For a child who has experienced the trauma of family violence, school can be a safe, welcoming place to learn, grow and play. Realtor Dee Soriano wants to foster that positive experience. With the help of some of her colleagues at Sutton – Premier Realty in Surrey, B.C., she delivered backpacks, paper, notepads, crayons, pencils, erasers, snacks and other essentials to the Vancouver and Lower Mainland Multicultural Family Support Service Society.

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Established 30 years ago, VLMFSS is a non-profit organization that offers free counselling and support (in a choice of 20 languages) to new Canadians, visible minorities, refugees and women without immigration status.

This is Soriano’s third contribution to the organization. She previously supplied healthy snacks to their food drive and hosted a client appreciation event to raise awareness and funds for VLMFSS.

“No woman or child should ever endure abuse especially from family members,” says Soriano. “Some of them leave their homes without anything just to get away from the danger, so they really need immediate help.”

At her office, Soriano mentioned the organization’s good work and her upcoming donation; she was pleasantly surprised that others were interested in the cause and wished to contribute. For example, Teresa Tsang donated paper and pencils and Teresa Magsambol (another agent’s client) donated boxes of school supplies. “They all have other charities they support; it’s just awesome that they would help one more.”

Soriano recognizes that raising awareness is also valuable. “When we spread the word about the resources that are available to victims of violence, it gives people hope. It can help more mothers and their children build a better future.”

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