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Archive for the ‘Special Holidays’ Category

Thank You!

Posted on: January 13th, 2017 by Nellie's No Comments

Little girl from our Kids Summer Camp - Thank You from Nellie's

We would like to thank all of you for you kindness and generosity in supporting us over the year. We had Sparks, Brownies and students creating shoeboxes and backpacks for our kids who still needed Back To School supplies. We received much needed non-perishable food items from food drives to top up our Food Bank for the holidays! We received donations of personal hygiene items & toiletries, pyjamas, warm coats and boots to help keep our families warm through the winter months and some of you even went without presents so that some of our families would get the desperately needed items they asked for over the holiday season.

You held toy drives and collected at Holiday parties at home and at work. You held raffles, concerts, pub nights, bake sales, a flamenco night, baby showers and contests and raised funds & collected items for our moms and their kids. You supported our Online Auction by donating, bidding on, and buying items and raised funds to help support our essential Programs for our Women & Kids in the New Year. Most of all you showed our families how much you care, so that even though it’s freezing outside, they know that they are part of a Community of Hope, helping them to a future free from violence!

From all of us at Nellie’s to all of you, Thank You! We wish you all the best for the Holiday Season and the New Year!

Chinese New Year 2015

Posted on: February 17th, 2015 by Nellie's No Comments


Spring Festival, widely known as Chinese New Year in the West, is the most important traditional festival, and most important celebration for families in China. It is an official public holiday, during which most Chinese have 8 days off work.

Chinese New Year 2015 begins on Thursday 19 February, and end on 5 March. It is day one month one of the Chinese lunar calendar, and its date in January or February varies from year to year (always somewhere in the period January 21 to February 20).

Chinese New Year is a time for families to be together. Wherever they are, people come home to celebrate the festival with their families. The New Year’s Eve dinner is called Reunion Dinner, and is believed to be the most important meal of the year. Big families – families of several generations sit around round tables and enjoy the food and time together.

Like Christmas in the West, people exchange gifts during the Spring Festival. The most common gifts are red envelopes. Red envelopes have money in, and are given to children and (retired) seniors. It is not a customs to give red envelopes to (working) adults.

Every street, building, and house is decorated with red. “Red” is the main color for the festival, as it is believed to be an auspicious color. Red lanterns hang in streets; red couplets are pasted on doors; banks and official buildings are decorated with red New Year pictures depicting images of prosperity.

Fish is a must for Chinese New Year as the Chinese word for fish (鱼 yú /yoo/) sounds like the word for surplus (余 yú). Eating fish is believed to bring a surplus of money and good luck in the coming year.

Another traditional Chinese New Year food is Chinese dumplings. Because the shape of Chinese dumplings looks like  silver ingot – a kind of  ancient Chinese money, Chinese people believe eating dumplings during the New Year festival will bring more money and wealth for the coming year.

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Love Shouldn’t Hurt

Posted on: February 10th, 2015 by Nellie's No Comments


February 14th is Valentine’s Day, a day when traditionally we show our loved ones how much we care.  We buy flowers and chocolates, go out for romantic dinners or watch romantic movies and celebrate love to the best of our abilities.

For women caught in violent and abusive relationships however, love does not always mean romance, chocolates and roses.  There is a darker side of Valentine’s Day, where love hurts.

Figures from the Staffordshire police force show that “consistently, over the past three years, more acts of violence or abuse are committed in the home in the weeks around Valentine’s Day than in January. In the 20-day period between January 8 and January 28, there were 291 domestic incidents in 2011, 257 in 2012 and 263 in 2013.”

Reeva Steenkamp, the model and law graduate shot and killed by Oscar Pistorius, was statistically just one of three women killed on Valentine’s Day by an intimate partner, according to a study on violence against women that damns South Africa as having “the highest rate ever reported in research anywhere in the world.”

Police and domestic violence experts in the US have said that holidays can sometimes bring out the worst in partners and that violence increases during holiday periods which are also times of stress and disagreement. Valentine’s Day is no exception.

This Valentine’s Day, love shouldn’t hurt.

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Mother’s Day at Nellies

Posted on: May 8th, 2014 by Nellie's No Comments


Mother’s Day originally started with social activist Anne Marie Reeves Jarvis who died on the second Sun day in May, 1905.  Her daughter Anna vowed to make Mother’s day a holiday that would honour all mother’s as well as her own.

The first Mother’s Day was on May 10, 1905 in Jarvis’ hometown and several other cities and in 1914 President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day

At Nellie’s Shelter, the women celebrating Mother’s Day are not in their own homes, but they are somewhere safe, where they will not suffer abuse or violence of any kind.  Some have their children with them, babies in strollers, toddlers and even teens.

They are getting used to the freedom to just be, with no anger or violence haunting their every action.  They are learning about their rights to live with dignity and respect with the freedom to make their own choices about their lives.  They are learning that they are people of value to the world.

They learn things the rest of us take for granted like how to manage money, to cook meals, to live independently.  They earn how to defend themselves and their rights under the law.  They learn to access services and get the help they need to survive and grow.

They learn that as women, they are important and as Mothers they have the most important job in the world – raising the next generation!

So this Mother’s Day, celebrate the Mother s in your life, the ones who gave you the tools to be the person you are today.  The ones who were there to answer questions and watch you grow.

And if you have a moment, think of the women who are trying to do the best they can in less than ideal circumstances at our Shelter.  They are mothers too and they just need a hand to help them on their way.

Click here to donate and if you would like us to send a card in honour of Mother’s Day, please choose the Tribute option and we would be happy to do so.

Happy Earth Day from Nellie’s!

Posted on: April 22nd, 2014 by Nellie's No Comments


Kung Hei Fat Choy

Posted on: January 30th, 2014 by Nellie's No Comments


Chinese New Year is the longest and most important celebration in the Chinese calendar. The Chinese year 4712 begins on Jan. 31, 2014.  People dress in red and children receive gifts of “lucky money” contained in red envelopes. The colour red symbolizes fire to drive away bad luck.  Traditionally households thoroughly cleanse the house to sweep away ill fortune and make way for good luck, decorate windows and doors with red paper-cuts and light firecrackers.   Festivities often continue until the Lantern Festival, held on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month. The highlight of this festival is often considered to be the dragon dance. Traditionally the dragon is held aloft by young men who dance as they guide the colorful beast through the streets.

This is the Year of the Horse and those born in this year are believed to be cheerful, skillful with money, perceptive and witty.