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Women's shelter launches text campaign

The Kelowna Women’s Shelter is hoping their new fundraising campaign, which allows people to make a donation through their smartphone, will encourage more giving during the holiday season.

Kathleen Lemieux, the shelter’s resource development coordinator who came up with the idea, launched the campaign last week and says they’ve already received 40 new donors.

“I looked into it and basically donors between the ages of 18-30 really like texting in donations, so we thought we’d give it a try, and it’s easy for them,” she says.

“It’s a small amount, and most people think if they have to write a cheque, it might not be worth it for ten dollars, but it is. And this just makes it super simple for people.”

She says they wanted to start the campaign around Christmas time because most people who tend to donate online do so during the holiday season. And the campaign may continue into the new year, depending on the results from this month.

The cost to set up the campaign was less than $100, which pleased Lemieux since they were able to recoup that money within the first day.

“That’s what I really like about it, that it’s super inexpensive. I’m always trying to find ways that we can get the word out there that we need help, but without spending money and this is a perfect way to do it.”

All money raised will go towards already underfunded programs like their inside out violence prevention for youth, which currently has no sustained funding, or other shelter programs, dependent on what is needed the most.

While she is thankful for all the support shown to the shelter, Lemieux says it’s the kids who really suffer this time of year.

“When they’re here, a lot of them worry about Santa finding them, and we’re just trying to make it as normal as possible. We’re putting on a Christmas party for them on Dec. 11 and another party for the mom’s on Dec. 18.”

Any and all supplies dropped off before those dates will go towards the parties and will be shared with the shelter’s clients. 

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