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Thursday, Jan 18, 2018

Community

Recycling Lives

Chilliwack Elks help get young women off the street with $1500 donation to Coquitlam Society

By Voice Staff/Submitted photos

 

Ron Molnar, Chilliwack Elks Exalted Ruler, (l to r) Maura Fitzpatrick from Children of the Street, Charles Beamin and Jim Simpson-Charities Committee.


hey're vulnerable. Exposed. Young women shoved on the street from rat infested hotel rooms in skimpy clothing to work the street. It's the middle of winter. People walking by are bundled up against the biting cold. To her it's like hitting the pavement on a balmy summer evening. The drugs make her feel warm and fuzzy. She comes back later. Bedraggled, freezing and wanting more dope—the principal underlying force that manifests with the help of the friendly neighbourhood dealer.

That's life on the circuit where women are lucky if they live through it. Some destined to die. No one cares. The women's abbreviated existences shattered forever. Broken lives chucked like empty bottles out car windows. It's hard to imagine the horrific experiences as they age-out and are tossed for new younger women. At that point they're christened drug runners and dealers.

Those dark and evil paragraphs aren't pretty. But there is hope that cuts through the madness. That's where Children of the Street Society shine. It's their mandate is to help steer these women away from that lifestyle to a much better place.

The Society is a Coquitlam-based group that they say has been able to reach out to more than 25,000 young women.

 

StatsCan says between 1991 and 2014, there were 294 homicides of sex workers. One in three (34%) homicides of sex workers remained unsolved; a much greater proportion than for homicides that did not involve a sex worker victim (20%).


Police are running around in circles charging everyone from buyers and sellers to dealers. Then they're spit out of the system out on the street to begin the cycle again.

Chilliwack Elks want to throw a wrench in to the spokes of that wheel.

At their Lodge meeting January 15th, members of the Chilliwack Elks donated $1,500 to Children of the Street Society.



Over the years, The Elks have been involved in fundraising projects for the Society.


"The funds will be used to support the delivery of the Society’s school-based workshops presented to children and youth in Chilliwack. These workshops give young people the information and practical tools they need to learn how to keep safe from all forms of sexual exploitation. Over the years, the Chilliwack Elks has given $4,500 to support the Society’s prevention efforts in Chilliwack," said Charles Beamin, Elks Lodge No. 48.

"Children of the Street's mission is to keep children safe by teaching them about the inherent dangers of the internet. The Elks of Canada and our lodge look for ways to support children and their families, therefore, to support the school-based workshops provided by this organization is a natural fit," added Beamin.

In order to get out there and deliver services and programs they need support from the community.

"Last school year, through the generosity of supporters like the Chilliwack Elks Lodge, the Society was able to reach over 1,600 children and youth in local schools and community groups in Chilliwack. Province-wide, the Society annually reaches over 25,000 young people through more than 500 workshops," said Maura Fitzpatrick Children of the Street fundraising manager. "Last school year, through the generosity of supporters like the Chilliwack Elks Lodge, the Society was able to reach over 1,600 children and youth in local schools and community groups in Chilliwack. Province-wide, the Society annually reaches over 25,000 young people through more than 500 workshops."
 

Chilliwack Elks doing their best to help.


Children of the Street works with young women to help educate them to spot bad situations to avoid. They're a province-wide group offering 500 workshops reaching over 25,000 youths.

"There are so many wonderful community groups like the Chilliwack Elks who are doing so much to make communities stronger, happier, and safer places to be," said Fitzpatrick.

About Elks Lodge No. 48 Chilliwack
As the Provincial Association for the National Elks of Canada, we are a non-profit, volunteer-based organization that fundraises for charitable purposes throughout British Columbia. From local sporting events to large scale donation drives, the members of the BC Elks Association have raised millions of dollars in our long history to improve local communities, assist individuals in need, and support other charitable causes.

The Elks meet on the 1st & 3rd Monday of the month at 7pm. The Chilliwack Lodge is located at 104A 8645 Young Rd., Chilliwack Ph. (604) 392 4414

About Children of the Street
Children of the Street Society is a provincial society and federal charity dedicated to preventing the sexual exploitation and human trafficking of children and youth in British Columbia through education strategies, public awareness initiatives, and family support since 1995.  If you'd like to donate to Children of the Street, visit their website donation page here.  For more information, visit Children of the Street website here.

Prevention · Intervention · Support

 


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