10 years of Caring

Women get a special day at NorWest Co-op Community Health.

The 10th anniversary of the Women’s Day of Caring at NorWest Co-op Community Health’s resource centre on Alexander Ave. was hosted by the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) on Tuesday.

Almost 50 smiling women socialized and enjoyed free haircuts, manicures, and lunch at the United Way agency partner. They chose from clothing, shoes, and books, and came away with gift bags of jewelry, toiletries and cosmetics.

“It’s really great to give them a day where they’re pampered and have someone take care of them,” said NorWest Community Development Coordinator Elizabete Halprin.

Some of the women live isolated lives, Elizabete said. They may be alone or single parents living on a low income, or going through issues stemming from abuse or trauma.

Yvonne Clements thinks she may have missed just one Women’s Day of Caring in 10 years.

“I wouldn’t miss it for the world,” said Yvonne, tucking into a sandwich and veggies after her haircut.

“It’s time for women to be pampered. They might not have had their hair done for years, seriously, and it’s a chance to get new clothes for free.”

Yvonne said residents in her Blake Gardens housing complex “don’t really socialize, so this is a chance to get to know each other.”

“This is the one big social event.”

As in past years, Scientific Marvel Beauty School students – 19 of them – were on hand to provide the free haircuts and manicures.

Scientific Marvel Esthetics Instructor Romona Boeve said the day is about more than “making someone pretty.”

“It’s a connection. You’re making a connection with a person and talking to them.”

Jan Morowski of the WRHA, which had seven volunteers helping out, said making personal connections is a wonderful part of the event.

“They connect through this as neighbours and become friends.”

WRHA provided clothing and shoes through an employee drive – enough for each woman to leave with multiple bags full.

The ladies got to choose a new book provided by Frontier College, which also provided children’s books for the prize baskets.

“We support United Way and Day of Caring,” said Frontier College Community Coordinator Karen Ste. Marie.

“Literacy happens at every level. There’s always an opportunity to learn, and women who use NorWest can be lifelong learners, right?”

France Croteau passed on the fiction for Flat Out Rock – Ten Great Bands of the 60s. She said she attended Woodstock in 1974 as an 11-year-old girl and remembers “dancing with my mum and dad.”

Learn more about United Way Days of Caring online or contact Day of Caring manager Hillary at 204-924-4273 or hgair@unitedwaywinnipeg.mb.ca.