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Dedicated funding of $300,000 to provide support for women facing mental health and substance use challenges, both problems on the rise since the pandemic

TORONTO, Nov. 24, 2021 /CNW/

The LOVE YOU by Shoppers Drug Mart™ program raised and donated more than $2.6 million for women's shelters and transition houses across Canada through its fall fundraising campaign that took place from October 9 - November 5, 2021. The annual campaign raises funds in local Shoppers Drug Mart stores and online to ensure that resources, programming and essential services are available to women and children fleeing violence across the country.  

This marks the second consecutive year the program focused on women's shelters and transition houses, due to the continued increase in violence against women during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"During the COVID-19 pandemic, many women's shelters and transition houses saw an increased demand for their services, yet faced significant gaps in the annual fundraising that supports them," says Lise Martin, Executive Director of Women's Shelters Canada. "The need for support is greater than ever as shelters have seen more women in need of help, with many facing substance use and mental health challenges that have only been exacerbated by the pandemic. These funds will help shelters deliver these essential services to help women in need live lives free from violence."

To address this urgent need, in addition to the funds raised locally in communities across the country, Shoppers Drug Mart Inc. donated $300,000 to Women's Shelters Canada. The donation will be used by the organization to create a Community of Practice, working with 40-50 shelter staff from across the country to identify ways to better support women with substance use and mental health challenges. The Community of Practice will create best practices, action plans and resources for shelters across Canada to access in order to strengthen their work in this area. 

"The pandemic—which has disproportionately affected women—has underscored the critical need to support shelters that provide a safe and supportive space," said Jeff Leger, President of Shoppers Drug Mart. "The LOVE YOU by Shoppers Drug Mart™ program is proud to help shelters from coast to coast build on the incredible and life-saving work they do every day. We know their work will continue to make a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of women in communities across Canada." 

The donation to Women's Shelters Canada is part of an overarching $1 million donated this year by Shoppers Drug Mart to organizations supporting women's whole health, women's mental health and women's shelters to mark the 10th anniversary of the LOVE YOU by Shoppers Drug Mart™ program. 

About Women's Shelters Canada 
Women's Shelters Canada brings together 15 provincial and territorial shelter organizations and supports the over 600 shelters across the country for women and children fleeing violence. If you or someone you know is experiencing violence, you can find your nearest women's shelter and its crisis line on www.sheltersafe.ca.

About the LOVE YOU by Shoppers Drug Mart™ program   
Shoppers Drug Mart is committed to putting women's health first through the LOVE YOU by Shoppers Drug Mart™ program, celebrating its 10thanniversary this year. Every woman has a right to the care and support she needs to be healthy and safe, but many face challenges that are tough to overcome alone. That's why the LOVE YOU by Shoppers Drug Mart™ program raises funds to help support women's health, women's mental health and women's shelters focusing on local needs and organizations. Since 2011, the LOVE YOU by Shoppers Drug Mart™ program has supported more than 450 women's charities annually across Canada, thanks to the unwavering support of Canadians from coast to coast. Learn more about the LOVE YOU by Shoppers Drug Mart™ program at shoppersdrugmart.ca/love-you.   

SOURCE Shoppers Drug Mart

For further information: Kaitlin Geiger-Bardswich, Communications and Development Manager, Women's Shelters Canada, kbardswich@endvaw.ca; Mark Boudreau, Communications Director, Loblaw Companies Limited, 902-802-8687 | mark.boudreau@loblaw.ca

 

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