Fifty Women for SCCSS - An initiative of: Sunshine Coast Community Services Society

Together We Make Change

50 women are raising $1.5 million to ensure every Sunshine Coast resident is nurtured and supported.

The Vision

The opportunities, the tools, the support. Let's build a lasting change.

We have a lot in common with each other: We love our community. We care about the women and families around us. We’re committed to making health, well-being, and economic security accessible for everyone.

To celebrate all that we share in common, more than 50 women from all across the Sunshine Coast have set out to help SCCSS raise $1.5 million needed for this estimated $34 million project.

The result? A new 6-storey development in the heart of Sechelt—creating a program-rich community hub and safe, secure, affordable housing for women.

Our campaign goal is ambitious, and we can’t do it without you. But by coming together we can build a lasting change on the Coast.

Our Vision

An engaged, healthy and thriving coast.

the Project

Building Hope Together

For many on the Coast, poverty is a reality. But the vast majority of homelessness isn’t visible on the streets, it’s hidden within our community: 59% of children living with single parents on the Coast are living below the poverty line—that’s 1,100 children and their families, struggling every day.

Single mothers, children, and women over 50 are most at risk. Often they struggle to meet the fundamental needs of safety, food, and housing. Things that most of us take for granted.

Our campaign will create 35 safe, secure, and affordable housing units (the top four floors of the new 6-storey building) for single women, and women with children, who have experienced, or are vulnerable to experiencing violence. By providing a stable and nurturing environment, these housing units not only reduce stress, but also empower women to reestablish their lives and take control of their futures.

Two lower floors of the new development will introduce a community hub that provides flexible meeting spaces, food solutions, crisis response, and support and prevention programs—all in one place. The community hub will be a place where inclusivity is prioritized, truth and reconciliation are embraced, and everyone can enjoy a safe and welcoming space.

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The Project. The Programs. The Potential.

35 Units of Affordable Housing

For single women, and women with children who are vulnerable to, or may have experienced violence; creating safe, secure, affordable, and dignified housing for all women.

A Community Hub for Everyone

Purpose-built to accommodate our many programs and resources; a safe, welcoming, and flexible community space designed to create a sense of belonging for everyone.

A Safer Neighbourhood

Thoughtful design and a community approach that introduces better lighting, improved pedestrian pathways, and activities that strengthen connections between neighbours.

Food Solutions

Food solution programming that includes low-cost markets, community gardens, a commercial kitchen; all designed to bring people together by growing, sharing, and eating food.

Avenues Out of Poverty

Programs that support prevention, systemic change, and that create exits out of poverty cycles; building foundations that empower people to rise above their circumstances.

Crime.

Safety.

Poverty.

Social Mobility.

Hunger.

Food Security.

Homelessness.

Affordable Housing.

Hopelessness.

Access to a Better Life.

The Women

Meet Our 50 Women

These 50 women are mothers, daughters, and sisters who care deeply about supporting the health and well-being of everyone who lives on the Sunshine Coast. Together, we can build a foundation for lasting change that allows individuals and families to rise above their circumstances.

You can create change for those most vulnerable in our community.

To donate to a specific woman, keep scrolling.

