“Your kindness spoke: YOU MATTER!”
This powerful line was written by a Cridge Dovetail resident to the Christmas hamper donor who supported her and her children this holiday season. This quote speaks to the incredible impact the community support has on women’s minds and hearts rebuilding their lives after abuse. “You Matter” means that there are people you don’t even know who believe in you. Not only it means that people in our community recognize the strength it took to resist violence and to start life all over again, “You Matter” signifies that you are valued, and your healing and future prosperity are essential to our community as a whole.
The power of “You Matter” is more impactful in light of the harmful messages that the women we serve have received from their abusive ex-partners. Constantly hearing hurtful words like “you are stupid,” “you would be nothing without me,” and “no one cares about you” significantly affects one’s self-worth amid the isolation and pain. When women move into The Cridge Supportive housing after fleeing abuse, they often feel shame and self-doubt. They question whether they are worthy of the help we are providing.
The woman who wrote the thank you card has been through a horrible experience. In the fall, she finally escaped her abuser and began her life here, at The Cridge Centre. A mother of three kids, she is gentle and loving. Yet, years of abuse left her feeling isolated and overwhelmed. To learn that the gifts she received spoke to her of her self-worth is priceless. It means that her Christmas hamper was more than a collection of toys and items for herself and her children. More than thoughtfully wrapped gifts presented with care. The hamper was a message of encouragement, support, hope and love to her!
In conclusion, I cannot tell you how grateful I am for the donors who give to our program. The gifts they give say to our women: “You matter. You Matter. YOU MATTER!”
By Candace Stretch, Manager of The Cridge Supportive Housing and Family Services