Newsletter – June 2013

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Anney’s Closet

June 2013 Newsletter for Seniors on Vancouver Island


Sometimes a concept surfaces that is so simple it’s incredible. Anney Fagan not only came up with such a concept but turned it into reality as per the article below. It addresses an issue that has for far too long has been morally and physically unacceptable in British Columbia. Now Anney and Soroptimist International, Victoria West Shore (SIVW) are addressing and solving some of these problems for some of the unfortunate young women that have been allowed to fall through cracks in the system. They are taking furniture that become surplus to needs when seniors downsize their homes and use it to help young women in need.

This is a very simple system could, and should, be used in cookie cutter fashion all over the island.

Seniors we can help to make this happen. Emulate what Anney did. We can make a difference at no costs to ourselves. Please give it some thought.

Roy Summerhayes.


Soroptimist International, Victoria West Shore (SIVW) is a group of women of all ages who bring with them a wealth of experience and interests. They believe in, and contribute to, the wonderful potential in women and girls in our community and around the world.

SIVW identified an opportunity to help girls in the Greater Victoria area who are aging out of the foster care system. For these teenagers, who are often alone in the world, a donation of household items can make a huge improvement in their quality of life, boost their confidence, and goes a long way towards setting up their first apartments.

“A couple of years ago, one of our Women’s Opportunity award recipients requested a laptop instead of our usual cash award. At the award celebration, our Soroptimist club members began asking her if she needed a bed, or household items, or other things that they could donate. Soon she was supplied with many things to set up her new life,” explains Anney Ardiel. “When I told the club that I send truckloads of beautiful household items to charity every month when downsizing my senior clients, they said why not ask your clients if they’d like to redirect some of the very nicest things to help girls in our community who are starting out on their own?”

The idea of Anney’s Closet was born. Through discussion with our contacts at Boys and Girls Club, social workers and youth advocates, we confirmed that there are many girls in our community who start out with nothing other than their clothes when they age out of the foster care system at age 18, or when they sign youth agreements between the ages of 16-18. Some of them are pregnant or parenting at the same time. The social workers thought our “free store” shopping sprees would be an incredible opportunity for these girls.

When we asked U-Lock West Shore if they would donate a locker on an ongoing basis for us to house Anney’s Closet, they offered their largest locker and their staff even contributed donated items to the locker.

At the request of our partner social service agencies, Anney’s Closet also helps young at-risk mothers by providing rocking chairs to help facilitate early stages of development and mother/baby bonding. The possible inter-generational connections and corresponding benefits to the community are endless.

We are always looking for new project partners and supporters who can help spread the word or offer help with an aspect of the project.

To find out more about Anney’s Closet

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Contact Anney Fagan at (250) 588-7754 or email

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Learn more about Soroptimist International at