Women’s Initiatives Committee Annual Report 2009-2010

The Year in Review

The Women’s Initiatives Committee kicked off the 2009/2010 Rotary year with an amazingly informative evening titled “Around the Corner, Across the Sea – A Global Perspective on Violence in the Lives of Women”, with Sally Armstrong, author of Bitter Roots, Tender Shoots as our featured speaker. This event was organized in collaboration with YWCA, and although it was not initiated as a fund-raiser, due to some splendid sponsorship from the Elementary Teacher’s Federation of Ontario, the WIC was able to donate nearly $5000 to the YWCA December 9 Fund, which focuses specifically on challenging violence against women.

The year continued to be rewarding as the WIC initiated a “Women’s Business Attire and Accessories Drive” for the month of February. We organized this event in collaboration with FACE, Family Abuse Crisis Centre. FACE assists women-in-need with basic requirements of “business attire” as they face the traumatic and challenging transition from shelters to workplace.  This was so successful because of the wonderful support from fellow Rotarians and Inner Wheel, championed by Nadine Bell; we actually had to do three deliveries to FACE. THANK YOU.

Spring brought the attention of the WIC to the Rotary Club’s Centennial celebration. With this objective in mind, the WIC invited 12 Women’s Agencies to a FOCUS GROUP where needs, dire needs and extreme needs of women-in-need were shared and discussed. The Agencies were subsequently invited to submit a proposal for the WIC – Rotary Club of Toronto Centennial Project. WIC outlined the parameters and expectations for the initial Centennial Project Proposal and because we now have a relationship with each of these agencies we recognized that initial proposals should be a one page email. So now the WIC has “short listed” a few proposals and have requested a formal proposal.

The year 2009/2010 also brought many requests because, as we know, the need is great. The Women’s Initiatives Committee funded $3000 to The Assaulted Women’s Hotline to translate and produce materials in multiple languages; $1000 to FACE for under garment items for women transitioning from shelter to the workplace; $3000 to Sistering for women in need of education and training to make that transition; $4000 to The Salvation Army Florence Booth House for “Welcome Kits”, which gift basic hygiene products AND a large personal towel to each women as she enters the shelter. Finally, WIC donated $4000 to Nellie’s Women’s Shelter for “Accessibility Costs” which will assist with transportation and personal needs of women within the shelter system.



Agnes Walkinshaw