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Anderson House in Charlottetown thinks #MeToo causing rise in donations

Samantha Sambrooke, owner of the Maritime Yoga College, says an all-woman Sunday yoga class has chosen Anderson House for its Yoga for Charity donations.  ©THE GUARDIAN
Samantha Sambrooke, owner of the Maritime Yoga College, says an all-woman Sunday yoga class has chosen Anderson House for its Yoga for Charity donations. ©THE GUARDIAN - Katie Smith

The global conversation around the rights of women, through movements like #MeToo, has seemingly led to local action, at least for one Island charity.

The executive director of Anderson House, an emergency shelter for women and children who are in need of safety because of violence in their lives, says donations from local businesses have gone up recently.

Danya O’Malley, with Family Violence Prevention Services, said she’s confident the increase in support is a direct result of the recent exposure to women’s experiences with sexual assault.

“It’s more than normal. I would say it’s the sudden global attention to violence against women,” she said. “I don’t have any definitive proof of that, but it would be an awfully big coincidence if they weren’t related.”

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The shelter typically receives donations from people who have some sort of connection with Anderson House, but that seems to be changing, she said.

“This feels different. It feels like doing something to further the cause is something that people seem really behind, even with no personal connection to it; it’s being shared and talked about in a way that feels rather new.”

Samantha Sambrooke, director of the teacher training and owner of the Maritime Yoga College, says Anderson House was the obvious choice for a sponsorship from her upcoming Sunday yoga class.

Yoga for Charity will take place at 4 p.m. on Sunday at the Charlottetown Yoga Space located at 49 Pownal St.

Sambrooke says the Sunday classes give yoga instructors-in-training a chance to improve their teaching skills and, in turn, a charity receives funding.

“It’s really a win-win for everyone.”

O’Malley said this fundraiser is a good fit.

“It’s just lovely,” she said. “Especially something like yoga, which really ties into our philosophies of peace and healthy relationships, and yoga really is about a healthy relationship with yourself.”

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