Victoria woman named ‘woman of worth’ for free vet care program

Honourees are celebrated and awarded $110,000 in charitable grants

Dr. Jane Vermeulen of Vets for Pets is among those recognized in L’Oréal Paris’ second annual Canadian Women of Worth program.

On International Woman’s Day (March 8), 10 Women of Worth honourees are celebrated and awarded $110,000 in charitable grants at an awards gala in Toronto hosted by award-winning actress Helen Mirren.

“We are astounded by our 2018 Canadian Women of Worth Honourees and the humanitarian work they champion to help so many people including refugees, homeless, food insecure, cancer patients and autistic adults. It is our honour and privilege to recognize this year’s exceptional Honourees and help shine a spotlight on their inspirational work on International Women’s Day,” said Milan Mladjenovic, general manager, L’Oréal Paris in Canada.

The Women of Worth program honours Canadian women who selflessly volunteer their time to serve and improve the lives of those in need. Selected from an impressive pool of public nominations, each honouree was chosen by an esteemed judging panel based on the impact of the cause she’s championed and innovation she has demonstrated to benefit those less fortunate.

Vermeulen, of Victoria, runs Vets for Pets that provides free veterinary care to more than 60 pets a month on a consistent basis to homeless and low-income pet owners.

Each honouree receives a $10,000 grant for her charity, as well as a trip for two to the gala in Toronto and marketing support to increase visibility for her charity.

The public can vote for one of the 10 to be national honouree. Others include: Carol Todd, The Amanda Todd Legacy in Port Coquitlam, that promotes mental wellness and healthy living by improving awareness of bullying, cyber abuse and internet safety; Chantal Bernatchez, Association Vergers d’Afrique in Montreal which has assisted nearly 5,000 women from Burkina Faso to create revenue producing activities to help fight poverty; Hazar Mahayni, Syrian Kids Foundation in Montreal offers education, humanitarian relief & social services to Syrian refugee children from different backgrounds, sects and religions; Lise-Marie Gravel, Autism Without Limits in Montreal spearheads the inclusion and personal fulfillment of autistic adults in social and learning environments; Lourdes Juan, The Leftovers Foundation in Calgary rescues 4,000 pounds of food per week from being thrown in landfill and delivers to service agencies in need; Maike van Niekerk, Katrin’s Karepackage in Halifax advocates for cancer patients in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland by offsetting travel costs for cancer-related appointments; Stachen Frederick, BrAIDS for AIDS in Toronto raises awareness of HIV/AIDS within the African, Caribbean and Black community through cultural practice of hair braiding; Subhra Mukherjee, Sai Dham Food Bank in Mississauga, ON is open 24/7 providing free deliveries of nutritious food to seniors and frail adults struggling with hunger across nine cities; and Victoria Plouffe, Beads of Courage in Calgary helps children & teens with serious illness to record, tell and own their stories of courage through programs of narrative medicine.

One of the 10 women will be selected as the national honouree earning another $10,000 grant for her non-profit cause. Visit and vote until March 4.

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