Southeast Sask. - Envision Counselling and Support Centre is raising funds to keep helping the residents of the southeast to the best of their abilities.
The 2022 edition of Envision's 50/50 for a Cause is now underway. And while it's serving a great goal, the raffle will also make someone up to $42,500 richer. Envision will receive the other half of the money raised, with all of it staying in the southeast.
Ticket sales started on May 25 and will go until June 8. The grand prize draw will take place on June 10 at noon.
Laura Melle, Envision’s assistant executive director, said the first days of the fundraiser went well and as of Monday morning, the total was over $5,500.
"We're off to a good start. And we're always so amazed by the support that we get from the community," Melle said.
With offices in Estevan, Oxbow, Carlyle and Weyburn, Envision Counselling and Support Centre serves a broad region from the Manitoba border to Milestone, and from the U.S. border to Moosomin. Their programs are available through their offices, but they also travel to people that need their help.
"We at Envision are always growing and expanding. And we are a non-profit. So all of the services that we offer are totally free to everyone, to all participants that come in for support or services. Whether you come in for one appointment, or you come in for 25 appointments, everything is always completely free."
They have various programs for different age groups and all kinds of issues people may encounter.
"The biggest message if someone's struggling, is call because we have a program that you can fit into and if not, we'll definitely get you connected to something," Melle said.
They have programs for teens and older people, they have a support system for victims of domestic abuse, and they help people in many other situations.
"Our Bridging the Distance program was launched during COVID and was geared towards anyone over the age of 55 that was struggling with being isolated or even just loneliness, anxiety and depression, [we provide] lots of grief and loss counselling, as well. That program is still up and running. And it is funded by the Community Initiatives Fund," said Melle, giving an example of the services they deliver.
"But we're always growing, and we always try to offer more than just what we're funded for. So the fundraising money helps in that aspect. [Besides often] we're given the funding for a period of time, and we want to make sure that we can continue to offer these services because we definitely did notice in COVID that we need to offer something to support the older population."
Envision has recently launched its latest program – the family intervention rapid support team.
"It really allows us to respond very quickly when people are needing support. And it helps to eliminate that barrier of people having to wait as we're able to respond promptly," Melle explained.
They are a government-funded organization, but government funding only goes so far, Melle said, and they do their best to cover most of the needs of their service area, which sometimes can be difficult with the rising costs. So, the funds raised through 50/50 help fill some of the gaps in their budget.
Fundraiser organized by Golden West Radio Estevan radio stations in support of the counselling non-profit sees ticket sales happening during live on locations throughout the communities in the southeast, as well as at Envision's offices and online via e-transfer to email@example.com.
Tickets are one for $20 and six for $100.
And Melle underlined that all money they raise stays in the communities they serve.
"The money that we raise stays right here in our community … And Saskatchewan has the highest rates of intimate partner abuse across all of the provinces. So if you haven't been affected, I can almost guarantee that someone you know has been affected. So, there's definitely people out there that are struggling and that need the support and the money are staying here in the community," Melle said.