Ride for Refuge is coming!!!

On a cool October day last Fall, over 300 cyclists set out on the Ride for Refuge. It was cloudy and threatened rain, but the cyclists — some in full cycling gear, others with bikes that looked like they hadn’t been ridden in a decade — were not put off. They were riding for the greater good. Each of them came with a purpose and a charity they were passionate about supporting. Seventeen local charities who work with the displaced, the vulnerable and the exploited benefited that day — over $100,000 was raised and an excellent new event for Victoria was started.

Not only was that an exciting day for the community, but it was also a rewarding day for the organizers who had laboured to plan the event and make it happen. And this year will be no different — already  we are making lists (and checking them twice), mapping out routes (and cycling them) and looking for volunteers to help us make this year’s ride another fabulous event. We are currently seeking people to take on leadership roles, to lead teams and to get involved with the grass roots planning of the event.  If you have a couple hours a week to give, and a heart for making this a fabulous event, please contact Joanne (250 995 6419) or jspecht@cridge.org to discuss how to get involved. We are so excited about this event — and we need your help to make it happen!


To see photos of last years ride and get more info about how it all works, check out this link

2015 Ride for Refuge on Saturday, October 3 — Mark your calendar!


What is Respitality?

Respitality volunteer preparing baskets for our families

Respitality is one of the beautiful ideas that grew into a vibrant program based on a need that was evident in our community. It is a combination of respite care and hospitality, wrapped up with love, and provided to the families of children with special needs. We have over 450 families registered through the program — they each get one night a year to stay in a local hotel and receive a basket full of treats.  For many of our families, this is the only chance they will get all year to get away and have their batteries recharged. We hear over and over again, how grateful the families are – how much they needed and appreciate the break. Parents everywhere can identify with that crazy need sometimes to escape the kids – imagine how hard that would be if your child has special needs that make a regular babysitter impossible. Our families often face exhaustion and isolation — they need a break. And so, here at The Cridge, we are so thrilled to be able to give them that much-deserved break – to bless them with that opportunity to take a breath, relax and know that their child is well cared for. We are also so grateful for the hotels who provide their rooms free of charge, and the local businesses who provide us with gifts and other products with which to pamper our families.

Learn more about the Cridge Respitality program and its services.

The Cridge Centre Ride for Refuge

The Cridge Centre for the Family is THRILLED to be the host partner for the first Ride for Refuge in Victoria, BC, taking place October 4, 2014. The Ride for Refuge is a non-competitive family- friendly ride that raises money for charities that support the exploited, vulnerable and displaced.

Will you join us? We need you, and our clients need you too! What could be better than all of us squeezing into our spandex (optional!) and sweating together while raising money for The Cridge Centre for the Family?


How You Can Help:

  1. Captain a Team of Riders:

    Team Captains register, choose The Cridge Centre for the Family in the charity list, and recruit 8-12 riders to their teams. Staff, volunteers, clients, friends, family and your church community are all great possible captains or team members. Sign up to be a Team Captain at rideforrefuge.org/register.
  1. Volunteer:

    Most of the volunteer work will be on the day of the ride. We will need people for the welcome, registration, food service and route safety teams. We also need volunteers for the route and promotion teams in the 6-8 weeks prior to the ride.
    Sign up to Volunteer at rideforrefuge.org/volunteer.
  2. Sponsor:

    Event sponsors ensure that every penny donated goes to essential services provided by the many charitable partners of the ride. Costs such as lunch, rest stop snacks, port-a-potty rentals and security team fees are all great opportunities for your business to be in front of 300 people out to do some good. Contact Shelley Morris to become a ride sponsor – click her name to email, or call (250) 995-6419.

  3. Ride:


    A ride just isn’t a ride if there’s no one riding. If you don’t feel you can can captain a team but still want to ride for The Cridge Centre, click here to register: http://ride.w-ith.me/Cridge  


  4. Give:


    Donate to the Cridge Team at http://ride.w-ith.me/Cridge  

Click here for a ride poster: Ride for Refuge


Can we talk about your will?

This week – March 31 through April 5 – has been declared Make A Will Week by the British Columbia Ministry of Justice. Making a will is one of those potentially uncomfortable adult tasks that we often want to avoid, yet having a valid will is the best way to ensure that the people and charities who matter to you will be taken care of when you pass.

