“Bungalow” is another word for Home

This summer The Cridge Centre for the Family made a new friend – Bungalow, a charming home and gift store in Estevan Village in Oak Bay. Bungalow began donating some of their fine house wares, stationery, jewelry, and ornaments after Assistant Manager of Women’s & Family Services, Candace Stretch – who also happens to be a regular customer – shared some of the work her department does in supporting families. 

Bungalow's gifts bring joy, beauty and hope to our women and children at The Cridge Transition House for Women in welcome presents, birthday presents and Christmas surprises. The jewelry and scarves featured strongly in presents at the Mother's Day tea party for residents of The Cridge Supportive Transitional Housing, and parents of children with special needs will find humour and encouragement in the replenished stores for Cridge Respitality baskets. 

As Candace Stretch, Assistant Manager of Women's and Family Services said to Michelle of Bungalow: 

Wow! What a wonderful couple of weeks it has been since we picked up the amazing donation from you. Just wanted to pass along an informal THANK YOU!!!

The beautiful things that you donated went in several directions…

  • The Respitality Service took items that will fit into the gift baskets which go out to families of children with special needs
  • The Transition House took the beautiful artwork, so that we can update and make the house more of a home
  • And the women of our Supportive Transitional Housing program were invited to come “shopping”… they had such a wonderful time selecting lovely things for their homes. One woman had tears in her eyes as she said “All these beautiful things for our homes that we could never afford ourselves”

Michelle and Graham have given several times, and the ongoing difference they make for our women and families is immeasurable. If you happen be Bungalow this Christmas season while doing your shopping, please pass on our gratitude to Michelle and Graham, and let them know what a business that cares for the community means to you. 







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What is “Philanthropy”?


Today I attended the local National Philanthropy Day events: a breakfast, a workshop, and an evening gala. In the morning workshop, Andrea McManus, one of Canada's top fundraising professionals, made great distinctions between philanthropy, development and fundraising, and she emphasised how important it is that we focus on the former.

It sounded good, but I honestly didn't quite understand her point. This evening, as I watched the awards presentation and listened to the gracious recipients, the penny dropped, and I suddenly realised what "philanthropy" truly is. 

When we think about philanthropy, we tend to think of the Carnegies and Rockefellers who created the first libraries, concert halls and museums across North America. More recently we think of Bono, Warren Buffet, and Bill Gates – men who have made large amounts of money in their chosen fields, and now are re-focusing their energies on redistributing that wealth in humanitarian works that matter to them. That is one style and form of philanthropy, but only one very narrow interpretation. 

A quick linguistics lesson that had me understand: the word "philanthropy" is composed of two Greek roots philos and anthropo. Philos is one of three Greek words for love: agape, God's love for us; eros, physical love, and philos, brotherly love. Anthropo is the Greek word that refers to humans as a group, as in Anthropology. Philanthropy, then, is a brotherly love for humanity – not individual people, but people on the whole. 

Suddenly, I realised the theme of the day, and how we live it out each day at The Cridge Centre. The National Philanthropy Day theme of 'Change the world with a giving heart" is completely consistent with our guiding thought "… Because Love is the Bottom Line." Without love, all of our actions, all of our services, all of our events and communcation are meaningless. 

It also gives me a whole new reading of 1 Corinthians 13: 1-3

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

We appreciate your gifts of time, of talent, and of treasure. And we accept them all as gifts of your love. 

Driving Home Food For Young Families

The Cridge Young Parent Outreach Program has help this month in providing portable, practical support to the over 30 client famlies thanks to Saferway Driver Training School. From mid-October until December 15, 2012 Driverway will be accepting donation of non-perishable food items at their office. All donations will go to The Cridge Young Parent Outreach Program (YPOP) to support young families in meeting their basic needs. Everyone who donates will have their name entered in a draw for a $100.00 Saferway Gift Certificate. 

Clients of YPOP are frequently balancing school, work and parenting commitments on limited finances. Our outreach worker devotes much of her time to driving clients on group discount shopping trips and to the food bank, and having an emergency supply of food, toiletries, and diapers available for clients as needed can often make the difference for parents just trying to make it until the next cheque arrives.

On behalf of the clients of YPOP, a huge thank you to Saferway Driver Training, and to everyone who gives to the food drive. 

UPDATE: Saferway delivered a bus load of donations to The Cridge Young Parent Outreach Program on December 16. And CHEK News came down to report on the delivery. 

Harmonies & Help for Families

Please join us for A Cappella Fusion

An amazing show featuring two award-winning choruses! City of Gardens Chorus and Westcoast Harmony Chorus will delight you with their ringing harmonies and spirited performance. Proceeds from these concerts will help support The Cridge Respitality Service, which provides much needed and appreciated support to the parents of children with special needs. 
DATE: Saturday, November 19, 2011
TIMES: 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
COST: Tickets $25 ~ contact Joyce at ajandgk@telus.net or phone 250-479-6096
VENUE: Charlie White Theatre Mary Winspear Centre (2243 Beacon Avenue, Sidney, BC)

Home comes in many styles


The Cridge Transition House for Women has, for the fifth year in a row, received a grant from the Canadian Women's Foundation 'Shelter from the Storm" campaign. This annual campaign, supported by HomeSense, Winners and Rogers Media, supports more than 450 transition houses and emergency shelters in Canada. This year alone the campaign raised over $1.6 million dollars.

