80,000 lives changed this past year through United Way

Imagine your life changing in an instant after suffering a devastating brain injury due to an aneurysm. Imagine having to re-learn how to walk, talk, to feed and dress yourself. Months later, when you’re finally discharged from the hospital, imagine you are completely on your own.

This is Bev’s* story.

“I’m so surprised I’m still alive.”

Bev is in her 60s. She had been living in an abusive relationship for years and became socially isolated. So when Bev was strong enough to leave the hospital, her first stop was a safe house, funded by United Way.

“I was so afraid of everything.”

At the safe house, Bev was described as generous, helpful, strong and as someone who never gave up. It’s similar to the way she was described at her previous job. In fact she had been recognized with a “caring and sharing” award after 10 years of service.

Recently, Bev moved into her own cozy apartment. “Return to Health,” another program funded by United Way, sent a volunteer to help get her settled. This service helps isolated and frail seniors transitioning before, during and after hospital stays.

“I didn’t think I deserved a place like this.”

The volunteer, Kate*, helped Bev apply for all kinds of services including financial tools and transportation. Kate became a regular friendly face. The two women got together to go for walks in the community and to practice engaging in conversations. They went to a local seniors centre so Bev could get comfortable meeting people again.

Now Bev goes to knitting and crafts workshops twice a week at the seniors centre — all on her own. She has another social circle with a brain injury group. She goes for lunch with her old workmates. She has regained her confidence.

“I am so grateful. I would not be where I am today without all this help.”

Domestic violence often happens behind closed doors. But the effects are undeniable.

Bev is just one of more than 80,000 lives changed this past year through United Way.

Your gift today will be invested in a network of local organizations and programs for people like Bev to access safe houses and counselling as well as support to enable them to get back on their feet. Every dollar stays local. To donate, please visit uwgv.ca or call (250) 385-6708.

*Bev’s and Kate’s names have been changed to protect their identities.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

West Shore RCMP seizes illegal drugs, imitation handguns in Colwood

One man and one woman arrested for weapons-related offences

Saanich man serving life sentence for double murder granted day parole

Derik Christopher Lord, convicted in 1992, fathered a child in custody

Three rescued after canoe capsizes near Oak Bay

Private vessel finds canoe, brings people ashore

Greater Victoria charities organize physically distanced tent, sleeping bag drive

Neighbourhood Response Team accepts sleeping bags, mats and tents Saturday in Victoria

First Nations, remote communities need special attention in pandemic, Freeland says

Health-care workers, seniors, Indigenous Peoples some of people most at risk, health officials say

BC Hydro offers three-month bill ‘holiday’ for those affected by COVID-19

Industrial customers can defer half of their power bills

COVID-19: Social media use goes up as country stays indoors

Overall messaging is up more than 50 per cent over the last month

Some April Fool’s Day jokes bring much-needed laughter; others tone deaf to COVID-19

Police are warning the public not to use the ongoing pandemic as a punchline

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

Controversial Cowichan tiny house still in place after removal deadline

Cowichan Valley Regional District had ordered it removed by March 15

Call before you dig into spring projects during isolation: BC 1 Call

BC 1 Call gives free checks for utilities in the area of a desired outdoor project

B.C.’s intersection speed cameras putting more tickets in the mail

One Nanaimo location delayed after speed limit reduced

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, ‘zero chance’ life will return to normal in April

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

Most Read