The Victoria Women’s Professional Group collected more than 400 hygiene kits for Women in Need in November. Left to right: Cassandra Little, social media and content coordinator; Portia Zaffaroni, co-founder and president; and Breia Monti, discover local YYJ marketing coordinator. (Courtesy of Portia Zaffaroni)

The Victoria Women’s Professional Group collected more than 400 hygiene kits for Women in Need in November. Left to right: Cassandra Little, social media and content coordinator; Portia Zaffaroni, co-founder and president; and Breia Monti, discover local YYJ marketing coordinator. (Courtesy of Portia Zaffaroni)

Victoria women’s group collects 418 hygiene kits for Women in Need

Victoria Women’s Professional Group kicks off the giving season

‘Tis the season of giving and a recently formed Victoria women’s group has been doing its part to make sure everyone feels supported this holiday.

In the last month, the Victoria Women’s Professional Group (VWPG) has collected 418 hygiene kits from Victoria residents to donate to the local non-profit Women in Need (WIN). The kits contain basic items such as toothbrushes and toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner, deodorant, period care products and some more fun items such as nail polish, face masks and makeup.

READ ALSO: New Victoria period care company looks to empower menstruators

“I’m in awe of how many people wanted to help,” said Portia Zaffaroni, who co-founded VWPG in January. The organization is a business network for like-minded women to connect, share ideas and grow.

“We believe in lifting each other up, not tearing each other down – and that doesn’t just apply to our members. Now more than ever, we have to all work together to strengthen our community,” Zaffaroni said.

That’s why VWPG chose to make its first major initiative as an organization supporting WIN, a non-profit whose goal is to empower women.

The hygiene kits are part of WIN’s annual Community Cheer Campaign. Funds from the campaign support the organization’s programs, including helping women fleeing violence to set up a new home, providing women with practical training and financial assistance and giving women the necessities they need to become self-sufficient.

A new survey from Women’s Shelter Canada shows that both the rates and severity of violence have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recognizing a growing need for support among women, Zaffaroni said VWPG is planning monthly volunteer events for the new year to provide mentorship to female high school students. The organization will also donate a month of a member’s membership dues to WIN if they refer someone who joins.

READ ALSO: Canada-wide survey of women’s shelters shows abuse more severe during pandemic


 

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