Board Co-Chairs Joining the 50 Women

Nicole-Arnett
Co-chair 50 Women for SCCSS, Realtor, RE/Max Oceanview
Nicole (Nico) Arnett, is an entrepreneur, community volunteer, mom and realtor on the Sunshine Coast. She brings over 20 years of project management, communications and marketing experience to her role at '50 Women for SCCSS,' and is excited to share her energy & support for this vital project.
sue-anne-linde-image
Co-chair, 50 Women for SCCSS
After retiring from a successful advertising career in Vancouver, Sue Anne Linde has dedicated her time to serving her community on the Sunshine Coast. As a former director of the Sunshine Coast Credit Union and President of the Community Services Board, Sue Anne's commitment to positive change and her passion for writing are evident in her continued contributions to the community.
sue-jackel-image
Honorary Chair, 50 Women for SCCSS
Sue Jackel, a community advocate on the Sunshine Coast, is renowned for her work supporting seniors and enhancing local services. Her roles range from organizing non-partisan forums to address seniors' needs in governance to expanding transportation with the Coast Car Co-op and leading educational initiatives as Chairperson of the Sunshine Coast ElderCollege. Currently, Sue is actively involved in projects like the new SCCSS community services hub and promoting affordable housing, continuing her commitment to community betterment.
catherine-leach-image
Executive Director, Sunshine Coast Community Services Society
Catherine, a dedicated advocate for social justice, brings over 45 years of experience in the nonprofit sector to the 50 Women for SCCSS campaign. With a lifelong commitment to community development and a passion for empowering women and families, Catherine's leadership and creativity have played a crucial role in shaping spaces and programs that promote health and wellness across Ontario and British Columbia.
Karen-Archer
Retired HR Manager, Community Volunteer
Karen, a retired HR manager, relocated to the Sunshine Coast with her husband in 1997. Actively involved in community organizations, she served as a director for the Sunshine Coast Credit Union and the Sunshine Coast Community Services.
becky-black-image
Realtor, Sotheby’s International Realty
Meet Becky Black, a resilient and accomplished individual who has excelled in various facets of life. With nearly two decades of experience as a dedicated nurse, she has touched countless lives with her compassion, care, and unwavering commitment to healing.
rebecca-bollwit
Publisher, Miss604.com and CEO, sixty4media
Rebecca, CEO of her own agency, brings over 25 years of digital publishing experience and a strong commitment to community, actively supporting numerous charities and serving on the board of two nonprofit organizations.
tess-bradshaw
Real Estate Professional, RE/MAX, Oceanview Realty and Owner, Moorestock Mini Children's Boutique
Tess Bradshaw is a devoted mom, entrepreneur, and realtor who truly represents the Sunshine Coast's spirit. She juggles motherhood with running a beloved children's boutique and excelling in real estate, all while actively supporting local youth soccer leagues.
cindy-buis-image
Business owner, Artworks Gallery & Framing
Cindy, the first professional picture framer on the Sunshine Coast since 1984, now operates Artworks Gallery & Framing in Sechelt. With a Bachelor of Fine Art Degree from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, she has been an active volunteer for over forty years, contributing significantly to various organizations, including the Gibsons Landing Business Association and the Sechelt Downtown BIA.
christine-chandler-2
SCCSS, Past Board President
Christine Chandler, retired from the North Vancouver School District in 1999, has been a dedicated volunteer on the Sunshine Coast, serving on the boards of SCCSS and the Community Resource Centre. Her instrumental role in discussions about building a residence for women and in hiring the current Executive Director underscores her commitment to supporting projects like "Building Together."
catherine-cooper
Proud Mom, Business Owner, Child Advocate
Catherine, a local business owner and prior employee of School District #46, has been deeply involved in her community on the Sunshine Coast for over 30 years. Her firsthand experience as a parent accessing programs at Sunshine Coast Community Services and witnessing the impact of unstable housing on students motivated her to support projects like "Building Together," believing that every child deserves stable and secure housing for a chance to thrive.
michelle-crandlemire
Realtor, RE/MAX City Gibsons
Michelle, a proud resident of the Sunshine Coast since 2006 and a devoted mother of two, brings her expertise as a local Realtor to support families in finding their perfect home in this coastal haven. She passionately supports initiatives like "Building Together," believing that everyone deserves access to safe, affordable housing, and is committed to making a positive difference in her community.
sandy-cunningham
Semi-Retired Consultant
Sandy has dedicated her career to empowering others, from her time in banking to management consulting. Sandy was the Interim Capital Campaign Manager for the Building Together project at Sunshine Coast Community Services for the project launch, and now continues her advocacy to support initiatives that uplift individuals and communities.
linda-curtiss-image
Coordinator, Outreach Healthy Meal Program
