Kingston Basketeers campaign to help women make a new start

Past basket donations. Photo via Kingston Basketeers.

Kingston Basketeers, volunteers who are passionate about supporting women making a fresh start after leaving abusive situations, are supporting local women in need again this year with acts of kindness.

According to a release from the organization, each year, violence and abuse drive more than 100,000 women and children across Canada out of their homes and into shelters. Often they will leave home with only a few belongings, which is why Kingston Basketeers is helping create and collect thoughtful gift baskets for women making the transition from a shelter to a new home, the organization stated.

“I’m excited to celebrate Kingston Basketeers’ fifth year of supporting women who are making a new start after transitioning away from violence,” said Claire LaPlante, Chapter Lead, Kingston Basketeers. “Our community has made this campaign a success each year and I know 2023 will be no different.”

Claire LaPlante showing off past baskets. Photo via Kingston Basketeers.

The organization said that the laundry-sized baskets should be filled with new items in either a personal or household theme. Keeping these in separate baskets allows them to be more easily distributed based on individual circumstances. According to the release, each basket donated will go to a survivor of gender-based violence to help with a new beginning. 

Kingston Basketeers is partnering with Kingston Interval House (KIH) to distribute the baskets, and is also accepting cash contributions, which will be used to purchase gift card bundles to help these women acquire crucial personal or household items. 

LaPlante shared that she has heard many anecdotal stories of how the women at KIH are often very touched by the baskets.

“Sometimes [the women] will be moved to tears when receiving them, whether it’s on Christmas morning or on a day when they are moving out of the shelter and having a hard time,” she said.

While the Kingston Basketeers haven’t seen explosive growth over the past four years, LaPlante told Kingstonist that they continue to provide enough baskets to KIH to support a significant amount of women.

“We have found a groove that works, as Interval House has indicated the recent numbers [of baskets] seem to get them from one year to the next in terms of supply.”

The organization has donated over 200 baskets and $7,000 to KIH since 2019, and LaPlante hopes they continue to grow each year.

“Now that we are fully out of the COVID shadow, I am hoping to seek out more partnerships such as with businesses and teams,” she expressed.

Visit the Kingston Basketeers website to register a basket, or contribute a cash donation via e-transfer to [email protected]. Basketeers noted that tax receipts will not be provided, as they are not a registered charity.

The Basket Drop-Off Day event will take place at the Invista Centre Meeting Room A from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 26, 2023. Donors are invited to bring their registered, fully-wrapped baskets to the drop-off.

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