Tina’s No Frills, through fundraising generated in the community, recently made a sizable contribution to the Strathmore Overnight Shelter.
Elizabeth Karp, executive director of the Overnight Shelter’s board of directors, said the $2,700 donation will go a long way to helping the shelter, and those who make use of it.
“It impacts for food, helps with staffing, helps with resources, when we need certain items for health and hygiene… and it helps with our regular expenses, utilities, [and] bills,” she said.
“Every dollar counts, everything that’s given counts, especially during this time, prices are up in every area [and] it’s difficult to get by for everybody.”
The donation was made via a regular fundraiser hosted by Loblaws, the parent company for No Frills, which hosts several every year.
For this occasion in particular, store owners are able to choose which organization they would like to be their recipient.
“It [also] has a huge impact and [by] bringing awareness to the community, so when [people] are asked here at No Frills if they’d like to contribute, some people don’t realize there’s even a homeless shelter in town,” said No Frills location owner, Tina Shipley.
“There’s a need for it. It’s something that, as a business owner, [I] can help spread awareness [about] and try to help people.”
Karp explained Shipley supports the overnight shelter on a regular basis, and has since prior to the physical location officially opening.
“[Awareness] has grown hugely, because when we opened the shelter, people were a little bit leery, they were a little bit cautious, they weren’t sure we needed a homeless shelter here in Strathmore.”
“As awareness has grown, the support from [the] community, from everybody has become greater and greater every year.”
She added the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has only continued to pile on challenges both for the team running the shelter, as well as its occupants.
John Hilton-O’brien, president of the Overnight Shelter’s board, said donations like this to she shelter benefit in more ways than just the immediate monetary value.
“The effect of the donation is far beyond the immediate needs that it helps to cover. The way that government grants work is that we have to demonstrate how much support we have in the community,” he explained.
“Every donation that people make, makes an impact on that far outside of the individual donation.”
The team did not disclose a population estimate that makes use of the shelter.
John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times