Shelter Movers Waterloo Region, a non-profit that aids residents leaving abusive domestic living situations, is holding its first-ever fundraiser, Shelter Movers Shuffle, on May 6.
The organization founded its Waterloo Region chapter in December of 2002, and has since carried out 280 moves, including 59 so far in 2023.
Each move costs around $250, said chapter director Courtney Waterfall.
“Fuel is getting more and more expensive. The funds go directly to help on those moves, whether it’s our rental vehicles, fuel, security, storage and the behind-the-scenes things that go together to make our moves happen,” Waterfall said.
The organization has received support from local businesses to help reduce their costs, Waterfall said.
“So our rental trucks, for example, Penske, have been wonderful to us. We have gotten donated storage units across the region from a variety of storage facilities. We work with a couple of security partners that donate their time to us when they can so that we don’t have to pay for security. And we try to have a variety of locations for our storage units so that the travel time between locations is shorter as well, so we’re not using as much fuel.”
As a new organization in the area, it is trying to raise awareness of their presence in the region as well as address any stigmas around talking about intimate partner violence, Waterfall added.
“There can be a lot of shame around it or embarrassment, so people that are impacted by it but just are afraid to speak up about it.”
The fundraiser is a 19+ country western dance from 7-11:30 p..m. on May 6 at Pine Valley Chalet, 1600 River Rd. E. in Kitchener. It will include line dancing lessons, appetizers and refreshments, a photo station, and a silent auction with a wide range of items up for bid. Tickets bought before May 1 are $49.95 and after that will cost $54.95.
Beyond financial support Shelter Movers is always looking for more volunteers, Waterfall said.
“We have a number of volunteer positions, both frontline movers and drivers that are actually out on the move helping you, and our administrative volunteers that are doing the behind-the-scenes work of raising money and marketing and communications, volunteer services and coordinating the moves,” she explained.