This 2020 Holiday season, The Loving Soul was happy to support one local family over the Christmas holidays. With your help, we were able to support this single mother and her 2 children with the christmas they deserve. We truly appreciate all of you who participated in our cause.
God bless all of you.
In Light and Love,
Every year during the holidays, Bradford business owner Loredana Battistella donates to a local charity from profits raised through her business, The Loving Soul, reflexology and Reiki services. In 2020, she sponsored a family, and in 2019 donated profits from her soap sales to the Canadian Mental Health Association. From October - December this year, she sold her hand-made self-care packages of candles, soaps and stones designed and inspired by late members of her family. Battistella says the fundraiser was a success, selling all 125 gift packages, bringing in a total of $2,500 for charity.
This year, she wanted to make sure the funds were kept local. She decided to donate the proceeds from the sales to WOW Living's Out of the Cold Cafe, a drop-in centre for those in the community needing to keep warm in the colder months.
While $500 of the funds went to the cafe, she wanted $2,000 of the money to go to a single mom of two who frequents the cafe often.
On Thursday afternoon, Battistella dropped the funds off at the cafe to Jodi Greenstreet, founder of WOW Living. In the evening, Battistella dressed as an elf, with 'Santa' in tow, surprised the mom and her two children at their home with the $2,000 cheque. "They were in shock when they saw us," said Battistella. She says both kids were excited about the special visit from Santa and his elf and even had their photos taken together. To maintain confidentiality, the photos are unable to be shared. Battistella says the experience was something she will never forget. "Seeing the excitement in the kids is the most beautiful Christmas gift for me this year," she said. "The spirit of the holidays lies within our hearts. I'm truly blessed to have been able to do something like this."She added, "Thank you to the community that supported the family by purchasing the gift packages. May they fill them with the love that was put into making them."
On Tuesday Jan 7th,2020, The Loving Soul, reflexology and reiki practice in Bradford, made a $500 donation to Canadian Mental Health Association York and South Simcoe. Throughout the holiday season, Loredana Battistella sold 100 bars of natural soaps made by local soap maker, Carolyn Penrose of Carma Soap Co. with all proceeds going towards the fundraising campaign.
“I chose mental health just because it hits home with me and I thought I’d give back,” Battistella explained on her reasons for creating the fundraiser. “That’s what it’s all about giving back and helping someone else in need,”
Director of Philanthropy for Canadian Mental Health Association York and South Simcoe, Catherine Matzig was on hand to receive the cheque, and thanked Battistella for her generosity, noting the programs are much needed in the community.
“This allows us to utilize it for programs and services wherever it’s needed in the organization,” explained Matzig.
“This is really wonderful, thank you.”
From one on one counselling, to housing and employment services, the association provides those in the community living with mental illness the tools and programs necessary to help improve their quality of life.
They are also behind the MOBYSS, Ontario’s first mobile youth, walk-in clinic, a converted RV covered in graffiti art that travels throughout the York and South Simcoe areas providing mental and physical services for youth ages 12 to 25.
“It goes to schools throughout York Region and South Simcoe and we also go to community centres and shelters, basically wherever young people gather,” explained Matzig.
Last year, she said, there were over 5,000 visitors who stepped into the RV to receive treatment and services.
Each team on the RV has a social worker, nurse practitioner, and peer support specialist to help those in need.
It’s about $350,000 a year to keep the MOBYSS vehicle on the road, including staff salaries, vehicle maintenance, snacks and medical supplies.
The Canadian Mental Health Association was founded in 1918, with their York and South Simcoe Branch opening in 1984. It is one of the oldest voluntary organizations in the country, helping more than 100,000 people every year.