WELLINGTON COUNTY – Gift cards might not be as fun to open at Christmas as a basket of gifts, but they are just as welcome to women spending the holidays in an emergency shelter or transitioning out of a violent domestic situation.
So while Laura Blinkhorn hopes it won’t be too many more Christmases before the Guelph-Wellington Basketeers can return to giving real gifts to Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis (WIC) clients, this year, like last, it’s gift cards only.
Blinkhorn is coordinator of the program and said WIC has asked for gift cards from Canadian Tire and Walmart.
“They are preferred by the shelter. Women can get pretty much everything they need there,” she said in a phone interview.
Blinkhorn is seeking monetary donations and then she’ll purchase the gift cards and deliver them to WIC. She said both stores in Fergus have been generous in adding a few bonus items when she picks up the cards, so it’s better that she makes one mass purchase.
The deadline to make a donation is Nov. 20 and she’ll deliver the cards in early December.
“Normally people purchase items and wrap the gifts themselves to fill a basket and I think they like that. It feels personal,” she said.
“But with COVID, gift cards are much easier and there are fewer points of contact doing it this way. And I know they’ve had more people at the shelter this year.”
Blinkhorn said $12,000 was donated last year – an amount she found particularly generous given that so many people were impacted by lockdowns and job loss because of the pandemic.
For more information, including where to send a cheque, visit www.basketeers.org/chapter/guelph-wellington.