“It’s a gift like no other.”
Sandie Sidsworth cried tears of joy as she graciously accepted $15,400 from the group 100+ Women Who Care Quinte Tuesday evening.
At the 300 member group’s one year anniversary meeting in September, the Canadian Mental Health Association Hastings Prince Edward branch’s suicide bereavement program was selected to receive the handsome gift.
Sidsworth, the executive director for the local CMHA is the sole counsellor providing grief supports to 25 community members suffering from the loss of a loved one. She said the need for suicide bereavement in Quinte is significant.
Sidsworth explained how the donation will be put towards expanding the program by hiring another part-time counsellor and securing additional space preferably in Bancroft.
Sidsworth’s sister, Angela Sheppard who is the founder of Quinte’s 100+ Women said she was very excited to present the cheque Tuesday night. She said when she started the group one year ago she never imagined how large of an impact it would have.
Over the past year 100+ Women has raised almost $80,000 for five local charities: The Quinte West Youth Centre, Bridge St. United Food Ministries, Links to Learning Resource Centre, 3 Oaks Foundation and the CMHA.
“Hearing back from the agencies and what they are able to do with the money, no strings attached – is wonderful,” beamed Sheppard. “The fact that it’s getting out to the community that needs it, that’s exiting. It doesn’t have to go through a long channel. It gets given to them and they can give it directly to the people who need it, when they need it.”
For more information on how to join the group or how to get your charity nominated, visit http://www.100womenquinte.com/
For those needing one-on-one support and/or looking to join a suicide bereavement support group contact the CMHA at (613) 969-8874.