A new holiday tradition: Helping local women in need to start over

A local couple and business are encouraging others to participate in what has become for them a charitable holiday tradition.

“Six years ago, my wife Laura adopted a holiday tradition of putting together a thoughtful and useful gift basket for a woman transitioning from shelter to new home,” said Kelsey Blinkhorn,  owner  of Blinkhorn Benefits Group.

“I helped her wrap and deliver the baskets over the years, and quickly understood the magnitude of this very real and common situation for women right here in our local community. I imagined how hard it would be to leave most of my belongings behind and start over. I couldn’t.”

Blinkhorn has since introduced the initiative to his business and on Nov. 21, the team delivered six laundry baskets to the Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis (GWWIC) Centre, coordinated through the Guelph Basketeers chapter.

“With an outpouring of support from family and friends, each large basket is filled … with new household and personal care items, gift cards, and tokens of encouragement,” said Blinkhorn. “We hope our gesture will make Christmas morning a little merrier and bright for these courageous women.”

The Guelph Basketeers donated 35 baskets this year – a record for the chapter, but far from meeting the overall need, as officials say GWWIC could easily pair 200 baskets with local women.

Blinkhorn encourages others to adopt the charitable tradition. For more information email info@blinkhornbenefitsgroup.com.