National Garage Sale for Shelter on Mother’s Day weekend

Royal LePage True North Realty’s ready for its 8th annual fundraiser for Waypoints

By Dawn Booth, Connect Weekly

Broker and Owner Marian Barry, Donna Houston, Milly Quark, Bev Boman, Tamra Hunt, Cindy Scantland and Alejandra Carroll of Royal LePage True North Realty at the 2015 National Garage Sale for Shelter. Photo by Dawn Booth, Connect Weekly

Broker and Owner Marian Barry, Donna Houston, Milly Quark, Bev Boman, Tamra Hunt, Cindy Scantland and Alejandra Carroll of Royal LePage True North Realty at the 2015 National Garage Sale for Shelter. Photo by Dawn Booth, Connect Weekly

When a women experiences violent victimization she can rely on a safe place at Unity House. The local emergency shelter is made available 24 hours a day – seven days a week – for any women with, or without, children.

Unity House is one of the several services available through Waypoints, formerly known as the Fort McMurray Family Crisis Society. It’s a service that is partially funded by the Alberta Government, but relies on community donations to make clothing, meals, toiletries and children’s toys available for those in need.

Royal LePage True North Realty has been a strong supporter to Waypoints and donates thousands of dollars each year through a variety of community-fundraising initiatives; including this weekend’s National Garage Sale for Shelter. The 8th annual nation-wide event takes place on May 7 at the Fort City Church (101 Spruce Street) from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The annual garage sale is one of Fort McMurary’s largest and brings in an assortment of items donated by the Royal LePage staff, realtors and community participants.

In February, the local real estate agency was awarded the 2015 Alberta Office of the Year (among Royal LePage offices across the province) for their contributions to the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation, which according to its website “is Canada’s largest public foundation dedicated exclusively to funding women’s shelters and violence prevention programs”.

With 100 per cent of their proceeds directly provided to local services, Waypoints Community Awareness & Special Events Coordinator Jenna Longaphie said the continued support from the local Royal LePage team goes a long way. It also helps the social profit secure government funding each year.

“Waypoints is required to fundraise twenty per cent of operating costs ourselves,” she said. “Without the generosity of Royal LePage, we could not assist those whose lives have been affected by domestic violence, abuse, sexual assault and homelessness.”

Longaphie further explained that “due to the decreased population of the RMWB, the demand on the shelter has reduced somewhat” compared to earlier this year. However, now with the slow climb in oil prices, the agency is noticing an increase in demand, once again. Longaphie said the 36 bed shelter must always be prepared to assist those who seek help.

“(We) expect this trend to continue throughout 2016,” she said. “There is no way to predict the amount of individuals who will require shelter at Unity House at any given time. We have slow months and we have months when we are overflowing with families. We have to be prepared to operate at full capacity at all times.”

The annual Royal LePage National Garage Sale for Shelter is highlighted each year during Mother’s Day weekend. Last year’s event raised $250,000 in Canada, and $7,000 was raised by the local Royal LePage office.

To utilize the emergency women’s and children’s shelter, contact the Unity House administration during business hours at 780-743-4691, Ext. 229. The emergency line is available any time at 780-743-1190.

-Connect Weekly-