An Extra Special Project for Harper PR
I remember looking out the window of what seemed like the world’s tallest building and hearing someone say, “that’s his vehicle, he’s found us.”
I can’t remember where I was, or how old I was, but I knew I was with my mom, and we were trying to hide from my biological father.
I spent the first five years of my life in and out of women’s shelters with my mom who was running from domestic violence at the hand of my biological father.
I can remember time spent in these shelters, and I can’t imagine what could have happened had those organizations not been there for us.
For this reason, it was especially meaningful for me to work on a recent project with Alair Homes Camrose supporting their renovation of the Camrose Women’s Shelter Society.
Alair Homes Camrose was asked to complete a second storey addition and main floor renovation to help the Society expand their operations and office spaces. The renovation meant that some funds that could be used on programs and services for the women and children were used to support the very necessary renovation.
Alair Homes Camrose Partner, Andrey Sokolov, Alair Homes Edmonton Regional Partner Jamie Affleck, and I decided to come up with a plan to help offset the renovation costs where possible.
Alair Homes Camrose contributed $3,200 in-kind to the renovation, and secured various local partners and businesses to pitch in donations to support. $10,000 additional funds were raised to help offset the renovation costs so the money could be used for important programs and services.
We teamed up to surprise the Women’s Shelter team at their renovation ribbon cutting ceremony.
As a love letter to the Camrose Women’s Shelter, Harper PR, Alair Homes Camrose and Studio Optica united to create the below video to share their incredible story.
For me, being part of this project and getting to meet the team of the Camrose Women’s Shelter Society was especially meaningful. Walking the halls and seeing the women and children that were there reminded me so much of my mom and me many years ago.
When a little girl with long, brown hair in a ponytail came up to me one day and happily said “hello, how are you?” it was like looking at myself when I was five years old. I looked at her mom and smiled, and her mom smiled back. The smiles to me represented hope.
Today, my mom works at a Women’s Shelter in Grande Prairie, Alberta and helps many women the way she was helped decades ago.
It’s beyond special that we both have been able to use our first-hand experiences of domestic violence to support women in need today.
I love my mom beyond words. I can’t thank her enough for the sacrifices she made in her life for me and my brother. I wouldn’t be able to do what I do, I wouldn’t have Harper PR and I wouldn’t be able to use my skills to support wonderful community organizations like the Camrose Women’s Shelter Society without all those sacrifices she made.
This is for you, Mom.
~ Natalie Harper