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THE Stella Co-MMITMENT

 

The Stella Collective is growing and we are becoming a big role model in our communities, to our team, and to all of our lovely couples and friends who choose the Stella Collective to be a part of their celebrations. 

Life is worthy of celebrating whether it is big or little moments- and most often we celebrate the most important day of our couples lives with them- we are in the business of making happy moments. But while we celebrate, we realize that there are big issues, tough moments, and hardships that our community faces. 

Before we dive in, what is the Stella commitment exactly? If you don’t already know a bit about our company’s initiatives, The Stella Commitment is our way of raising awareness and donating funds as a company. We donate to causes and organizations that we feel don’t necessarily get the attention they deserve and are not openly discussed when it comes to how they affect women. As a female-owned and operated company, we choose to highlight and focus on initiatives that are near and dear to our hearts- issues that affect women on a deep and personal level that can impact their success, happiness, and lifestyle. 

2024

This year will mark our third year of The Stella Commitment. In the past, we have focused on reproductive rights & sex education as well as domestic violence. How did we donate in the past? We gave our couples the opportunity to donate $100 towards a charity of our choice that focused on the issues above and in return would discount their final invoice for their wedding by $100. 

 

This year, we are changing gears. While changing our focus to a different issue that affects women, we are also changing the way we are going to donate. This year, we are focusing our efforts on experiences and stories of women and helping where we can- we will hear woman's stories, have conversations, and donate what we can to help. It's as simple as that.

 

How does this affect you, as a Stella Couple? It may not. But we wanted to shed some light on our efforts. Without further adieu, scroll for more information on our 2024 commitment! Your participation is appreciated more than you know. 

If you continue reading, you will read more on our community involvements and our 2022 and 2023 charity of choice. 

 

Sending love always, 

    the Stella Collective

WHAT ELSE DO WE HAVE GOING ON?

As we engage with our couples, in any given wedding season or year, we encourage everyone to participate in our commitment to the community in different ways. Whether it is donations to enter giveaways, charitable items to access walkthroughs, or matching no-show meals to shelters in the winter, our commitment far exceeds one chosen charity of cause. 

THE SANGUEN MOBILE COMMUNITY HEALTH VAN

The Stella Collective hosts an annual clothing and toiletries drive for The Sanguen Health Van of KW. The van has been in operation since 2015 and services in-need areas Tuesdays-Thursdays. They believe "community outreach is one of the most effective strategies to engage with people who live outside of the system, who are marginalized, chronically poor, homeless, or at risk of homelessness, and who use substances". In our annual efforts to support this organization, we collected 618 pieces of clothing for the van during our 2022 holiday clothing drive. In 2023, 548 pieces of clothing were collected for the van during our holiday clothing drive as well as 404 dental hygiene and toiletry products & 153 pairs of warm mittens and hats were donated from our tastings. 

 

HOT MEAL DONATIONS

Part of our efforts includes donations of hot meals to local youth shelters in KW and the surrounding area. Each wedding season, our team tallies up the number of "missed meals" of those who could not attend a wedding after a final payment was made and food was ordered. This number of meals is matched and reflected in hot meal donations over the holidays. 40 hot meals were donated, along with 9 gift baskets to youth centers in 2022, and 102 meals were donated in 2023.

2024
FACING FERTILITY

2024's commitment efforts will focus on fertility and the discussions not had often enough about the topic. Our industry is not shy when it comes to standards, pressures, and expectations put on a woman and having children. You know, first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in a baby carriage. If only it were that easy. Having babies is hard and we understand that; the emotions of it all make it challenging to share stories and get the support and help you may need. There are very few places to search for the financial and emotional support the fertility journey often requires. Chances are, you or someone you know are all too familiar with the difficult journey and we want to help! The Stella Collective will select one or more eligible nominees to be donated to. More details? 

