#DealershipsGivingBack: Stay home. Limit trips outside. Don’t gather in large groups. It is the advice meant to keep Ontarians safe from the COVID-19 pandemic. For women and children experiencing domestic violence, it’s a nightmare.
November marks Woman Abuse Prevention Month in the Waterloo region, an event that has taken on added significance this year.
As the pandemic drags on and employment and economic challenges increase, the number of women seeking shelter from domestic violence has skyrocketed, all, while financial support and fundraisers meant to sustain the Anselma House in Kitchener and Haven House in Cambridge, have dwindled as a result of the cancellation of fundraising events. Lebada Motors in Cambridge knew it had to step up and make a sizable donation to help keep families in the Waterloo region safe.
“We believe strongly in giving back to our community,” explains Andy Lebada, director of Lebada Motors.
“The pandemic has certainly been a challenge for businesses in Cambridge, including our own, but the pandemic’s effect on local charities has been even worse,” he said. “Several events which they rely on for their annual budget have been canceled, fundraising drives have been delayed and individual donations are down as people struggle with the economic effects of the pandemic. All this is happening at a time when the Women’s Crisis Services of Waterloo Region (WCSWR) have been inundated with requests for help. We knew we had to step up and help as much as possible.”
Lebada Motors has a long history of donating to local and international charitable initiatives. In the past seven years, the car dealership has donated more than $155,000 to charities, including over $32,000 to the Women’s Crisis Services of Waterloo Region.
This year, the need to support the WCSWR is greater than ever. In a recent news article, the Waterloo Police Service said that on average, it receives 16 domestic abuse calls for assistance every day. That’s one every 90 minutes.
Lebada Motors had set a goal of raising $10,000 for the WCSWR by Nov. 30, 2020.
“We’re very proud to be supporting the women’s emergency shelter,” explained Hicham Lebada.
“While we’re proud of our contributions to the shelter, we’d like to do even more. That’s why we’re encouraging other businesses and dealerships in Cambridge, Kitchener, and the entire Waterloo region, to step up and donate what they can. There is no greater cause than keeping families safe and protected in our community.”
The Women’s Crisis Services of Waterloo Region operates two emergency shelters for abused women and their children — Anselma House in Kitchener and Haven House in Cambridge.
For more information about Women’s Crisis Services of Waterloo Region, visit wcswr.org.