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Fund Grants Loans to Women Fleeing Abuse

The December 6 Fund was named in remembrance of the “Montreal Massacre” of December 6, 1989, when 14 women were murdered at the University of Montreal’s Äcole Polytechnique. The killer, Marc Levine, said he killed the women because he “hated feminists.”

Founded by a group of domestic violence shelter workers and other women’s advocates, the Fund’s purpose is to grant poor women the money they need to escape their abusers. The amount of the grants is small, but makes a crucial difference for women who can’t afford things like phone service, a single month’s rent, or replacements for birth certificates and other crucial working documents lost while fleeing their abusers.

The organization’s founders started the Fund with their own money, and now rely on fundraisers and donations. The group is largely supported by volunteers, with only 1 part-time worker, 27-year-old Katherine Kim.

The Fund strives to empower its clients by helping them to make budgets and plans for repayment. Kim says that she is continually “touched” and “inspired” by her clients, saying, “When I tell them that the money they pay back will go to help another woman on the waiting list, they’re enthusiastic. Some of them, barely beginning to put their lives together, are so thrilled with the Fund that they want to volunteer immediately.”

Currently, 23 women are on the Fund’s waiting list for emergency loans. Call 416-392-9126 if you would like to make a donation or attend a fundraiser.

Sources:

Toronto Star - May 2, 1999