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Hello! An update from ADVAS.

Hi!

What an eventful year this has been, and I am so grateful to all of the other community members who have supported ADVAS in recent years.

It would be an understatement to say that our community has experienced challenges in recent years, and that we continue to see challenges today. While there are so many predictable constants – crime, loss, tragedy and trauma will happen – the pain and hardship that people are enduring is deeper and more complex. Services and relationships are strained after years of pandemic stress, and, for some, it feels harder to access the support that is needed.

But, thanks to those who donate to and volunteer with ADVAS, those who connect with an ADVAS Advocate have access to support. They have the best available information, referrals to the right providers, access to mental health services and other supports, help with enhanced safety planning, court support, access to financial support, and so much more.

Because of our supporters, thousands of lives have been positively changed this year. I can’t thank our supporters enough for what they help bring to our community.

I want you to know some of the life stories that supporters have contributed to. To maintain privacy, I have changed names and some details.

      • Mary was a married mother of three. She managed the house and a part-time job, and her husband worked long hours in the city. Over the years, their marriage experienced what Mary thought were normal “bumps in the road.” The odd disagreement, a little bit of yelling, and that one time that he hit her. This persisted for years, until one day when Mary’s husband flew into a rage for reasons that don’t matter because domestic violence is never justifiable. Injured and afraid, Mary felt trapped. “The next morning, I wanted to run, but I was scared. I was scared of what he would do if I called the police. I was scared of leaving because all of our accounts were in his name, I had nothing and would end up in a shelter in the city.” Mary chose to call ADVAS first. With careful planning, Mary and her kids are living safely and accessing the supports to help them heal.

      • It was late when the on-call phone rang, and I jumped into the car with Jake the Trauma Dog. I could smell the smoke from across town, and I could see the flashing emergency lights from blocks away. Fire trucks and ambulances blocked the street, and I rushed over to the family sitting on the curb in a veil of thick, black smoke. It was clear to all of us that the fire had taken everything. Coming from away, they had no family here, few friends, and no support. I worked with them to find a safe place to stay and then helped them to move through the next steps to rebuilding and healing.

      • A young woman approached us at an event, “Can I ask a question without you doing anything about it?” she said. “Of course,” my team member responded. The question lead to a deep and painful conversation about a close friend. They talked for a long time, and then the young woman left. Weeks later, there was a knock on our door at the Airdrie RCMP Detachment – the young woman had brought her friend to speak with us. She detailed a violent sexual assault at the hands of someone in their circle of friends. Her story, just like all of the stories that you have supported, was so raw and so real that we were all moved by it. With support from ADVAS, the young woman met with the RCMP and made her statement. We helped her access essential services and supported her through the ensuing criminal trial. Her case closed in the last few years, and – because of your support – we were still there supporting her as the judge read their decision.

That’s just three of the cases that have affirmed my commitment to ADVAS and this team. This year alone, ADVAS will support more than 2,000 cases. Each case represents real people, real hurt, and the opportunity to provide real support.

And now, more than ever before, our community really needs ADVAS. From our 24/7 crisis response team, to our incredible Trauma Dog, Jake, to our programs specially designed to help Natural Supports make a positive impact on the lives of people harmed by abuse, crime, loss, tragedy and trauma – ADVAS is helping people to add strength and resilience to their life stories.

As the needs in our community grow, I am so grateful to know that ADVAS, and our entire community, has support from donors and volunteers.

And I am asking you today to please make a donation to support ADVAS and the thousands of lives we will touch. Your gift will enable and empower our community’s best crisis response team for people who have experienced abuse, crime, loss, tragedy and trauma.

Your gift will, quite literally, change lives.

Thank you for your support.

All my best,

Debbie Reid
Executive Director
Airdrie and District Victims Assistance Society (ADVAS)