In 1971, Linda and her husband Larry moved to the Sunshine Coast, where she later became the nurse administrator at the Pender Harbour Health Centre for 25 years. Upon retiring, Linda founded the Outreach Healthy Meal Program to provide nutritious meals and community connection to housebound individuals in Pender Harbour, supported entirely by volunteers and donations.
kim-darwin
Independent Mortgage Consultant
Kim, a Sunshine Coast native, transitioned from a legal career to become an independent mortgage broker driven by her passion to address pressing community issues. As the volunteer president of the Sunshine Coast Affordable Housing Society, she's committed to tackling the housing crisis and providing safe spaces for those in need, drawing from her own experiences to advocate for change.
krista-dempster
Realtor, RE/Max City
Krista Dempster, a lifelong resident of Gibsons, BC, combines her 12 years of real estate expertise with a warm, empathetic approach, ensuring her clients find their perfect home. With a deep-rooted connection to her community, Krista's dedication to serving her clients shines through in every aspect of her work.
vicki-dobbyn-2
Community Development Consultant and Volunteer
Vicki's dedication to community safety and support has had a lasting impact on the Sunshine Coast. Through her leadership at Sunshine Coast Community Services Society, she established crucial programs and facilities, making the agency a source of hope for many.
suzanne-doyle-ingram
CEO of Prominence Publishing, Inc.
Suzanne Doyle-Ingram founded the Students For Literacy program at UVIC, advocating for the importance of literacy and community support. Now, she's backing the Building Together project, aiming to provide safe and affordable housing for families in need on the Sunshine Coast.
andrea-glew
Real Estate agent, RE/MAX City Realty
Andrea's focus on communication and support, rooted in her healthcare and education background, extends to her professional and personal life. She's passionate about building a community where women support each other, perfectly aligning with SCCSS's mission of empowerment and shared experiences.
tanya-hall
Professional Painter
Tanya Hall, a lifelong resident of Sechelt, has dedicated over two decades to her community as a Rotarian and business owner. Her commitment to service is evident in her charitable work, including running a local backpackers for women in need and teaching painting through philanthropic travel. Balancing her professional and personal life, Tanya continues to make a lasting impact both locally and globally.
poppy-hallam-image
Retired RCMP Staff Sergeant
Poppy, a recently retired RCMP Staff Sergeant, grew up in the Comox Valley and now resides in Sechelt. Throughout her career, she focused on advocating for women, children, and Indigenous communities, earning commendations and awards for her efforts. Now retired, she continues to volunteer and advocate for housing as a basic human right, drawing on her experiences and the connections she's made across British Columbia.
keely-halward-2
Artist
Keely's deep connection to Sunshine Coast Community Services stems from her extensive experience as a former employee, where she witnessed firsthand the profound impact of its programs on individuals and families. With a background spanning over twenty years in nonprofits and a dedication to advocating for those affected by gender-based violence, Keely continues to support SCCSS's vital redevelopment efforts as a passionate volunteer.
conchita-harding
Self-employed, Volunteer
Conchita, a committed member of the Sunshine Coast community, has dedicated 40 years to volunteering and actively participating in various local and provincial projects. From leading as President of the Gibsons & District Chamber of Commerce to spearheading initiatives like the "Chartering the Course Report," her extensive contributions have made a lasting impact.
jen-robertson-hatanaka-image
Regional Vice President at Starbucks
Jen's greatest influence is her mother, a strong woman who raised four girls on her own, demonstrating tenacity, big love, and the importance of continuous growth. Starting her career as a barista at Starbucks, working her way up to Regional Vice President, Jen leads with a purpose to live authentically and to shine light so others can be seen for their authentic selves, continually paying forward the support she received throughout her life.
jan-holt-2
Retired teacher and Administrator
Jan, a former educator with a rich background in literature and community service, has embraced her retirement on the Sunshine Coast. As a passionate advocate for affordable housing and inclusive communities, Jan's dedication to organizations like the Sunshine Coast Community Services Society exemplifies her commitment to making a positive impact on the lives of others.
devon-kennedy-image
Co-owner, Carson Refrigeration
Devon Kennedy, a University of Ottawa journalism graduate, has dedicated her career to nonprofit work, from Toronto to New Zealand, and now on the Sunshine Coast. As the former Community Partnerships Manager at Sunshine Coast Community Services, she focused on the needs of women and children. Now, she co-owns Carson Refrigeration, promoting clean energy solutions in her community.
bonnie-klein
Disability advocate and educator; former feminist documentary filmmaker
Bonnie, a pioneering filmmaker known for groundbreaking work like "Not a Love Story," continues to inspire with her latest project, "Shameless: The ART of Disability." Bonnie is also a passionate advocate for accessible housing solutions for all. Catch her tri-cycling around Roberts Creek with her husband Michael and their beloved doodle Luna.
