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Donation helps give Chicken Soup for the Soul to struggling Kamloops women

An anonymous donor has given $5,000 to send struggling women to Jack Canfield's motivational workshop in Kamloops next month. Canfield, co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books, will speak on Oct.
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An anonymous donor has given $5,000 to send struggling women to Jack Canfield's motivational workshop in Kamloops next month.

Canfield, co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books, will speak on Oct. 1 at Thompson Rivers University's Grand Hall.

The workshop has a registration fee of $229.

The donation follows a presentation A Way Home co-ordinator Katherine McParland and Kamloops YMCA-YWCA CEO Colin Reid gave to the philanthropic group 100 Women Who Care.

The group meets quarterly and everyone donates $100. Members hear pitches from a variety of causes and groups in the city, voting on which one to support.

While A Way Home was not chosen -- the Royal Inland Hospital's rapid-access breast health project was picked -- one of the women contacted Reid the next day with her donation. The Y is one of 17 partners that work with A Way Home.

Reid praised the donor, who does not want her name revealed, as a "very grounded woman who wants to see other women who might not have the opportunity for something like this to go to it."

The proceeds from the Canfield workshop will be split between A Way Home and Developing World Connections for a project it has in Guatemala.

The A Way Home youth housing initiative began in 2012 when McParland and others started meeting in a vacant downtown building to discuss the issue of homeless youth.

"It was very grassroots," she said, but added it started to formalize after the city created a youth homelessness plan and contacted her to ask if the group wanted to work with it on the plan.

From that came the Kamloops Youth Homelessness Wrap Force, a partnership of 17 agencies that work together to provide housing and other support youth might need. Each youth has a unique team designed to ensure they are connected with resources and services that will help them move forward in their lives.

McParland said A Way Home had 92 referrals in the past 12 months, but noted there isn't enough available housing for all of them. Sixteen were given housing in the past six months, five were reconnected with family and two received medical treatment for lifestyle issues.

"The need is great," McParland said.

A Way Home is looking for sponsorships for youth tickets to Canfield's workshop.

Those able to help can call 250-320-7837.