Smile Cookies support Women’s Outreach Society

Money raised this year through the Red Deer Tim Horton’s Smile Cookie campaign will be donated to the Central Alberta Women’s Outreach Society for facility and programming improvements.

Barb Barber, executive director, said the money will be a huge benefit and will allow the Outreach Society to improve their programs.

“We are going to put the money towards our children’s programs including turning our nursery school into a daycare facility.”

Barber said the dollar figures will depend entirely on how many Smile Cookies were sold, but that they are looking at a figure somewhere between $16,000 and $20,000.

“I would say the majority of the money that we will receive will go towards facility improvements. We’re going to be using more space so we’ll need supplies and equipment.”

Last week a mascot for the Outreach Society visited the different Tim Horton’s locations and helped promote the Smile Cookie campaign.

Barber said they have known the money from the campaign would come to them for a couple of months and that staff were very excited when they received the news.

“This is definitely going to give us the opportunity to change our programming and move towards the day care program.”

Currently, the Outreach Society offers 17 different programs all fitting into one of the two areas they focus on: domestic violence and homelessness and housing.

Some of the programs include legal support, domestic violence support, housing programs, court preparation, rural outreach, post shelter services and safe visitation. They also offer the Tools for School and Kid Power programs for children.

“We also have our own food program where people can buy groceries in bulk and programs running right through to therapy. We have a good variety.”

Barber said the dollars from the Smile Cookie campaign will allow for a huge change and will improve the services that the Outreach Society can provide to the public.

“In 2010 there were over 34,000 phone calls into the Outreach Society and we supported over 550 individual victims of domestic violence and 250 people dealing with housing issues.”

Barber said there is an increase each year but that it is not cause for alarm as it is an increased awareness that brings more people to the Outreach Society.

“Increased awareness is the key. The more that people learn what is available to them the more they will reach out for help.”

In many ways, the increase in use is a good thing as it means more victims are seeking help and finding it locally. The Smile Cookie dollars will be much appreciated by the Outreach Society.

This year already the Outreach Society distributed a little over 1,100 backpacks in the tools for school program and Barber said they are coming up to the Adopt-a-Family season.

For more information visit www.womensoutreach.ca

kpalardy@reddeerexpress.com

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