Citizens in the City of Thompson were able to share stories of inspirational girls and women through the Thompson YWCA’s She’s With Me campaign.
The annual campaign allows the community to celebrate International Women’s Day by delivering surprise messages to female recipients on Monday.
This year, the female recipients received a gift as well as a card with personalized messages written on it to show that they were appreciated by someone in the city.
“For us at the YWCA, we love to celebrate and honour women and girls. We wanted to give the community a chance to tell us all the amazing things that the females in their lives have done or continue to do,” said Nina Cordell, Thompson YWCA women’s programs coordinator on Monday.
Last year, YWCA hosted a “Laugh-ternoon” show featuring two female comedians to go along with the campaign.
Due to COVID-19, the YWCA was not able hold a community gathering and therefore chose to provide a gift that would go along with the messages instead.
Upon delivery, receivers were given a choice to pick one of the three gifts that were prepared by the YWCA. The three gifts recipients could choose from were a relaxation kit, a dream catcher kit or a painting kit.
The relaxation kit consists of a journal, pen, facial mask, tea, a bath bomb and a manicure set. In the dream catcher kit, recipients will be given tools and materials such as beads, feathers, strings, a ring and glue to use. Recipients can expect a canvas, paint and paintbrushes in their painting kit.
“The highlight of the whole campaign is that somebody will show up to your home or workplace and present you with this card saying that someone has thought about you and that you have inspired them,” said Cordell.
For three weeks leading up to Monday, residents from Thompson had contacted the YWCA through phone, email and on Facebook to share their nominees on who they thought inspired them the most.
Among the participants who nominated a female inspiration was a husband who used this opportunity to let his wife know she was appreciated.
“He said that he has a hard time expressing how much he appreciated her on his own, so he thought that this campaign was perfect for him,” said Cordell.
The Thompson YWCA has also launched two new education bursaries called the Footsteps Forward bursaries that will provide financial support to women and girls.
Initially known as the Joan Johnston Award, the new bursaries will be inclusive of all women and girls living or studying in Northern Manitoba.
Bursaries offered to Northern Manitoba females are the shorter-term training or programs bursary that does not require the applicant to be enrolled in a post-secondary institute and the post-secondary enrollment bursary which supports either full-or-part time students.
The amount of bursaries provided to female students will be on a case-to-case basis depending on their household income. Currently, there is no limit as to how much a potential candidate can receive from the grant.
To apply for either of the bursaries, interest students can now call 204-778-1209 or email [email protected] to set up an arrangement to receive an application.
Nicole Wong is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Winnipeg Sun. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.