‘It’s a great day for the house’

Harry Sullivan
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Truro women’s shelter receives large donation from provincial road builders

TRURO – In a word – “unbelievable.”

In 10 years as the executive director of Third Place Transition House, Sandra Falle has never before been reduced to tears by a single donation.

That changed on Thursday when she received a contribution of $34,000 from the Nova Scotia Roadbuilders Association (NSRBA) and associate members.

“Oh my gosh. Wow. That’s unbelievable. I think that’s the biggest donation we’ve ever had,” she said, when the figure was revealed.

“Wow,” she repeated, as her hands raised in prayer fashion to her mouth and happy tears welled in her eyes.

“Oh my goodness. Wow. I’ve been doing this work a long time and it’s just amazing to me that, you know, this is our 25th year, and the generosity of people that help us through the years is heartwarming. And this is just unbelievable.”

Each year, the NSRBA association holds a live auction during its annual general meeting to raise funds for a community charity. As the outgoing president during the January auction, Andrew Lake had the privilege of deciding where this year’s funds from the 160-member association would be placed.

Lake’s choice was Third Place Transition House because it’s a charity that was “near and dear to my heart,” he said.

“We felt that this was certainly a worthwhile charity to honour.”

Scott Hoeg, association member and past president of the shelter, wholeheartedly agreed.

“I told you Santa Claus was going to come early,” he told a shocked Falle, as the figure was revealed.

“It’s a great day for the house,” he later commented of the donation, especially given that $15,000 in total donations would be an “outstanding” fundraising year.

“This house does a lot of work in the community and part of the fundraising, part of the budget has to come from the community.”

While the majority of the shelter’s core funding is provided through the province, those dollars do not pay for many of the incidental, albeit necessary, items that many women and children require when they arrive there.

“It will just enhance what we are able to provide women that are coming through our shelter,” Falle said. “It enables us to do things that we’re not funded for through our provincial grants.”

Many times, the women and children who arrive at the shelter come with nothing but the clothes they have on their backs after leaving troubled homes in a state of rushed panic.

Their children may need coats or shoes, or perhaps a child wants to be enrolled in a school program that requires a registration fee – all things that are not covered under the provincial funding mandate.

“Women sometimes come without their purses so they don’t even have any identification,” Falle said.

“They have to get it all done, so the house pays for that. We pay for transportation. Some women need to get out of the province, so we facilitate that.”

While numbers fluctuate, last year approximately 50 women and 30 children were received at the shelter.

“We’re just so grateful,” Falle said of the contribution. “Very grateful.”



Twitter: @tdnharry

Organizations: Third Place Transition House, Nova Scotia Roadbuilders Association, NSRBA association

Geographic location: Andrew Lake

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