Guelph-Wellington Basketeers asking for monetary donations for gift cards this year

GUELPH – In anticipation of the holiday season, the Guelph-Wellington Basketeers is asking for donations of a different sort this year.

Normally the Basketeers, in support of Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis (GWWIC), ask for donations of gift baskets of items required by women transitioning from the shelter to a new home.

However, this year, due to COVID-19, the group is asking for monetary donations to purchase gift cards to Walmart and Canadian Tire.

“GWWIC chose these two stores because of their community accessibility (in-store and online),” said Laura Blinkhorn, coordinator of the Guelph-Wellington Basketeers.

“Also, both stores stock nearly all household and personal care items that women may need.”

The decision to move from tangible items to monetary donations made sense this year, Blinkhorn said.

“The challenge is the shift in asking for monetary donations, as opposed to asking for tangible items carefully curated in a basket,” Blinkhorn said.

“Donors really gravitated to the thought and care put into shopping, assembling, wrapping, personalizing and delivering each basket, which sadly is not possible for this season.”

Support for Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis is important this year because events like pandemics tend to worsen pre-existing social and economic vulnerabilities, Blinkhorn explained.

“Racialized communities, those living in poverty and other groups that have traditionally been marginalized, tend to be harmed by a disaster more than others, and have less access to helping resources,” she said.

“Women face similar protection risks, including sexual exploitation and abuse, unequal access to assistance, discrimination in aid provision and violence.

“The economic fallout from business closures, job loss and other impacts can also lead to increased household stress.

“This reality can increase the risk for intimate partner violence, lead to risky coping strategies including survival sex, early/forced marriage, and increase the risk of sexual exploitation and abuse.”

Blinkhorn will use monetary donations to purchase gift cards, assemble them in wrapped gifts and deliver them to GWWIC on Nov. 21.

The deadline for monetary donations is Nov. 17. Interac e-transfers are accepted and can be sent to or a cheque payable to “Guelph-Wellington Basketeers” can be mailed to 10 Burnett Court, Fergus, ON, N1M 2W3.

There are three donation options:

  • basket starter donation of $50 for a Walmart gift card;
  • full basket donation of $150 ($75 for a Walmart gift card and $75 for a Canadian Tire gift card); and
  • limitless donations made in $25 increments (limitless donors are asked to email a gift card preference for Walmart or Canadian Tire to Guelph-Wellington Basketeers).

Blinkhorn said Guelph-Wellington Basketeers is hoping to provide 100 “baskets” worth at least $100 to GWWIC.

As of Oct. 26, she had 42 “baskets.”