lea-laberge-image
SCCSS Volunteer & Retired Child Education Specialist
With a career that spans from special education teaching to program coordination, Lea has devoted herself to supporting children and families. Now retired, she volunteers with SCCSS, aiding the Building Together project and fostering community support for women and children.
holly-lehmann-2
SCCSS Volunteer, past SCCSS Board and Chair
Holly Lehmann's career spans over four decades, notably including a 43-year tenure with School District #46 and contributions as a member of the SCCSS Board for many years, serving as board chair in the 1990s. She is also a published writer and award-winning poet. Since retiring in 2008, she has continued her community involvement, particularly with SCCSS, supporting projects like Building Together and children's programs, demonstrating her deep commitment to humanitarian causes on the Sunshine Coast.
gloria-lifton-image
Retired Organizational Development Consultant Past President, SCCSS and Past Co-Chair, Seniors Planning Table Community Advocate and Volunteer
Gloria, a dedicated community advocate, brings decades of experience in health care, childcare, and organizational development to the 50 Women for SCCSS campaign. With a deep commitment to creating resilient and caring communities, Gloria's involvement with SCCSS since 1980 reflects her passion for supporting individuals and families on the Sunshine Coast.
rachel-manley-photo
Realtor, Manley, York & Associates
Rachel is dedicated to ensuring everyone has access to safe and secure housing, which is why she's supporting SCCSS's affordable housing initiative. Her passion for advocating and fundraising stems from a deep commitment to making housing options accessible, especially for struggling families, including single parents and their children.
sandy-mcbride-photo
Retired Financial Advisor
Sandy, a longtime resident of the Sunshine Coast, has dedicated her life to improving the community, particularly for women and children. With a background in financial advising and a passion for enhancing food and housing security, she's committed to supporting SCCSS's initiative to provide homes for Sunshine Coast women as one of the "50 Women who Care."
judy-mclarty-image
Artist
Just before COVID-19 halted activities in March 2020, Judy participated in "The Vagina Monologues" at The Heritage Playhouse, raising funds for SCCSS's Together Against Violence programs, aligning with her efforts to support affordable housing for women and children in crisis. With a 40-year career in special events, marketing communications, and fundraising, Judy now channels her expertise into art, creating vibrant canvases and volunteering with local galleries.
deb-mealia
Retired, founding member of Yew Transition House
Deb Mealia, a resident since 1979, has been a key figure in volunteer organizations, including her founding role at Yew Transition House. With a career spanning social services and financial planning, Deb's commitment to women's rights and community betterment remains steadfast, making her a valuable advocate for SCCSS's housing initiative.
fran-miller-image
Team Lead with the Good People Realty Group
Fran Miller, a dedicated resident of the Sunshine Coast for 30 years, has tirelessly supported her community through various volunteer efforts, including serving on boards and organizing fundraisers. With her experience as a realtor and a deep understanding of the importance of affordable housing, Fran is committed to building a stronger community where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.
vickie-morris-2
Retired Urban Planner and Community Developer
Vickie has been a dedicated advocate for secure and affordable housing since the 1970s, pioneering projects to ensure everyone's right to independent living. With her extensive experience in community development and planning, she continues to contribute to initiatives that support housing and social infrastructure on the Sunshine Coast, eager to make the Building Together project a reality.
valerie-nash-image
Owner, Nash & Associates
Valerie Nash founded Nash & Associates in 1994, dedicating three decades to driving social change in areas like health, housing, and education across the US and Canada. She works with diverse communities, including new immigrants, veterans, and homeless youth, to address inequities. With clients ranging from non-profits to government agencies, Valerie's expertise spans from her education in England to her experience as a high school teacher and counsellor. Since moving to Sechelt in 2005, she's been an active community member, now looking forward to more volunteering as her daughters attend university.
jennifer-oke-image
Professional Photographer
Jen's passion for photography is rivaled only by her dedication to family, art, and community. With a background in psychology and interior design, she values connection and believes in the power of sharing stories and resources to create positive change, making her a valuable addition to the project.
ruby-orchard-image
SCCSS Board Member
Ruby Orchard's diverse background in construction and project management has equipped her with valuable skills, but her true passion lies in advocating for social equity and justice. With a commitment to compassion and understanding, she believes in addressing the needs of vulnerable populations promptly to elevate the standard of care for everyone.
nora-prevost-image
Principal Designer, Imagina Design
