This year, I have attended many events in support of the amazing organizations in Burlington and Halton that are helping the women in our community who are facing challenges in their lives. Their experiences range from homelessness and poverty, to physical and emotional abuse, to finding gainful employment and even just having a hard time putting food on the table. We lost a beloved local resident and public servant this year due to alleged domestic violence.
I speak to local school groups and young girls on a regular basis about the challenges of being a woman in a male-dominated industry, as politics across Canada faces massive under-representation. I also encourage women to see themselves working in traditionally male-dominated fields that they are passionate about.
We have all been reminded many times this year that like any city, we have women’s issues that deserve our continued attention and action.
This holiday season, I will be supporting The Shoebox Project for Women, a registered charity that collects and distributes gift-filled Shoeboxes to women impacted by homelessness in communities across Canada. For women who have been displaced from their homes and estranged from their families, special occasions can be particularly challenging. Often, women report feeling disconnected from society, invisible and alone. A Shoebox gift is a powerful reminder for a woman that she has not been forgotten and that she remains a valued and respected member of her community.
If you would like to join me in supporting this organization, you can fill and wrap your own shoebox, enclose a little personal note of encouragement, and drop it off to me and my team at City Hall (426 Brant Street) between now and December 4th. We have decorated a special tree just for the occasion and would love to see dozens of shoeboxes underneath. The suggested value of the contents in each shoebox is $50, and we will deliver them personally to the Halton drop-off point on December 5th.
More information about this great cause – and how to make the perfect Shoebox – can be found here. The graphic to the left is a great start: think cozy socks, sweets, make-up and gift cards. And remember to wrap the lid separate from the rest of the box! I’ll post some videos in my instagram stories today if you need help on that one.
Let’s make sure the women of Burlington feel supported and valued this holiday season. We are Canada’s Best Community to live in and raise a family for many reasons, but i think it’s the generosity of our people that truly make us shine, especially over the holidays.
— Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward
*Posted by Victoria Al-Samadi, Mayor’s Chief of Staff.