportunities for women to connect with each other over common interests (workshops such as Practise English, Yoga, Gardening).
- Basic needs items such as menstruation products, personal care items (shampoo, conditioner, soap).
Q: How long have you been a member with Servus?
A: We have been a Servus Credit Union member just under five years.
Q: Servus strives for its members to gain financial fitness. As an extension, our partnership with the marathon encourages participants to achieve mental, physical, and financial fitness. How do you see the Women’s Centre of Calgary achieving those goals?
A: The Women’s Centre’s wide range of supports, services, and programs address women’s ability to achieve mental, physical, and financial fitness. All of our programs are preventative in nature and support women to build their life skills, build and nurture relationships, and our referral services support women in need of more intensive mental health supports. To nurture physical fitness, we offer weekly yoga and Zumba classes, as well as weekly opportunities to garden, and special summer events such as our infamous “feminist walks”, and in election season, our “vote walks”, where we walk with women to the advanced polling station to vote. Regarding financial fitness, we work with other non-profit partners to deliver financial literacy programs, make referrals to other agencies providing financial coaching, and host tax clinics in tax season to support women to file their taxes.
Q: How can people donate to the Women’s Centre?
A: There are three ways to donate. You can donate online at https://www.womenscentrecalgary.org/donate/donate-now/, visit us at 39th 4th Street NE and make a donation directly, or through the Charity Challenge HERE.
To learn more about Servus and how we can support your financial fitness visit https://www.servus.ca/life.