Make a Will Week: March 30 - April 5

While the Ministry of Justice website has a considerable list of resources to help you with the important legal and financial considerations in planning your estate, it helps to take a bit of time before you get to those technical issues and consider questions such as:

  • What and who really matters to me?
  • What legacy would be meaningful to leave in my community?
  • After my family is taken care of, what might I leave to charity?
  • Is there anyone (a spouse or other family member) who I should include in answering these questions?

Once you know what you’d like to have happen, it’s important to make sure that the people in your life are aware of your wishes. Here are some suggestions (taken from Forbes Magazine online) on how to make the important questions and potentially difficult conversations about estate planning easier:

  1. Choose (or plan) a quiet moment with few distractions to approach the subject – a Sunday drive, an evening walk, or a quiet moment after dinner, for example.
  2. Open with a story. We have a few about the legacies that have been left in our care, or you may want to talk about what has worked – or not – regarding how people you know have left their estates.
  3. Consider who, besides your spouse, you need to talk to and whether those conversations, for example with adult children, should happen en masse or individually.
  4. Give people who matter to you room for input, and be willing to explain your thinking, values, and decision-making process.
  5. Finally, be sure to confirm your decisions with a neutral third-party professional: your financial advisor, accountant, a notary public, or your lawyer – to ensure that what you intend will be carried out in your estate and that the written document reflects your intentions.
  6. By the way, remember to update your will after important life events (for example. the birth or death of an heir or dependent, a significant change in estate value, a change in marital status)

There are many ways to include charitable giving in this process, and many great reasons to do so. We are happy to provide information on the how, what and why to give, and encourage you, again, always to check  with your estate planning professional on what makes the most sense for your estate.

Approaching estate planning as an assessment of what you value changes the conversation from one that brings up ghoulish spectres to one that focuses on your values, on a Biblical standard of stewardship, and as a legacy-creating gift that provides for what matter to you beyond your life.

If you’d like to talk to someone about bequeathing a gift to The Cridge Center for the Family, please call or email Shannon Whissell: (250) 995-6419 or PlannedGiving@cridge.org

1 Peter 4:10 (NIV) “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”

Giving Tuesday 2013

charity-tuesday_580x269_2You’ve heard about ‘Black Friday’ – the biggest retail shopping day of the year that kicks-off the relative madness of Christmas shopping in North America. You’ve probably also heard about ‘Cyber Monday’ – online retailers response to Black Friday that continues the spending frenzy after the weekend of failing to find everything on your gift shopping list.

You may not, however, have heard of the new movement called ‘Giving Tuesday‘ – a day to move the focus to giving back. Giving Tuesday “celebrates and encourages charitable activities that support nonprofit organizations”. Started last year south of the border, we are proud to participate this year in Canada’s first Giving Tuesday on December 3.

Giving Tuesday celebrates the many ways your gifts of time, talent, and treasure make a difference for our clients. More importantly, it’s an opportunity for us to thank the many many supporters who throughout the year ensure that we can continue to support, encourage, house, counsel and ‘manifest the love of Jesus’ to those in need.

Here are some ways you can participate in Giving Tuesday:

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[toggle title=”Donate”]
Both gifts-in-kind and financial gifts are essential to continuing and expanding our services. This Giving Tuesday, you can give either:

Support someone living in The Cridge Supportive Transitional Housing by providing them with The Gift of Christmas with a Christmas hamper.

Donate quickly and easily online withour dedicated Giving Tuesday donation page. If you’re more comfortable giving the traditional way, you can mail a cheque and mark in the Memo “Giving Tuesday” or phone our accounting office with your credit card information at (250) 995-6402 and mention Giving Tuesday.

BONUS: If you choose to give online using Interac, Interac will match your gift and double your impact!


[toggle title=”Spread the Word”]

  • Talk to your children and family about The Cridge Centre, why you support us, and why charitable organizations are important in our communities.
  • ‘Like’ us on Facebook, share our posts, pictures, and events with your friends there; invite Facebook friends to follow us, and let us know why you care about The Cridge Centre for the Family.
  • Follow us on Twitter, retweet our activities that are of interest or importance to you, and encourage your followers to follow us.
  • Invite someone from The Cridge Centre to come talk at your church, service organization, or professional association. (email Shannon swhissell@cridge.org to find out more)


[toggle title=”Give Your Time & Talents”]
Our services would be greatly reduced if we didn’t have generous and skilled volunteers who help lighten our load. They drive, cook, clean and encourage at The Cridge Transition House for Women. They take survivors of brain injury out in the community to reconnect. They keep our seniors engaged, active, and entertained. They construct the stunning and appreciated gift baskets that welcome parents of children with special needs on their Respitality stays.

