Joy is a Child’s Birthright

Christina Mars Community Outreach

OCTOBER 27, 2022 ~ Families forced to leave their homes due to domestic violence are having a cheery Halloween season, thanks to contributions from the team at MMS HQ.

Women’s Habitat of Etobicoke, which provides shelter and performs community outreach for those affected by domestic violence, hosted director of Administration and Charitable Contributions, Kathleen Petersen, who brought dozens of costumes, pumpkins with carving kits, loot bags, trick-or-treat bags and baking supplies, along with snacks and party favours, for distribution to children currently calling the shelter’s facilities home. Something the MMS does annually, in addition to multiple other projects and support campaigns all year round.

Women’s Habitat provides women and children who are survivors of domestic violence with safe refuge, trauma-informed counselling, referral to other essential services and advocacy.  Executive Director Carla Neto said the shelter welcomed the gifts, the result of a relationship between the two organizations that has included gifts for other celebrations and holidays for more than seven years.

“One of the most important elements for the families we assist is personal empowerment,” Ms. Neto said. “These gifts help us to provide that, in a festive and positive manner.”

Ms. Neto particularly wanted to thank the Modern Mystery School’s directors, Dave and Franca Lanyon, for their ongoing generosity and helping to coordinate the Halloween distribution.

Lina Almanzan, the shelter’s Resource and Systems Manager tells MMS, “The kids are so happy and the moms were overwhelmed with your generosity.”

“We are honored to support the mothers, by supporting their children to have the experiences that she may not be able to provide during the challenging time they are enduring,” said the Modern Mystery School’s Kathleen Petersen. “For families in this situation, it is so important for children to have the same experience as their friends. Many might go to school with no costumes and not get to have fun in the same way as their classmates.”

For Halloween this year, the MMS provided:

  • Dozens of costumes
  • Party supplies for dozens of kids
  • Pumpkins for carving and decorating
  • Baking supplies
  • Loot bags
  • Trick or treat bags
  • Party snacks
  • Party treats
  • Party activities
  • Party decorations
  • Decorations for the families rooms at the shelter

Everything you would ever need to have a great Halloween.

As a mother fleeing domestic violence, you don’t want to watch your kids suffer any more, not being able to participate in the joys that every other child gets to experience.

It’s not enough to survive, we are meant to thrive.

Joy is a child’s birthright.
Joy brings Light.
Joy brings Hope.

Women’s Habitat of Etobicoke is a non-profit organization whose website is

They maintain a crisis line for families experiencing domestic violence:  (416) 252-5829 TTY (416)-252-0361