The executive director of the Red Deer Outreach Centre says she is “overly grateful” for the generosity of those who supported the Adopt A Family program in 2020.
The program raised more than $60,000 this past year, which Barb Barber called a blessing, “especially in the middle of COVID.” Barber has been with the agency for 23 years, and the program was running when she first started.
“We’ve never had a response (to the program) like that before. I’m extremely grateful,” she said.
The Adopt a Family program provides assistance throughout the year to families when they are most in need. With a focus on the Christmas season, the program focuses on single parent families who are struggling and require extra help to provide for their family.
The past year was a difficult one for many, said Barber.
“You’re used to having your co-workers in the office. We’re used to being able to meet face-to-face with our clients and having people come in. When we can’t do that, I think we realize how much we do miss that connection with each other, our clients and our community,” she said.
A highlight of 2020 was “being able to find creative opportunities to still meet the needs of our clients. We’ve still been able to do that.”
The centre hosted a virtual version of its annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event this past year.
Barber said the Outreach Centre just recently celebrated the 10th year of Julietta’s Place, which is a housing option for women and children fleeing domestic violence.
“We’re just in the process of upgrading the appliances, the furniture, the suites and giving everything a nice facelift,” she said.
“It’s been used quite well for 10 years. That’s an exciting thing for this year – we’re really excited about that.”
Julietta’s Place is an 18-month program that provides 10 affordable secure suites while families participate in intensive programming as they learn to live life free from violence. It provides intensive care management, group support, domestic violence therapy and play therapy.
Barber said she’s looking forward to the Outreach Centre connecting with clients and the community in 2021.
For more information on the agency, visit theoutreachcentre.org.