Nora Prevost's multifaceted career in city planning and development management spans over 30 years, during which she also dedicated her time to various volunteer roles. Now retired, she channels her creativity into jewelry making, painting, and sculpting, drawing inspiration from the natural beauty of Sechelt.
lynnette-robinson-image
Director, Rotary Club of Gibsons
Lynnette, a seasoned real estate agent on the Sunshine Coast for over 30 years, prioritizes client care and community involvement. Even in semi-retirement, she remains active in organizations like the Gibsons Rotary Club and continues to enjoy hobbies like pickleball and gardening.
brenda-rowe
Councillor, District of Sechelt
Brenda Rowe, a dedicated nurse and community leader, has served the Sunshine Coast in various capacities, from nursing to municipal politics. With a passion for volunteerism and a commitment to addressing housing challenges, she actively supports initiatives like the Building Together project.
elise-rudland-image
Elder
Elise, a retired physiotherapist and dedicated community member, has played an integral role in land use planning, park preservation, and forestry initiatives on the Sunshine Coast. With a long history of activism and involvement in various organizations, she continues to advocate for environmental conservation and community well-being.
jacqueline-schach-image
Board Chair, Sunshine Coast ElderCollege and Community Volunteer
Jackie has immersed herself in community issues on the Coast since 2017. Given her credentials in social psychology and career as a change management facilitator, her focus is on matters of social justice, equity and inclusion. Providing vulnerable women with safe, accessible housing and support services is fundamental to achieving those goals.
kim-schachte-image
Retired Business Owner and Graphic Designer
Kim's journey from graphic design to co-founding Ethical Bean Coffee reflects her commitment to ethical practices and community engagement. Now retired, she continues her advocacy by actively participating in local organizations, aiming to address housing needs and promote social well-being on the Sunshine Coast.
darnelda-siegers
Mortgage Broker / Former Mayor District of Sechelt
Darnelda Siegers, a seasoned mortgage broker turned Mayor of Sechelt, has championed housing initiatives to address the diverse needs of her community. As a key advocate for the SCCSS Building Together project, she emphasizes the fundamental importance of safe and secure housing, believing it to be the cornerstone for individuals and families to thrive and fulfill their potential.
jessica-silvey
Coast Salish Weaver and Fibre Artist
Jessica Silvey has been a dedicated weaver of wool and cedar for over thirty years, drawing inspiration from the cedar root baskets made by her ancestors in her grandmother's home. In 2016, she opened Red Cedar Woman Weaving Studio, where she conducts immersive workshops in Coast Salish basketry and weaving, combining her expertise with her experience as a museum curator to also organize weaving exhibits in British Columbia and Australia.
angie-sita
Personal Real Estate Advisor
With over 30 years of experience in Sunshine Coast real estate, Angie's unwavering dedication to her clients has earned her trust and respect in the industry. Her personalized approach, coupled with unmatched expertise, ensures that clients receive exceptional service and forge lasting relationships based on trust and care.
michele-stobie-image
Nurse Educator (Retired) and Volunteer Princess
Michele Stobie retired from a distinguished 30-year career in Nursing Education, holding two Masters Degrees in Education and Nursing Science. Active in various community organizations and deeply involved with CFUW Sunshine Coast, Michele is committed to advocacy, fundraising, and supporting local women through educational bursaries.
tracy-uchida-image
Residential Realtor/Marriage Commissioner/Mom
Tracy, a Realtor for 15 years and recently appointed Marriage Commissioner, cherishes her role in helping families and officiating marriages. Passionate about supporting women and children, Tracy eagerly embraces the opportunity to raise awareness for this cause while embracing the spontaneity of life.
elisa-walker-image
CPA & CEO, Ocean Breeze CPA
Elisa's career in public practice accounting has given her invaluable insights and a strong desire to support social change, particularly for small businesses and not-for-profit organizations. Despite her busy schedule, she finds joy in family time, outdoor activities, and meaningful engagement with her new community on the Sunshine Coast, where she passionately advocates for stable, safe housing for women and children through initiatives like "Building Together."
krista-wollen-shultz
Realtor, RE/Max City
Krista's multifaceted journey, from her background in art and design to her extensive volunteering experiences, reflects her genuine care for both local and global communities. As a realtor, she channels her empathy and commitment into creating thriving communities where individuals are supported by secure housing and shared resources.
carmelita-weichert-image
Coordinator, Project Advance, Holy Family Parish
Carmelita, a retired banker and active member of the Third Order of the Secular Carmelites at Holy Family Parish, coordinates fundraising for Project Advance. With a deep commitment to addressing community issues like homelessness and financial hardship, she is driven to make a positive impact through the Building Together Project, believing that small contributions can significantly enhance her community.