The Cridge Transition House for Women provides emergency shelter for women and children fleeing domestic violence. Each year, The Cridge Transition House for Women support hundreds of women and children with temporaray shelter, counselling, outreach services, and support with the myriad decisions that a woman faces when she is trying to start fresh and stay safe. 

2011-2012 Board of Directors

Our new board was elected at the October 3, 2011 annual general meeting, and the new executive instated at last night's board meeting. We are grateful for the prayerful leadership of these committed individuals: 

President – Rosemary Smyth
Vice-President – Colin Moorman
Treasurer – Mike Cridge
Secretary – Claudia Dorrington
Director – Mary-Ethel Audley
Director – Dr. Greg Cran
Director – Val Fuller
Director – Dr. Harold McNabb
Director – Del Philips
Director – David Rand
Anne Spicer, Emeritus

Homelessness Action Week 2011

Homelessness Action Week (October 10-16, 2011) takes place each year across Canada. In Victoria, events are coordinated by our partners at the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness.

Homelessness Action Week includes invites individuals and businesses to take actions in making a difference for the impoverished and homeless. Learning events also share information about the current state of poverty and homelessness in Victoria with the intention to solve  homelessness. 

Events in Victoria include

  • Project Connect – includes professional services as well the delivery of survival packs of donated toiletries and cold weather clothing essentials. Whether you donate a single toque or a case of deodorant, you will make a difference!
    • 9:00 am to 3:00 pm Friday, October 14 at  Our Place, 919 Pandora Ave.
    • If your workplace is interested in banding together to donate en mass, the coalition has created these fun posters to help you share info with everyone in your office: Poster 1 Poster 2
  • Home Safe Hamilton – a documentary about how Canadian families live with the threat and the reality of homelessness. The screening will include a time for discussion of local homelessness issues.
    • 7:00pm to 9:00pm Wednesday, October 12 at The Vic Theatre 808 Douglas St.
    • Register online or call Mary Katharine at 250-383-6166 ext 100
  • End Poverty: Action Learning Event – participate in a discussion for action on local homelessness issues, featuring guest speakers Brendan Reimer of the Canadian CED Network and Shauna McKinnon of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
    • 8:30am to 11:30am Thursday October 13 at Fairfield Gonzales Community Place, Garry Oak Room -1335 Thurlow Rd.
    • Register online or call Mary Katharine at 250-383-6166 ext 100
More details of both the Home Safe Hamilton screening and End Poverty are available on this poster. Please share it with your friends, family and co-workers.

We’d love to be ‘Most Loved’!

Our friends at CHEK TV, a locally owned and Vancouver Island focused television station, have launched a new website called CityHUB which will showcase the ‘Best of the City’ as selected by votes on the website between now and October 15th. The votes are tallied daily, and when the site launches in November it will include only the top 20 vote-getters in each category. 

We'are currently second in the “Non-Profits for a Better Victoria” category – and would love your help finishing as #1.
CityHUB will help Victorians learn about the many services of The Cridge Centre for the Family. In addition, you could earn CityBucks towards discounts at participating businesses. You earn $5 for signing up for an account, and ten cents for each vote you submit. 
Here's how you can help:
1. Vote! Daily! –  Vote instantly without logging in by clicking this link. Even better, register quickly with your email address and a password and ‘Activate autovote’ – no need to remember each day to come back!
To make the most of 'AutoVote"
  • pick your favourites in as many categories as you like *including us in Non-Profits for a Better Victoria, of course* and then
  • click "activate autovote." 

Your votes will be submitted every night just before midnight, allowing you to make changes during the day. It will vote for you every day until Oct 15th and you won't have to do a thing! You'll also be earning "City Bucks" with your votes every day – it's definitely worth your time to auto vote! With 22 categories, you could be earning $2.20 in 'CityBucks' every day. 

2. Spread the word – Let your friends and family know about CityHUB, and that they too can support The Cridge Centre and earn City Bucks for themselves.
3. Add the Link – Paste “Click on the link to vote for The Cridge Centre for the Family at CityHub – http://cityhub.ca/chek/i.php?n=1912&c=31.” to your email signature line until October 15, or share it on your facebook profile, in your twitter stream, and on your own webpage. 
CityHUB has been endorsed by the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce. There are over 1,500 registered nominees in 22 categories, and over 44,000 votes in just the first few days. People also get ‘CityBucks’ for being involved ($5 for signing up, and $.10 for each vote), which can be used at participating stores once the site launches. I expect it will be a high traffic site, and will generate some fun, positive buzz for us. 

Back to School with ARIA Wellness

Sometimes, when the everyday expenses of life have a family stretched to the limit, extra expenses like back-to-school supplies can be beyond the budget. Backpacks, pencils, notebooks and crayons add up, and the excitement of heading back to the routine of school can be diminished for those kids who don't have everything they need to succeed.

ARIA Health & Wellness recognize this need, and in response are collecting school supplies and cash donations until Saturday, August 27 on behalf of our children and youth who could use a little help with heading 'Back to School' – please stop by their office at 723 Humboldt Street to donate, or just to say thanks for caring.

ARIA is a family focus clinic, treating all ages with chiropractic, massage, acupuncture and naturopathy, with a core group focusing specifically on prenatal and children's health.  They love to support families in the community in many ways, and have in the past supported The Cridge Respitality Service as well. 

Please join ARIA Friday, August 26 between 11:30 am – 2:00 pm for a lunchtime barbecue or on Saturday August 27 between 9:30 am and 12:00 pm for smoothies and to drop off your donation.

The kids thank you, and so do we!