The Central Alberta’s Women’s Outreach in Red Deer has 200 pairs of women’s shoes to fill and they’re looking for men to fill them. Yes, men!
It’s part of the eighth annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes fundraiser to raise awareness of family violence.
The non-profit agency hopes to raise $75,000 this year from walks in Sylvan Lake on June 6 and in Red Deer on June 13. The funds raised will support the programs supporting victims of domestic violence from therapeutic domestic violence support to some of the basic needs as they WALK through their journey of healing to live a life free from domestic violence. Women’s Outreach helps between 2,000 and 2,500 adults every year, along with as many as 4,000 children, says Barb Barber, executive director.
While the walk focuses on violence against women and encourages men to come out and participate – in high heels that come in sizes as large as men’s size 15 – Women’s Outreach helps both men and women who are victims of family violence.
“We know family violence isn’t just a women’s issue,” Barber says.
But getting men to come out and walk “sends a very strong statement that men are not tolerating family violence.”
Barber likes to stress that victims of family violence could be your mother, your sister, your friend or a neighbour.
“And no one person or no one agency is able to stand up against domestic violence by themselves,” she says. “It takes a community to stand up and say ‘we support victims of domestic violence.’ And we’re here to help that victim move from victim to surviver and thriver.”
“And the only way we can do that is as a community standing together,” Barber adds. “That’s why we are asking the community to stand with us and to participate with us to let people know they are not alone.”
While the issue of family violence is a serious one, the event is aimed at being light-hearted, with fun for the whole family.
Five things to do to help raise money as part of the Walk a Mile in her shoes:
- Walk the walk for a minimum donation of $25. Both women and men are encouraged to participate, and there are shoes as large as mens’ size 15!
- Go to the pancake breakfast from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. to fuel up for the walk;
- Try your hand at axe throwing;
- Bring your children to the Bouncy Castle and jump along with them; and
- Enjoy the barbecue lunch provided by the Red Deer Food Bank Society.
Come down and check out the activities, enjoy the day and support the programs delivered through The Outreach Centre, but most of all support individuals living with domestic violence.