This last week has been life changing. My deeply held belief that no person should crawl & that there are angels among us, was reaffirmed. For my Project Wild Charity Challenge, Cody Mack and I are hitting the road, working with the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters ,visiting various shelters across the province to help build awareness and generate donations for domestic violence survivors. Sometimes the war is not a scene a movie. It is a daily battle fought behind closed doors with our “loved” ones.
These are things that I know happen, some of which I’ve even personally experienced. But to be allowed to share in both the valleys and the peaks of other people’s lives has been incredible. Trust is hard won if you’ve been so profoundly hurt by those closest to you. To have been welcomed into a corner of the world often hidden, was so appreciated.
Our travels throughout Alberta visiting frontline workers, touring shelters and meeting survivors has opened my eyes to a world of need and a profound sense of appreciation for the amazing people who give more than seems humanly possible. We’ve been honoured to perform for shelter staff, survivors and community members in celebration of the great work they are doing and continue to do. We are uncovering the sad truths often cloaked under the cover of “family matters” and working to build support and find simple ways that people can help make a difference in the lives of survivors.
Some things I’ve learned include how complicated family violence is. How the perpetrators of violence are often pillars of the community. How our most vulnerable people can become enslaved within the confines of their homes. How women are literally stripped of their identity so they cannot escape their abusers. How families conspire to bring victims home to oppressors. It’s the opposite of love. And it happens all the time, somewhere in Alberta.
I’ve also learned that we can help. Little incidentals- bras, underwear, winter boots for school aged children, and recreation passes for adolescents-can make a major difference. And so can the money needed to fill in gaps as they appear. For those of you with financial resources, I’m asking for you to contribute at to www.acws.ca/sirenstories and donate what your able. All donations will be spread equally among the shelters we visit to fill necessary gaps. For those of you with time on your hands, I’m asking for help reaching out to community members. If you find your community connections online, I’m asking for you to share our story and let the people of our great province know that they too can help. You can make a difference. Together, we can make a real impact.