Sometimes a little victory can make a big difference in a struggling person’s life. That is message behind Kind Kits, bags full of travel-sized personal hygiene products being distributed by a Calgary women’s support group that come with a message of community support.
Or, as Aime Hutton, co-director of the Calgary/Rocky Mountain chapter of The Uncommon Women says, “There are many woman who are coming to the shelters with nothing. They have their clothes and their children have clothes and maybe one toy and that’s it.”
For Hutton, the kits hold a deeper meaning: “To give them something tangible to hold on to – to say we see you. You’re not alone.”
The idea grew from the international organization The Uncommon Woman, with items collected locally then sanitized and placed into makeup bags by volunteers to be donated to the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter.
Hutton says she got involved with the program because as a survivor of domestic violence herself, “I know how the woman are feeling, that walking-on-eggshells, don’t-want-to-rock-the boat, don’t-want-to-make-him-mad type of situation.”
Hutton hopes this gesture will help women and children feel supported.
“The shampoo is theirs and they don’t have to share it with their abuser,” she said. “It’s also that sense of security to know that others want to help them in the community and (trying to send a message that) it’s going to be okay.”
Hutton tells CTV News they are looking for travel size items like hotel shampoo bottles, toothbrushes and toothpaste. “As long as its all travel size -nothing too big.” They are also looking for donations of new or gently-used makeup bags as they will be used to package the individual items for distribution.
Items will be sanitized according to AHS recommendations and repacked by volunteers for distribution in December. “Towards the end of December we will be donating and delivering to the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter the Kind Kits all said and done.”
Midas Auto Service on 17 Ave S.E. is one of seven collection sites around Calgary currently receiving donations. Mohammed Zainullabuddin, owner and manager says Hutton is a customer and when she asked if he would help with collection he was glad to be onboard. “We want to be part of the society and we want to help abused women.,” he said.
Midas Auto has already had a full bin picked up and hope to donate even more.
Hutton says they have other cities across Canada and in the U.S. that are also taking part in this initiative, including Rocky Mountain House in Alberta, Brandon in Manitoba and St. Catherine’s/Niagara Falls and Thunder Bay in Ontario. In the U.S. donations can be made in Denver and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
For more information visit theuncommonwoman.com
Full list of donation sites in Calgary and Rocky Mountain House:
* Joy and Vitality Centre: 163 Quarry Park Blvd SE
* Black & Gold Lash Academy 15 Everstone Rd SW
* Pawsitively Pooched: 728 Northmount Rd NW
* Phythotherapy Booth in the Crossroads Market: 1235 – 26 Ave. SE
* Midas 2529 – 17th Ave. SW
* Exmore Bespoke Leather: 261055 Crossiron Blvd
* Bumble Bee Baskets: 4112 – 8 St. S.E.
The following are drop-off locations in Rocky Mountain House:
* TeaRocks Shop: 4908 – 49 Ave.
* Glamour Studio Eco Salon+Spa: 4704 – 46 St.
* Anybird Treasures Unique Boutique: 5016 – 50 Ave.