If you are interested in finding out more about volunteering, contact Shannon to find the best fit for your time and talents.


Want to learn a little more about Giving Tuesday? Why not watch this video (and keep an eye out for our logo).

Give the Gift of Christmas – 2013

The Cridge Centre offers low cost housing and supportive services to woman and children leaving relationship violence, as well as families in transition for many other reasons.

Our Cridge Christmas Hamper program provides these families with an opportunity to celebrate Christmas without a lot of the stress low income families often have in trying to put aside extra money for gifts and Christmas dinner when they are already on a very tight budget.


Each year we’re honoured to witness the shared joy, not only in the families, but also in the donors as they come to drop off their completed hampers. It is obvious to us that the process has been extremely rewarding for them as well.

Here is what some of our clients have had to say:

  • “Without this we would not have had anything for Christmas”
  • “The hamper made Christmas for us”

For those who have donated in previous years, thank you so much for your very generous support. We hope you will consider preparing a hamper this year, too.

Donation Options

  • Women with children – Family size varies from one child to several
  • Women without children – Hamper is for one person
  • Two-parent families with children – Family size varies from one child to several plus 2 adult
  • Program needs – A list of program needs can be supplied on request
  • Food drive for non-perishable items – for our clients to access from our food cupboard, which is in demand year round

All women and families are receiving services within the Cridge Dovetail Program. More information about these services is available on the program webpage.

Here is how it works:

  • Using the guidelines below, estimate what size of family you want to donate to or if you would like to do a combination (for example, a woman without children plus a family of two).
  • Print, fill in, and fax the Cridge Christmas Hamper Form to 250-220-8566. You can also scan it and e-mail it to lneufeldt@cridge.org.
  • We will send you a wish list for the family of the size(s) of your choice. The list may include specific items and/or areas of interest for each member of the family, as well as sizes for clothing or maybe a favourite store for a gift card. What you choose from the list is up to you.
  • Have some fun! Go shopping, have a wrapping party and put it all together.
  • Finally, bring your completed hamper to the Cridge.
    Drop off dates for 2013 are:

    • Monday, December 16th 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    • Tuesday, December 17th 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    • Wednesday, December 18th 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM


Here are some guidelines of what a hamper will often include:

  • New, wrapped gifts for each member of the family (typically donors spend between $25-$50 per person).
  • Items for the whole family or the house may also be included.
  • Grocery gift card. This will vary depending on whether it is to be used to purchase Christmas dinner or to purchase food into the New Year as well. A guide is anywhere between $20-$40 per person.
  • Do not include alcohol, cigarettes or cash.

Thank you for your interest in helping our families this Christmas!

Please contact Louise Neufeldt at 250-995-6418 if you have any further questions

Printable version of this information sheet: Christmas Hamper Information Sheet
Printable hamper form: Cridge Christmas Hamper Form

NOTE: For information on supporting The Cridge Young Parent Outreach Program please contact Nicole (Nandrews@cridge.org).

NICHE Inspiration Ball

The NICHE Inspiration Charity Ball was a generous gift bestowed on The Cridge Transition House for Women by Tracey and Steve Drake, the editor and publisher, respectively, of NICHE Magazine. Tracey met the Cridge CEO Shelley Morris at the Evening to Remember Lindsay Buziak in February, and Tracey decided in the course of that conversation that The Cridge Transition House for Women was a good candidate to be a NICHE charity of choice. A lunch at ‘the house,’ and a couple conversations later, and the NICHE Inspiration Ball was announced, bringing a sparkle to an otherwise ordinary spring.

NICHE Magazine is committed to supporting women in meeting their dreams and potential. This commitment is true in the hiring, staff training, magazine content, and in the charities they support. Having worked with Women for Women International for several years, the Drakes wanted to find a local charity they could also support. The Cridge Transition House for Women couldn’t be more blessed to be that choice.

