Soroptimists of White Rock strive to better things for women and children, including those who access Sources’ Women’s Place. From left, volunteers Michele Partridge, Sharon Greysen, Denise Darrell, Salome Homeyer and Deb Jack.(Dani May photo)

Soroptimists of White Rock strive to better things for women and children, including those who access Sources’ Women’s Place. From left, volunteers Michele Partridge, Sharon Greysen, Denise Darrell, Salome Homeyer and Deb Jack.(Dani May photo)

Domestic-violence stats highlight need for funds, awareness, say White Rock soroptimists

Blast-from-past donation a ‘sweet’ example of club’s impact

It’s no secret that the pandemic has exacerbated domestic violence across the country, but stats recently shared by officials with Sources’ Women’s Place bring the reality closer to home.

According to the information, Women’s Place logged a 48 per cent increase in admissions to its Trauma Counselling program and a 36 per cent increase in crisis calls between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021. In all, they fielded 1,104 calls and saw 181 women over the one-year period.

The figures, said Sharon Greysen – vice-president of Soroptimists International of White Rock – are “alarming.”

“This is in South Surrey, where we’re focusing our attention,” she said, of the group’s efforts to better the lives of women locally and around the world.

While there is a sense that the Semiahmoo Peninsula is less prone to such issues, the statistics affirm “there is a lot of need,” she said.

Like so many other service groups, the club’s ability to have a positive impact on the issue was hit hard by the pandemic.

READ MORE: PHOTOS: White Rock soroptimists celebrate past, add new focus to future

In October, Greysen, club president Jas Salh and member Liz Aubert shared their concerns around COVID’s impact on fundraising – which ground to a halt and left them “living on fumes” – during a meeting to brainstorm ideas for adapting the club to the environment, including building awareness about the club itself.

Seven months later, they’re celebrating membership numbers that have doubled, a couple of surprisingly successful COVID-19-friendly fundraisers and the launch of a new website that makes it easy for anyone who wants to get involved with the club, learn more about it or donate to its endeavours to do so.

The website,, went live a few weeks ago, said Salh.

Greysen and Salh said sharing their dilemma with the community last year also spurred an unexpected donation from a woman who was helped by the club long before any of the current members became involved.

The woman told Salh that she hadn’t realized until she read of its struggles that the club still existed today, and that she came forward to say thanks for the $150 that was granted to her some 50 years ago, as it changed her life by enabling her to study to become a teacher.

“It was a really sweet story, and it was unexpected,” Greysen said. “So that was really cool.”

The club is looking to launch an online fundraiser, and Salh said the retired teacher’s donation may spark a “pay-it-forward” campaign.

Two events held since last fall – a doughnut sale and a plant sale – raised nearly $4,000 for the club’s endeavours, which include the ReSTART program, which provides kits of household items for women and children leaving transition homes to start anew.

Club member Liz Aubert said just “two or three” of the kits have been distributed of late “because women aren’t able to move out that easily” in the pandemic.

“They’re stuck in the transition houses,” she said. “But we’ll keep trying.”

As members look ahead to days when meetings don’t have to be held online, and the social aspect of the club can truly be social again, they remain hopeful that membership numbers will continue to climb and that increased awareness of what Soroptimist International of White Rock strives to do will encourage further donations.

To for more, visit, email or call 604-488-9538.
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CoronavirusfundraisingSurreyWhite Rock

Just Posted

Hundreds gathered at Surrey’s Holland Park Friday (June 11) in memory of the Muslim family killed in London, Ont. on Sunday (June 6). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Educating public ‘exhausting,’ says White Rock Muslim Association past president

Asad Syed says public needs to be more vocal in their condemnation

The City of White Rock turns 63 today. (file photo)
City of White Rock 2020 annual report available for review

Report to be discussed at June 28 council meeting

Dooris Raad was last seen in South Surrey’s Ocean Park neighbourhood on June 7. (Surrey RCMP photo)
Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of June 13

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read