$27. Twenty-seven. Two-seven.

Kelly Ziegner, President & CEO United Way Elgin Middlesex

It’s a number that haunts me; when I write the date; when I glance at a clock; when I purchase something that costs $27.

That number was seared in my brain a few years ago, during a meeting with Megan Walker, retired Executive Director of the London Abused Women’s Centre. I had paid her a visit to learn more about the impact of the New Beginnings Loan Fund – a fund that provides interest-free loans of up to $500 to women escaping domestic violence.

She told story after story, of women who had accessed the fund to cover expenses such as moving costs, first and last month’s rent, furniture or personal items. As I scanned the list of past loans, one caught my eye; it was for $27.

Megan confirmed that yes, a woman had accessed the fund for a loan of $27 to cover the cost of cab fare to a local shelter. Think about that for a moment. Imagine having your finances controlled so closely by your abuser, that you can’t pull together a few dollars for fear of retribution. Imagine $27 being all that separates you from safety.

Sometimes people ask me “will my small donation really make a difference?”

$27 was all it took to help her escape.
$27 was all it took to help her start a new life.
$27 changed her life and maybe even saved it.

27. Twenty-seven. Two-seven.

Kelly Ziegner
President & CEO

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