Rayissa Palmer
Rayissa Palmer

The philanthropic Terra Cotta Professional Women in Business group in Caledon, Ont., which includes Sutton associate Rayissa Palmer, recently discovered that the local abused women’s shelter was in dire need of coats, boots, hats, scarfs and bedding for women and children. Palmer reached out to her neighbourhood association of 100 households and collected over 20 bags of warm clothing and bedding as well as baby food, diapers, toiletries, toys and more.

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“We put the call out and over a week’s time, every day, every time I opened my door, I would find boxes and bags on my doorstep as people generously donated,” she says. “My heart swells with happiness that we are able to help, especially during COVID when we are not able to volunteer in person with the groups we support.”

As the collection was underway the shelter went into lockdown, so the organizers scrambled to find solutions.

“With the help of my friends and fellow Terra Cotta business group members Christina Early, Caledon Town Councillor Ward 2; Anne Thompson, wife of Caledon Mayor Allan Thompson; and Donna Craig, director of development and communications at Caledon Community Services, we found homes for all the donations. Christina, Donna and I met on my driveway on Saturday morning to sort everything. Items for the shelter will be delivered after the lockdown. My husband Jorge and I loaded a pickup and car for other deliveries to Caledon Community Services and the Exchange.”

When not in lockdown, Palmer’s mother and business partner, Sandy Bodnar, typically volunteers at the Exchange once a week as a receptionist.

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