On Saturday June 8, ball attendees arrived in style, walking under sunny skies up the red carpet to the Empress Hotel. An impressive silent auction, fashion show, and cocktail lounge greeted the guests even before they entered the Crystal Ballroom. Inside, a three-course dinner, fabulous music by local jazz singer Maureen Washington, a live auction, and dancing into the wee hours awaited.

While the evening was one of style and splendor, the realities of the women we support at The Cridge Transition House for Women was never far away. These women, with their intelligence, bravery, and resourcefulness, are our inspiration.

To read Shannon Whissell’s speech from the evening, NICHE Notes.

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Giving Back in the Giving Season


In this past Season of Giving, I know we were all focused on the huge responsibility of providing for our clients: ensuring that we were making the most of Christmas fundraising opportunities so that we can run our programs effectively throughout the year, working to provide Christmas gifts and hampers to our clients in financial need, providing fun and festive entertainment to clients who need some Christmas cheer, and giving our staff the special acknowledgement that they deserve during the Christmas season.
In the midst of the busy-ness of ensuring that all of our clients and staff were well provided for during the past several weeks, I was both touched and humbled by the examples of many of our clients who acted in their own unique ways to “give back” to the programs of The Cridge Centre. Some of the things I observed included 
  • Beth, the Dovetail client, who saw Louise struggling to unload the Cobs Bread donation during the week before Christmas, when staffing was lean. Beth dropped everything that she had to do and took the time to not only help unload the many bags of bread, but also to help sort and put it on the shelves. OR,
  • Kathy, the former CTHW resident, who lovingly prepared little gifts for each of the Transition House staff that had worked with her during her time at the House and who called on Christmas Day to wish our staff a Merry Christmas. She even shared that “this had been the best Christmas she had had in 40 years.” OR,
  • Jamie & Leah, the YPOP parents, who recognized that a fellow YPOP mom had a received a Christmas hamper that did not include a gift for her child, and pooled their collective “hamper resources” and gave their friend a few gifts for Santa to give her child. OR,
  • Sue, the Respitality parent, who despite the incredible challenge of raising a child with special needs, gave of her time and energy to volunteer at the Stuff the Stocking event where she was an invaluable part of the kitchen team, ensuring that food and beverages were flowing for all who attended.
What an amazing opportunity the Christmas Season brings – an opportunity for us to show Christ’s love to our clients as we work to provide wonderful gifts 
and memories for them. But, also, an opportunity for us to see the truly remarkable ways that our clients give back to us and to each other, and what a lovely gift that is!

The Twelve Days of Cridge-Mas

It can be a challenge during the Christmas season to know just what to buy, whom to support, and where best to spend your precious time, talent and resources. Here's our helpful guide to make your holidays just that little bit easier, updated each day from December 10 – 21: 

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[toggle title=”Day 1: Fill a Hamper”] All clients who receive hampers have now been spoken for. Thank you for your generous response.

[toggle title=”Day 2: Stuff a Stocking”]On Friday, December 14 drop by The Cridge Village Senior's Centre Grande Lounge between 7:30 and 10:00 am for warm drinks, tasty treats, lively music, and to Stuff the Stocking for The Cridge Respitality Service. As well as a lovely morning break, you'll be providing much needed support for families raising children with special needs.[/toggle]

[toggle title=”Day 3: Transfer a Security”]Nothing says “I Care” like the gift of a stock transfer. While they may not top the list for your family members, a gift to the organization of stocks or other securities will mean we are able to help even more people in 2013. Find out more, including a transfer form for you and your broker to complete, on our Giving page.

[toggle title=”Day 4: Send a Man, or 10, to the Movies”]For some men who call our brain injury residence home, social activities are a part of their recovery process. For others, a night at the movies is just a great change in routine, and an opportunity to have a little fun and forget about recovery for a while. Either way, a gift of 10 passes or gift cards for the nearby Cineplex will provide a great night out for the residents that will continue to bless them after the final credits roll. [/toggle]

[toggle title=”Day 5: Give of Yourself”]There is nothing like the joy of making another person smile, and that is what our volunteers do every time they give of themselves to spend time with our clients. Call B-I-N-G-O at the The Cridge Village Senior’s Centre, help in the childcare centre, or tidy the gardens at MacDonald House. When you give of yourself, you give the very best! Find out more on out Volunteer page.[/toggle]

