Saskatoon woman whose own mom lived through 'a decade' of abuse gives $100K to YWCA program
SASKATOON -- On International Women's Day, CTV Saskatoon's Jeff Rogstad spoke with Bonnie Gitzel about her family's $100,000 donation to help fund the YWCA Saskatoon's Turning Points program. Gitzel was joined by Carla Delgado, who is Director of Development & Engagement at the YWCA. This interview has been edited for length and clarity
So Carla first of all tell us about something special called Turning Points What's that all about?
So Turning Points is our transitional housing program at the YWCA where we have women who can partake in counselling, learn how to get employment, budget, living skills, just a way to transition into that long-term healthy living.
All right, and obviously, it takes money to do these kinds of programs and make this kind of impact. I know Bonnie you and your family have made a significant contribution. So then the question is always why.
Well, as Carla said the programs and services offered by the YWCA speak for themselves. This Turning Points program is going to enable women to make that critical transition into a healthy lifestyle, not only for them but for their families as well, any contribution that we can make toward the betterment of women and families is certainly what we're here to do.
And this certainly (from what I understand) would have helped you and your family, your mother and your siblings, when you were growing up?
Yeah, it was a rough start to say the least. My mom lived with a decade of physical, emotional, sexual abuse, alcoholism. Literally escaping in the middle of the night with us children. I was too young to bear the scars of that. But my older sister certainly was well aware of everything that was going on at the time, she was nine years old and lives with the scars today. If the YWCA services were available to my mom in the middle of the night., things might have been a whole lot different. But they weren't
No and and you talked about the scars. Is it the kind of thing where has it taken a long time for you to come to grips with the impact this has made on you and the rest of your family?
Absolutely. I think you always want to surround yourself with strength and perseverance and all those other qualities that we want to demonstrate, and showing weakness, even though it's not weakness that you perpetrated yourself, is certainly something that we as women don't want to do, and I think now is the time, perhaps Women's Day is the time where we share dialogue and what we've experienced. That we are proud of our past, not only the people who have, you know, helped us through many challenges that we've had, but the strength that we've had to overcome them. Again the YWCA is a shining example of everything that we need to do for women in our community, the ones that aren't celebrated nearly as often as they should be.
Carla for those women or individuals who either want to contribute or find out more about Turning Points, how do they do that.
Definitely go to the YWCA Saskatoon website or give us a call. We're always happy to talk to anybody to help them understand what we do and how best they can donate