The Support

Additional Fundraising Supporters

Char Schafer
Program Lead, Community Based Victim Services & Women’s Outreach, SCCSS
Char has been a dedicated employee of Sunshine Coast Community Services for 30 years. She is currently the lead for the Community-Based Victim Services Program, supporting survivors of relationship and sexualized violence, and the Women's Outreach Program, assisting women experiencing abuse in their relationships. Char also has frontline experience at Thyme Second Stage and Yew Transition Houses.
andy-jones-cox
SCCSS Board Member
Andy and his spouse have been proud homeowners in Halfmoon Bay since 2003, actively contributing to the community through the Sunshine Coast Community Services Society. With a 30-year career in computer software development and management, Andy now focuses on addressing economic disparities and supports the SCCSS Building Together project, aiming to provide housing for vulnerable women and children on the Sunshine Coast.
jason-winkler-image
Chair, SCCSS Board of Directors
With over 25 years of experience in organization transformation and human resource management across North America, Asia, and the Middle East, Jason Winkler brings invaluable expertise to the Sunshine Coast Community Services Board. His leadership background, including managing the Western Canadian and BC Consulting practices at Deloitte, aligns with the evolving needs of the community, making him a valuable asset since joining the Board in 2017.

Sponsors

A Special Thanks to Our Sponsors

News & Updates

Canada News
The Sunshine Coast Community Services Society offers a range of programming and services that are bursting at the seams. It is now hoping to receive approval for more housing.
Icon Radio Online
A new home for women and children fleeing violence is almost ready to start construction in Sechelt, they just need a little more money.
The Federation of Community Social Services of BC