[toggle title=”Day 6: Save a Seat”]Do you or a local organization you know have six folding chairs in good repair you’d like to give a new home? Our brain injury support groups at Mary Cridge Manor could put them to good use! Contact mcm@cridge.org to arrange to donate the chairs.[/toggle]

[toggle title=”Day 7: Furnish a Happy Morning”]When woman and children arrive at The Cridge Transition House for Women, they’ve often left behind some of the basics of life. Your gift of alarm clocks, umbrellas, slippers, or pyjamas will ensure a safe night’s sleep and happy good morning. [/toggle] [toggle title=”Day 8: Stock a Cupboard”]Both The Cridge Young Parent Outreach Program and The Cridge Dovetail Services maintain emergency food cupboards for clients to access on their leanest days. Non-perishable food items, diapers and toiletries are always in high need, as are bus tickets and grocery gift cards. [/toggle] [toggle title=”Day 9: Deliver Safety”]A financial donation to The Cridge Transition House for Women’s “Keys in Hand Fund” will cover the costs of moving, storage, and utilities for a woman starting out in her new, violence-free, home. Just designate ‘Keys in Hand’ in the memo of your cheque or in the Message box via online donation on our Canada Helps page.[/toggle] [toggle title=”Day 10: Re-Gift that old Cell”]Giving new phones to your teens this Christmas? Bring your old phone in for recycling and the money we make goes toward new phones for women or towards getting their phone number changed.[/toggle] [toggle title=”Day 11: Leave a Legacy”]The Cridge Centre for the Family may not exist today if not for the forward thinking and planning of key saints along the way who bequeathed gifts in their wills. Your thoughtful addition of The Cridge Centre in your estate planning will mean a brighter future for the organization and the people we serve. Contact Shannon Whissell, Manager of Communication & Fund Development, to learn more.  [/toggle] [toggle title=”Day 12: Say a Little Prayer”]This gift is last, not because it is the least important, but because we want it to stick with you. Please pray for us. Pray for our leadership – the board of directors and our Chief Executive Officer Shelley Morris – that they will have discernment, courage and wisdom in guiding the organization. Pray for our management and staff who go so far and beyond their job descriptions to make a difference in the lives of clients’ they interact with. Pray for the safety and preservation of our physical resources, that they will last to serve so many more people. And, as always, please pray for our clients, for their safety, and that their time with us will be time that edifies, strengthens, and encourages them.



And, just to get you in the mood, here's a very fun 12 Days of Christmas that's sure to leave you with a smile: 

What Will Your Legacy Be?

In 1892, John George Taylor updated his will, leaving his entire estate to The BC Protestant Orphans' home. Shortly after, Mr. Taylor passed away, forever changing the fate of the organization he had supported late in his life. 

According to the available records, no one is quite sure how Mr. Taylor, a police man by trade, came to amass a small fortune, but the $32,000 he left allowed the society leaders to purchase 12 acres at the corner of Hillside Avenue and Cook Street, then considered the outsksirts of the city, and to build the beautiful red brick home that now bears Mr. Taylor's name. The Taylor building is the heart of The Cridge Centre. Over 119 years it has housed orphans, the homeless, childcare services, and now seniors and administration while the surrounding Garry oak meadow provides shade and space for children to play. 

In 1917, William Alan left Victoria for the fields of war in Europe. He had spent much of his youth in the BC Protestant Orphans' Home, finding in the Taylor Building security, family, care, and encouragement that had been absent in his earlier life. There weren't a lot of jobs for young men without means or education then, so serving his country in the Canadian Army was a proud though undoubtedly difficult choice. William died in battle, and in his personal effects was found a poignant hand-written will.

He left all he owned of any worth to The BC Protestant Orphan's Home, "the only home I've ever known." One can only imagine the faces of the women who had cared for this young man when they received the news of his death and of his bequest: the feelings of loss and pride that they must have felt, and the acknowledgement and encouragement they must have received for his comment. 

The passing of time allows us to reflect on these legacy gifts of the past, and to see some of the difference they made. A legacy gift is so named not for the way it is received, but for the difference it continues to make in the life of the organization. John Taylor's gift was $32,000. His legacy is permanence, committment, and home. The soldier's gift was $1,000, but his legacy was gratitude and acknowledgement of a job well done. 

What will your legacy be? To find out more about legacy giving, or to include The Cridge Centre for the Family in your estate planning, please contact Shannon Whissell or speak with your lawyer or other estate planning professional.