Local non-profits opening their arms to those in need during the holiday season

Local non-profits opening their arms to those in need during the holiday season

WATCH: Well the holiday season is upon us, and whether it’s Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah or something else you celebrate at home, it’s the season of giving for all of us. Kori Sidaway reports.

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Well, Santa is here and so is the holiday cheer.

But for many, the holidays aren’t an easy time of year.

“Holidays can be really challenging for everyone on a lot of different fronts,” said Tracy Lubick with Wear2Start.

“You’ve got a lot of expectations on what the holidays are supposed to look like.”

But here at local non-profit Wear2Start, who dresses women getting back into the workforce, they’re hoping to ease some of those pressures.

“Maybe you’ve just been recently laid off, and then you have the challenge of Christmas and what’s that going to look like. Women can come see us and find something that’s suitable for the next steps,” said Lubick.

“Maybe they’re needing to go court, maybe they’re meeting with ministry professionals, maybe they need to meet with a landlord in order to find some suitable housing. But from the time a woman walks in the door, it’s like she’s grown half a foot.”

And no one knows that more than Judith Goertzen.

“I was actually working on my PhD, I was a scholarship student, then the university pulled their budget by $2 million and all of the sessional instructors got let go.  So I ended up with absolutely nothing,” Goertzen said.

The single mother applied to 150 jobs, without a single interview and quickly hit rock bottom.

“I was in such a state of depression, that my best moment was going to bed, and my worst was waking up,” said Goertzen.

But things started to change as she walked through Wear2Start’s doors.

“They made me feel I had value, they showed me incredible respect. They just made me feel better about myself,” said Goertzen.

And that kindness and respect set off a chain of hope.

“The irony ended up now I find jobs for people with disabilities and barriers to employment, when 5 years ago, I couldn’t find a job myself,” said Goertzen.

Now she’s back on her feet, and it all started with just a pair of shoes.

Kori SidawayKori Sidaway

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