Women in Need
(Women in Need Facebook)

Victoria’s Women in Need (WIN) community cooperative shared its 2020 year-end statistics on Wednesday, with over 1,500 program participants.

The organization is a non-profit cooperate that offers support to women, trans, non-binary and two-spirit people in crisis as they move towards self-sufficiency and wellness.

Their programs provide funding to help women pay for education, start businesses, receive child care.

WIN also offers household items and basic supplies like furniture or kitchen items for women leaving transition houses as they flee violent situations.

In 2020, the organization says they issued $35,722 in gift certificates to their stores, where recipients can purchase low-cost donated items.

37 participants in WIN programs also received a total of $32,670 in bursaries towards self-sufficiency.

A further 950 program participants were offered supports like emergency referrals to other organizations and help with accessing emergency supports like food gift certificates.

The organization closed its storefronts temporarily from March to June during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Early last year when we decided that we had to temporarily close, we knew that we had to innovate, and hoped it would help us survive,” WIN said in a statement on their website Wednesday.

The organization says these innovations have included a new online store, moving to a donation by appointment system, and implementing contactless delivery and pick-ups where needed.

WIN also made the decision to not renew their lease on their location in Langford. Stores continue to operate on Cook Street, Pandora Avenue, and in Westside Village shopping centre.

“It’s not ‘goodbye though’, it’s ‘see you later,'” WIN stated.

“We are determined to return to the Westshore when the time is right, and we are grateful to our Westshore customers who still come to visit us at our other locations.”

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