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Ahead of Giving Tuesday, Some Thoughts from our Executive Director

Tuesday, November 22, 2016 1:08 PM

One of the most significant challenges faced by any charitable organization is demonstrating the impact of donations.  My wish from the time One Spark came into being has always been that everyone could see first-hand the unbelievable determination, resilience, creativity, and talents of the women we work with.  My wish has been that people could know the incredible women we’ve come to know. To witness the journeys of women as they rebuild and forge futures from a place of hope would, without question, speak for itself.  I wouldn’t have to write a word to show the impact of the donations we receive.

Because this is simply not possible, I am going to tell you what I’ve come to know about how the support we receive can be life-changing.  When we meet women that are being introduced to One Spark for the first time, we are connected to a unique story every time.  Some women have lived through months, years – perhaps decades – of abuse and violence.  All are facing poverty.  As one woman said to me, "You almost always have to walk through some form of poverty or lack of resources to escape abuse.”

But, the real commonality that every single woman I have worked with at One Spark has demonstrated is an unwavering commitment to moving forward: to forging a way to economic security.  It takes seven weeks to go through the full One Spark program, and women show up, engage, write business plans, register businesses, participate in training, and look ahead with determination every time.  They do it without fail.  We have worked with women that have started landscaping businesses, consulting businesses, home d├ęcor and self-care products businesses, cleaning businesses.  We have worked with a woman who invented a product and published a book.  We are so honoured to be able to provide the forum to bridge their experiences from living with violence/in poverty to owning income-generating businesses.  Providing the opportunity to live that transition is what your donations do.  You lift women up through possibility.

When I am speaking publicly, one of the questions I often field is how we raise our money.  We do not receive any government funding.  We are 100% reliant on the generosity of people: it is only because people reach into their pockets and so kindly give to One Spark that we can do our work.

Therefore, as we begin to celebrate the joy of the holidays – a time of year that can also powerfully remind us of income inequities and those struggling with poverty – I am asking you to please consider helping us to continue to do our work and reach even more women in 2017.  You can make a donation of any amount at https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/one-spark/ (or through the button at the bottom of the page).

On behalf of the women we work with, I thank you in advance for any support you can offer and I leave you with words written by Nancy, a client who offered to share her One Spark experience to help make opportunities available to other women:

"What I would like to say is that for the first time, I have had the greatest experience during this whole endeavor and none of it would be happening without One Spark. I have gained confidence, not only in myself, but as a women with substance that does have something to bring to the table. One Spark has listened to my idea's, even during the current struggles that I continue to have. They give me a direction and keep me on track as this has to be one of the hardest things to accomplish as an abused women, especially with children. The support from all of the experienced board members and all that they have to offer is supreme to say the least.

All the support that I have received could not be written in this letter as there is not enough words to explain. What needs to be said though is that even knowing the experience that the board members bring to the table along with Corrie Schneider's knowledge, none of this could happen without funding. As we all know, all the experience, all of the hard work, no matter the idea, can't be done without money or funding in any way.

I hope that you see the benefits in helping this wonderful and well needed Organization and all that it will do for our future as human beings.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you again.

Donate Now Through CanadaHelps.org!Corrie Schneider
One Spark Executive Director

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