I had a fantastic opportunity this week to visit a place I have never been to before. Hestia House in Saint John, NB, Canada is an unassuming place. I've driven by it many times and never knew it was there. I knew of it's existence, but not the location. The location is purposefully hidden. Hestia House is a safe place, a shelter and support for women and children in crisis. This year marks 30 years of Hestia House. It's a bittersweet marker. I'm glad it's there, but I'm saddened that it is needed.
The purpose of Hestia house is to provide safe housing for women and children who need to leave an abusive home environment. They are looking for a way out and looking to plan for a better future. It accommodates 24 women and children, complete with a playroom and a secure backyard. The home is staffed around the clock. They provide counseling, referrals to appropriate agencies and support groups for emotional, medical, legal, employment and housing needs. There is a 24 hour hotline as well. Though it mostly serves women in the Saint John area, any woman is welcome there who needs the support.
As I learned more about what Hestia House does, I was really impressed with a partnership program that they have. The Animal Rescue League of Saint John offers a temporary home for pets of the women who turn to Hestia House. It is just one more way to encourage women to leave an abusive situation.
As you can well imagine, it takes a lot of courage for these women to leave their situations and turn to a place like Hestia House for help. It's not an easy decision to make and often they leave with just the clothes on their back. That's why Hestia House welcomes donations of all sorts. People can help out with monetary gifts, gift cards, or practical items such as toiletries, clothing and toys. During my visit to Hestia House I was able to donate a box of diapers for them to use whenever they are needed in the future.
The diapers are part of Seventh Generation's Second Wave Diaper Donation Program. During this past month, many Mom bloggers around the country were approached by Seventh Generation and Mom Central Canada to take part in this campaign. Their aim was aiming to reach their goal of giving away up to 240,000 diapers to 40 shelters in Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia. Additionally, they asked Mom bloggers to donate diapers to a charity of their choice. Hestia House was the organization that jumped out to me as a place that needed to be blessed in this way. And it was a very moving experience for me. I can only imagine the stories that lie in those walls.
There are ways that you can be involved in this great act of love yourself. You can "Buy One Give One" - Seventh Generation Diapers to an organization you know could use them. To learn more about Seventh Generation and the shelters that they have supported this fall check out http://ca.seventhgeneration.com/community_ca.
To learn more about Hestia House, visit http://www.hestiahouse.ca/index.html.
If you or someone you know is living in distress, please call (506)-634-7570.
To make a donation to Hestia House contact:
Hestia House Inc.
P.O. Box 22080
57 Landsdowne Ave
Saint John, NB
Disclosure – I am participating in the Seventh Generation program by Mom Central Canada. I received compensation as a thank you for my participation. The opinions on this blog are my own.