Calgary

Calgary Sikh community delivers Valentine's Day care packages to women's shelters

A Sikh organization in Calgary is marking Valentine's Day by delivering care packages to women’s shelters and groups working with domestic violence victims.

This is the 10th year the packages have been delivered

Avneet Kaur of the World Sikh Organization says volunteers helped make care packages for those who have experienced domestic violence and those staying in shelters. (Dan McGarvey/CBC)

A Sikh organization in Calgary is marking Valentine's Day by delivering care packages to women's shelters and groups working with domestic violence victims.

For the 10th year in a row, volunteers from the Sikh community have made care packages for Punjabi Community Health Services. The packages will be distributed to those who have experienced domestic violence and those staying in shelters. 

"I think Valentine's Day is really hard, you know, especially for a woman in that situation," said Avneet Kaur with the World Sikh Organization, the group that helped donate supplies. 

LISTEN: Avneet Kaur says the Sikh community is rallying around women staying in shelters on Valentine's Day:

Why members of the Sikh community are delivering Valentine's care packages to local women's shelters.

"It's just really important for them to know, especially this day, that they're loved no matter what." 

The packages include Visa gift cards, shampoo, body wash, lotion, bracelets, bed sets and other personal items. An additional $2,000 was raised by the Sikh community and will be donated. 

Valentine's Day care packages are ready to go to women in Calgary who have experienced domestic violence. (Supplied by Avneet Kaur)

"I hope they know not only from the Sikh community but from everyone in the world … that they're not alone," Kaur said. 

Nina Saini with Punjabi Community Health Services says the packages can help women redefine Valentine's Day. 

"Valentine's Day can mean different things for different people. But for women who've experienced violence and trauma, it doesn't hold the same space," she said. 

"There are things that are functional for women that are in a shelter, but [the care package items] they can call their own."

Nina Saini is with Punjabi Community Health Services, the organization that will help distribute the care packages. (Dan McGarvey/CBC)

The bags also include items for children who may be staying in the shelters. Saini says her organization is distributing the gift bags throughout Valentine's Day. 

With files from Dan McGarvey

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