The “Gifts for Moms Project” supports women and child victims of domestic violence in Newfoundland & Labrador. In 2011, 21 gift baskets were distributed to women’s shelters throughout the province. These baskets contain items donated by local craftspeople and each has a retail value of $100. The idea is to provide children with gifts to give to their moms – not something mom “needs” necessarily, but something that is truly a special gift. They are typically used for Christmas but can also be available for Mother’s Day or Mom’s birthday.
Our goal for 2012 is to prepare 50 gift baskets. We can do it with your help!
Message from the Founder, Suzanne Fitzgerald
My profession is in policing and when I was in my third year on street patrol I met a little girl who changed my life and the direction of my candlemaking company/hobby. I responded to a domestic disturbance which was particularly horrific. Typically, if the family was willing, I would go back after a domestic and talk to the kids, because I wanted the children to see the police under different circumstances, not just during a traumatic event.
I went back to this family a couple days later, as they had sought refuge in a women’s shelter; it was a mom of two small girls. One of those girls was around six years old, a little older than my son at the time, and I remember sitting down talking to her as if it were yesterday. She was talking about how safe she felt in the shelter. It really struck me, the real understanding and comprehension of safety that this little girl had. She was talking about how nice all the people in the shelter were and she was so happy there … but then she started to cry. I asked why she was crying and she said ‘Christmas is in a couple of weeks and I don’t have a gift for my mommy.’ So myself and my partner went up to a local store and bought a little basket each and went back to the shelter so her and her sister could give a gift to their mom on Christmas morning. But it stayed with me, that shelters provide clothing and all necessities to these victims, but not necessarily the ‘gifty’ things for Christmas, mom’s birthday, mother’s day or a special moment.”
Thus was born the Gifts for Moms project. Together, with some local business support and my local artisan & peacekeeping friends, we support victims of domestic violence, by donating our wares and raising money to create gift baskets that are given to women’s shelters across the province, as gifts for children to give to their mothers. The baskets are valued at $100 each and are delivered to a shelter in St. John’s to be sent all over the province.