As people head into the holiday season, the counsellors and staff at Envision Counselling and Support Centre are seeing families in crisis, so they came up with a way the community can help.
“Families are dealing with so much right now, with COVID-19 and the economy in our region. We would like to offer some hope during the holidays by giving these families, who are struggling, gifts cards to buy what they need,” says Tania Hlohovsky Andrist, resource development co-ordinator for Envision.
“Individuals or groups can help us by donating gift cards to be distributed to our families in need, many who are not on the radar of traditional Christmas giving programs,” she says.
Andrist said Envision routinely provides gift cards to people who need emergency help, based on their situation. Clients may be going without items such as baby supplies or clothing if they are fleeing a relationship without time to properly pack up.
They might need gas cards, specifically to attend counselling sessions, when they are isolated in a rural location. And particularly this year, they may be unable to purchase gifts for the holidays.
“Mental health, anxiety, and domestic violence issues can get worse if there’s financial strain as well, so a holiday initiative like this can help to relieve pressure to focus on the primary healing journey,” says Andrist
“To reach the greatest number of those in need, we believe that gift cards can translate better this Christmas. Donors don’t have to go shopping either. They can pick them up while they’re out for their own shopping needs,” she says.
There are three ways to participate in the gift card drive:
Gift cards can be dropped off at Envision Counselling offices in Estevan, Weyburn or Carlyle. Please call ahead to make arrangements, as office protocols have changed.
Put your donation of gift cards in the mail. The address is Envision Counselling and Support Centre, Box 511, Estevan, SK, S4A 2A5.
Make a monetary donation online. Visit www.envisioncounsellingcentre.com. Choose “Gift Card” on the menu option, and Envision will purchase cards to distribute during the holidays.
“We have a thoughtful and generous community,” says Andrist. “This is a creative way to make a big impact for our families and bring some hope this holiday season.”