Anney’s Closet in Colwood is a free store for women, of all ages, in need.

Anney’s Closet was a homegrown initiative from our Club,” says Cathy Waters.

The “Club” Waters is referring to is Soroptimist International of Victoria Westshore.

“Soroptimist is an international organization that supports women and girls around the world in various initiatives,” Waters explains.  “Our club’s been here since 2010 – the organization is coming up on it’s 100th anniversary.”

The club has partnered with social service agencies who refer girls and women.

“We have girls aging out of foster care.  We have women that have come out of abusive situations” says Waters.   “They’re going through Transition House, and they can come here and get anything they need to set up their home.  Pots, pans cutlery, bedding…because some of these women have walked away with nothing.”

WestShore U-Lock Mini-Storage has supported Anney’s Closet since 2012.

“We, as a U-Lock company,” says Donna Fraser, Manager of Westshore U-Lock, “love to give back to the community, so Anney’s Closet is one of the organizations that we partner with.

Robin Achen-Waugh is the Donation Coordinator for Anney’s Closet.

“Everything we keep is such good quality,” says Achen-Waugh, “because our donors are so generous!  The women are getting such good quality items that they really can make a home out of the things they take with them!”

So what kind of donations are the volunteers looking for?

“We’re always looking for clean, gently used items,” says Achen-Waugh.  “Dishes are always in demand, especially sets. Cutlery, lamps, toasters, kettles…pretty much anything you would need to set up a house.

“The best way to see what we need is to check our Facebook page. It’s simply Anney’s Closet” adds Achen-Waugh.

Waters points out that while the donations are usually in excellent condition, “Nothing here goes to waste.  If we have towels that have stains on them, we will donate them to the SPCA, or the Humane Society.”

Run entirely by volunteers, and always looking for more, Anney’s Closet helps about 100 girls and women every year.

Veronica Cooper