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Guelph-Wellington Basketeers set goal of 120 baskets for Women in Crisis

Basket donations - The Guelph-Wellington Basketeers’ goal is to donate 120 baskets to women in need this Christmas. Last year the group donated more than 90 baskets.  Submitted photo

Guelph-Wellington Basketeers set goal of 120 baskets for Women in Crisis

by Jaime Myslik

FERGUS - The Guelph-Wellington Basketeers organization is aiming to provide gift baskets for 120 families in need this Christmas.  

The idea behind the Basketeers is for community members to gather supplies that a woman may need the first few days after moving into a new home.

“Essentially what we do is fill a laundry hamper full of ... personal care items or household items that a woman may need when she’s sort of starting new,” said local Basketeers coordinator Laura Blinkhorn.

“For example, kitchen utensils, cutlery, plates, towels, things like that  ... the kitchen is one major area that necessities are needed most right away and then the bathroom is the other one so hair dryer, towels for the bath, things like that.”

Donated baskets will be collected at the Guelph Wellington Women in Crisis Centre, 38 Elizabeth Street in Guelph, on Nov. 18 between 9am and 1:30pm. They will then be distributed to the centre’s clients closer to Christmas.

“The women who have received the household  supplies have been overwhelmed by the generosity of the Basketeers program,” said Christine Wilson, residential program manager the crisis centre.

“Each year more baskets are donated and one day I hope that we can provide for all the families who come to the shelter.”

Blinkhorn said gathering the items and putting the baskets together is a good experience to share with others and many of those who have committed to providing a basket are businesses and groups.

“I just find it so rewarding to do it as a group and then have this tangible basket of items that somebody is really going to appreciate and use right away,” Blinkhorn said.

“So that to me is the most rewarding, thinking about ... really helping somebody get back on their feet and get into their home comfortably and not having to worry about going and spending a lot of money to get restarted.”

Whether giving as an individual or a group, Blinkhorn asks that donors register baskets with her before Nov. 18 at However last minute unregistered baskets on Nov. 18 will be accepted.

She also asks that completed baskets be wrapped in clear cellophane, ready for distribution, with a list of items attached to the outside when they are dropped off at the centre.

“It gives the manager at the centre an opportunity to sort of customize too if she sees somebody needs something specific she might be able to pull some from one basket to another more easily and just make sure ... that specific woman gets what she needs in her transition,” Blinkhorn.

Donors with items that will not fill a basket on their own can connect with Blinkhorn and she will find a place for them.

She added all items included in the baskets must be new. She asks that no food, beverages or sized clothing be included.

“Hats and mittens and scarves and things like that - totally welcome,” she said.

For more information visit

November 10, 2017


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