Victory House Association of Dufferin Caledon (VH) was a vision that Patricia Valliere was given almost six years ago. After forming a Board of Directors, and with legal support from Carter’s law firm, the charity was established and charitable status was given.
VH is a transition home for women and their children in times of crisis, who are ready to transition to healthy community living through the support of the VH team. There will be individual programs for each woman, that will be designed together with a professional counsellor and coaches. We have coaches from many areas, such as financial, housing, legal, child-care, resume building and/or further education that may be needed.
When the Covid pandemic hit all of us over the last couple of years, fund raising became almost impossible. The plan to eventually open a thrift store to support the charity was moved forward and the Victory Lap Emporium was opened. You will find the thrift store in Caledon Village, on the corner of Hwy 10 & Charleston Sideroad. There is parking around the corner on George Street. Most of the residents in the area know the store as a couple of years ago a truck ran through the front of the store. On a positive note this allowed the store to be totally renovated and now like new inside.
Victory Lap Emporium is managed and operated by volunteers. All the proceeds from the store, after the rent is paid, go to support Victory House transitional home. Some volunteers have been supporting VH from the beginning and others have joined the team as time has gone by. “We always need more volunteers” says Valliere, Founder and Executive Director. The hours are 11am to 4pm – Tuesday to Saturday. “We try to have the volunteers only work three to four hours each” she adds. “Our volunteers are the power behind the thrift store.”
In November we celebrated our first year anniversary for the thrift store and when a smaller store beside the shop became available the decision to make it a part of the Victory House group was made. The little shop has been made into a ‘Christmas Shop’ until the end of December, at which time we will redo the space with more like-new and antique house items.
The original store is filled with like new women’s clothing, shoes and boots. Some of the items are brand new with the original tags and pricing on them. Coats and jackets are for sale for $10-$20 and under. The items for sale are chosen with much care by the volunteers and priced accordingly.
There are mini table Christmas trees and large fully decorated floor trees. The shelves of the mini shop are filled with lights, candles, and old and antique Christmas decorations. As we get closer to Christmas, poinsettias and table center pieces will be available to purchase at amazing low prices.
“You may just find that item you have been looking for to dress up your home or give as a precious gift in the only ALL CHRISTMAS SHOP in our area” says Valliere.
Christmas Snow Flakes made by the TEEN ACTION GROUP OF BCS High School will be sold in the shop as a means for you to share the support and show your love for the women residing in the Victory House/Bridge House. As caring members of our community and those who are just passing through, the little shop has become a means to reach out and know that someone is being cared for by your support. Tax Receipts are issued for donations of $25.00 or more.
The Victory House/Bridge House is the first phase of the Victory House legacy. The apartment in the lower level of the existing house on the property had to be completely renovated from the plumbing, septic, wiring, lighting and a new kitchen. The Palgrave Rotary donated the money to completely outfit the kitchen with members also donating the dining table and chairs. All of the work that has been completed has come from volunteers and community business. The remainder of the furniture in the apartment was all donated by local residents.
Several members of the Victory House team volunteered their time and money to outfit the two bedrooms. The rooms are very inviting and cozy, with nothing missing, including desks and lamps, comforters and pictures.
Many of the VH volunteer team were a part of finishing the apartment. They gave of their time to paint and decorate, under the direction of Habitat for Humanity, to make this living space the best in the area for women in need. The apartment is now completely renovated and in Valliere’s words, IT’S AMAZING.
‘We are now in great need of donations to support the ladies that will come to reside in the VH apartment. One time and monthly donations can be made online at the Victory House website or can be mailed to PO Box 164, Caledon ON L7C 3L9” explains Valliere.
The next step is to start the renovations of the large building on the same site to house four to six women and their children in times of need. Valliere says the pandemic has made this need in our area even larger than it was before Covid. You can be a part of making a new life for the women and children who come to Victory House.