The shops at Village Square are hosting a fundraiser to support the Ishtar Transition Housing Society. The Dec. 22 event takes place at Saba Cafe. (Danielle Campani photo)

Fort Langley businesses join forces to help Ishtar

The local transition housing society is struggling to support women and children this time of year.

Donations to Ishtar Transition Housing Society are down and the local non-profit is having to turn away women and children.

“A couple of Mondays ago, our Aldergrove house turned 32 women away due to lack of space,” noted Laurie Parsons, Ishtar’s executive director recently. “While this is an unusually high number, every day staff are turning women and children away.”

While the organization has partnered with BC Housing to create second stage and permanent housing for women and children, that takes time.

The agency is trying to help those it can but needs some help.

“Each year, our transition houses are full during this season and throughout the year. The community of Langley is typically incredibly generous at this time of year, ensuring that women and children enjoy the season despite their circumstances by donating toys for children and gifts for women,” she explained.

While there has been no lack of in-kind donations, the monetary donations are down. Parsons is concerned about meeting the gap between government funding and the society’s operating costs.

“We provide services beyond what our government funding allows because so many women and children are in need,” she said. “We keep our costs down as much as possible so that we can provide the services that are needed here in Langley.”

READ RELATED STORY: Langley not immune to violence against women, says local transition society

The agency works to make Christmas a little brighter for its clients.

“We hope that donors will remember us at this time of year. We are a charitable organization and donations are tax-receipted,” Parsons added.

Some North Langley businesses are helping.

“Simone Hurwitz decided she wanted to have a community event to support people in need and she chose Ishtar as it’s local and supports families getting back on their feet,” explained Rachelle Cashato, with Saba Cafe.

The shops at Village Square, including Saba, are working together to support Ishtar.

From 3 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 22, people can drop by Saba, 23343 Mavis Ave., to take part in this fundraiser.

“This event will include cookie decorating, holiday portraits with a professional photographer and the chance to win a gift basket from the merchants valued at over $200,” Cashato said. “We will be collecting toys and pyjamas for women and children to donate to the organization as well as monetary donations.”

In return, people have a chance to win such things as gift cards from the various businesses in the complex. This is a new event and is open to all ages.

• Learn more about the Ishtar Transition Housing Society, and its work with women, children and men.

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