Haven Society raising money to erase debt

NANAIMO: Donations needed to ease Haven's debt.

No one likes to have debt hanging over their heads.

But that’s the situation Haven Society has faced every day since its community services building was completed in November in 2009.

“It’s a bit of a hardship for us and a little bit of a worry to have that extra debt,” said Anne Spilker, Haven Society executive director.

In 2008 the society launched its Campaign for Courage to raise $1 million for the building’s construction. Island communities responded quickly with donations and the society raised more than $750,000.

However, the society still needs to raise $250,000 to erase its debt.

The building allowed Haven to relocate all its services to one location, instead of being spread out across Nanaimo.

Spilker said Haven Society earmarks the majority of money it receives for programing because the “need is so great.” There is always a wait list for services such as counselling.

The debt means money is being diverted away from services Haven offers.

Donations slowed down over the last year. Spilker said people and businesses are facing hard economic times right now.

“It’s harder to raise money right now and we are certainly aware of that,” she said.

Summer is usually a slow donation time for Haven Society, said Sarah Dymock, the society’s resource development coordinator, although there are community members who hosted events and collected donations for Haven.

Dymock said these third party fundraisers really help the organization because Haven has limited resources. It also helps the organization form new networks contacts that the society might not have tapped into otherwise.

Haven Society is hosting its Take Back the Track fundraiser Sept. 9 at Westwood Lake. Registration is $20 and begins at 9 a.m. Walkers start at 9:30 a.m. and runners begin at 10 a.m.

People can also donate online or sign up for the monthly donation program.

For more information or to donate, please go to http://havensociety.com or call 250-756-2452.

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