June 13th, 2024

Donation to assist YWCA’s Amethyst Project


By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on February 5, 2022.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDapulido@lethbridgeherald.com

The YWCA Amethyst Project has received a large donation from Century 21, which will help them continue offering a third option to victims of sexual assault.
“The third option provides individuals the gift of time, to heal and to build the courage to face the next steps to an investigation,” said Tracy James, acting CEO of YWCA Lethbridge.
Before Amethyst Project, victims of sexual assault who attended the hospital were presented with two options, medical treatment or police involvement and people were asked to make this important decision while they were in shock and experiencing extreme trauma.
James said that without the third option there is a greater chance there would be no evidence collected, that could help their case if they choose to pursue after the assault. The only option is to pursue immediately with the police, which they may just not be able to handle right after the assault.
“So what this means to us, is that we get to continue to offer this option to those that are vulnerable and need that gift of time,” said James.
She said oftentimes they don’t have the budgeted money they need to last an entire funding year, so this donation from Century 21 is going to allow them to continue offering that third option to the people that need it the most.
“The third option sexual assault kit is $650 for the exam and the kit for the forensic evidence, so every time we offer a third option that is $650 out of our budget,” said James.
She said they also use funds to cover costs every time they get a call to the hospital on staff that want to be there.
“Oftentimes our budgets for our grants are not big enough to accommodate the demands of the third option,” said James.
Century 21 chose the Amethyst Project as the recipient of their community fundraising thanks to a chiropractor adjustment, where the seed was planted in the back of communications manager Hannah Prince’ mind.
“This is a really great program that is kind of an underdog and not enough people know about it,” said Prince.
She said she decided at that point to raise awareness and she hoped to make a difference in the community.
“I had a personal goal for this year’s fund raising event that we could break $10,000 and we did,” said Prince.
She said most of the funds were raised last December through their 2021 Gold Gala Fundraiser, but they will not stop there.
“Even though the fundraiser is technically finished, we won’t stop advocating for and supporting the YWCA in general and anyone who has experienced sexual assault,” said Prince.
She said they are supporters and want to help where they can.
“I can’t thank you guys enough, for all the hard work you put into this, it’s so amazing,” said James.

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