My name is Cathy Waters and I am a member of Soroptimist International of Victoria Westshore and I am a volunteer at Anney’s Closet.
I first found out about Anney’s Closet from my daughter, Saira. She told me she belonged to this organization with an amazing bunch of women who were doing great things in our community. She told me about Anney’s Closet and I instantly wanted to help. I started by assisting Soroptimist members who were helping women to shop in the closet. I wrapped the lady’s selections and boxed them for transport to their new homes. I saw how much satisfaction the Soroptimist members derived from helping the ladies that I wanted to be a shopper assistant too.
I will never forget my very first shopper. I greeted my shopper and her social worker in the lobby at Westshore U-Lock, where Anney’s Closet is located. She was very shy and was clutching a small piece of notepaper in her hand like it was a lifeline. I can get quite chatty so I started talking – quite a lot – in order to help her become at ease. When we got to the closet, I asked her if she knew what she WANTED. She unravelled her notepaper and told me what she NEEDED. One facecloth, a mug, a small pot, a frying pan, 2 teaspoons.
I have to tell you, at this point, I think my heart skipped a beat. As shopping assistants, our job is to help ladies to not just get what they need, but to select things they want. There’s a big difference. We are helping them to set up their new HOME. By the end of my shopper’s visit, she had a complete set of dishes, a complete set of cutlery, colour coordinated kitchen linens, two complete sets of towels and two complete sets of bedding. She selected a lovely Queen Anne chair, matching footstool, a lovely lap throw and a hand-quilted coverlet for her bed. She also found some lovely knick knacks to decorate her home.
At the end of this visit we all stood back and took a look at all of the wonderful things she had selected for her new home. I looked back at her and she started to tear up. Then the social worker and I started tearing up. This lovely, shy lady who found her way to us through one of the women’s shelters never expected to have lovely things in her life or home. She had battled through the toughest of storms and came out the other side to a calm sea.
At Anney’s Closet, we feel every women who comes to us deserves to lay her head at night in a warm, safe home. Which brings me to why I’m up here telling you this story. Would you like to help with the Journey? We have a Pillow Appeal. For a $30.00 donation, you can help us to purchase pillows so every woman who comes through Anney’s Closet can rest her head at night and dream of a bright future full of endless possibilities.
To make a donation for our Pillow Appeal, click on the Donate button to the left of your screen.
To find out more about Anney’s Closet, go to http://sivw.ca/ac.