Making a Difference Through CFUW Wolfville

Making a Difference Through CFUW Wolfville

By Winnie Horton

For the past 52 years the Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) Wolfville has held an annual book sale, with proceeds over the years going to many charities and organizations here in the Annapolis Valley and more recently one in Kenya. Recently, some of these organizations and charities have indicated how much the CFUW’s support makes a difference:

“For the last fifteen years, the CFUW Wolfville has been a major supporter of the Women’s and Gender Studies program at Acadia University. Thanks to the generosity of its members, the WGST program has been able to offer an annual award (up to $2000) to undergraduate students for research projects in fields of knowledge relevant to feminist studies. Students from arts, professional studies, and pure and applied sciences regularly submit projects upon which they have worked in courses.”

The Wolfville Area Food Bank is totally dependent on the generous donations of money, food, and the work of volunteers from the community. As the Food Bank operates solely with volunteers, we are able to use our monetary donations to purchase important fresh food items including eggs, milk, and vegetables. These donations are also used to purchase canned and dried food items such as soup and pasta. Volunteer shoppers use every dollar wisely – shopping on sale and in bulk whenever possible to stretch our budget as far as we can. It is only as a result of the generosity of the members of our local community that the Wolfville and Area Food Bank, under the auspices of the Wolfville Area Interchurch Council, operates to assist those in our area who find themselves without sufficient food to eat each month.” 

“The $2000 provided by CFUW Wolfville to The Annapolis Valley Regional Libraries supported programs such as After School Art, Storytimes, Babies and Books, science, craft, and special events that allowed the libraries to provide fun learning opportunities. In a recent survey the library conducted, we found that 25% of our Summer Reading participants want more programs, and 90% said they learned something new by participating in the Summer Reading Club, so we know we are doing something right! CFUW helped with that. As libraries become more and more the community hub, the demand for quality programs for children on a regular basis increases. The donation from CFUW allows us to supplement our budget and provide more programs to more kids and families.”

At the Valley Community Learning Association, donations like the CFUW’s help us to fund things that, while essential to the success of our work, are not supported through government grants. We provide transportation and childcare funds so that adult learners can get to class (when they have no other funds for this), and we provide a breakfast program so that they have something to eat when they come to us.” 

The Flower Cart Group provides supported employment and vocational training to adults considered to have an intellectual disability. Approximately 170 participants, clients and contract workers from all areas of Kings County benefit from a variety of opportunities provided by The Flower Cart Group. We simply could not do this without generous support from community and organizations like the CFUW. The CFUW’s membership has a long history of helping The Flower Cart Group, since 1970. The CFUW’s generous donations have gone towards assisting participants access community work experience placements, gain supported employment positions, and programs promoting community inclusion.”

The Acadia S.M.I.L.E (Sensory Motor Instructional Leadership Experience) Program is an innovative, academic-based, yet volunteer-driven program that provides persons with varying disabilities a unique physical activity experience. To achieve this goal, an individual physical activity plan is developed for each participant including sensory motor skills, fundamental movement skills, and sport (including para-sport) skills that take place in various settings including the gymnasium, pool, and ice rink at the Acadia Athletic Complex. All of this is done within a safe environment of play and fun in which Acadia University student-volunteers provide one-on-one instruction to the participants while developing leadership skills. The donations from the CFUW Wolfville have provided a new set of skate trainers and helmets for the skating sessions, a shallow pool, various adapted aquatic equipment, para-sport equipment, sensory equipment, and a gymnastic mat for the pre-school aged participants.”  

The Kings-Kikima Grannies have been supporting 27 grandmothers and their 67 orphaned grandchildren whose parents have died from HIV/AIDS for 11 years. They live in Kikima Village, Kenya. Annual contributions from the CFUW have assisted us in providing education for these children.  At the present time we have 7 of these young people who have moved through the school system and received post secondary education. They are employed as a teacher, a hairdresser, a mechanic, a church pastor, and a dressmaker, and two are in food services. We also have one student in his third year of actuarial science at university. The rest of the children are still in primary school, high school, and college. The financial assistance from The CFUW has helped these young people to follow their dreams.”

It is through the Annual Book Sale that CFUW Wolfville is able to assist in so many ways. In addition to the groups we have supported as noted above, we also made donations to L’Arche, the Annapolis Valley Science Fair, and the Annapolis Valley Music Festival. There are also a number of outreach programs such as Port Williams Health Auxiliary, food banks in Berwick, Greenwood, Aylesford, and Wolfville who receive children’s books when the sale is over.

The CFUW’s annual book sale is happening Friday March 29, 8:30am-9:00pm and Saturday March 30, 8:30am-3:00pm at the Wolfville Lions Club Community Hall, 36 Elm Avenue.

Image: “Browsing at the CFUW Book Sale” courtesy of artist Ron Lightburn. The painting will be among the prizes to be drawn at the 2019 book sale.