 

Who is eligible for our donations: 

Anyone. The journey looks different to everyone and we want to hear your stories. Perhaps IVF is an expense that can’t be made a priority. Perhaps getting pregnant is not the issue, but bringing babies to full term is the heartbreaking reality. Maybe it's that not being ready to be a mother yet means spending your savings to freeze eggs as the only viable possibility. You could be requiring a surrogate due to reproductive constraints. Adoption could be the chosen or only option which requires many agency and legal fees. Or is it that a partner cannot give what is biologically required to become pregnant. If you know someone who is burdened with fertility issues- emotional, financial, biological- then they are eligible to be a recipient of our donation- no story is ineligible.

 

We do ask that the applicant is local to Waterloo Region or has been directly involved with the Stella Collective (been a past couple, currently booked couple, has used us for catering services). The nominated may be in need of a change or a push to continue to keep moving through your fertility journey. They may also be experiencing mental, emotional, or financial hardships with your fertility journey. They are someone deeply impacted by fertility. 

 

What are they eligible for and what is the process: 

Help. You let us know what is needed. We will give and do what we can. We have an allocated fund and we want to give it to those who need it most. All stories will be heard and our team will choose those who are truly in need the most. While we cannot donate to everyone, we hope that our open discussion encourages change in the opportunities women have to seek support; emotional and financial.

 

Simply nominate someone following the instructions below. We will hear their story and should they be chosen to receive our donation, we will be in touch. The recipients will have their stories heard on our website. Fertility struggles are an under-discussed topic yet so many people face it and we think it is important for each story to be shared. If there is any reason we should not publicly share if chosen, please tell us why in your application. 

 

Where will you announce the chosen nominees:

Via email and on our website and social! 

 

When will you select the chosen nominees: 

In May and in October! We will be donating twice a year! 

 

Why fertility? 

Because fertility is something that affects every person choosing to go through it. Even if someone does not want children, the societal pressure in which they are expected to have them is enormous- so now, imagine having trouble getting pregnant if you do want to. The notion of being unable can come with insurmountable grief. We want to be supportive and provide relief, even if it is just a dent. 

 

How can I make a nomination:

Please submit an email to us at community@thestellacolletive.ca ANYTIME with the subject line:

{Facing Fertility & Stella Conversations Nomination: Recipient Name}.

We will be reviewing these throughout the year. We will donate a couple times a year and will not let any stories go forgotten. You will know closer to May or October, when we finalize donations if your nominee was selected. 

Share your story, or your nominee’s story, withour team. Please include why you think the nominee is in need of the donation and what donation amount or effort would make a difference. We are women. We have been through fertility challenges and understand that not everyone is in need of the same thing. Tell us what you need and we just may be able to help. We hear you <3. No request is too big or too small. While we are a small business and can only do so much, we hope to make even a small dent in helping our fellow friends get there <3. 

 

You are sending your story to Trella, Stephanie, and Kristi - the faces behind the Stella Collective- and please know you have our whole team behind you. Your submission is confidential, your story is safe with us. If we select your story and would like to make a donation, we will share your story, the way you want to be heard. We thank you for your courage in sharing something so personal.

 

You have no idea the difference it can have on others who might be going through the same thing. 

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@jasminguest

what it's all about

As a women owned and operated company, who employs a vast majority of women, we have chosen the Women's Crisis Services of Waterloo Region (WCSWR) for our Stella Co-mmitment donations in 2023. This organization provides safe shelter and confidential outreach programs to women and children who are experiencing domestic violence.  They empower and support those in violent homes and spaces to "move beyond the violence" through their services. They currently operate two emergency shelters- one in Cambridge and one in Kitchener- that are flexible and always accessible.

This organization does not discriminate against who they help and support all women, transgender and gender-diverse individuals. 

We encourage you to visit their website and learn more about their efforts and change to our community. 

To learn: 

https://wcswr.org/

 

To donate: 

https://interland3.donorperfect.net/weblink/weblink.aspx?name=E351263QE&id=2

If you have read this far, thank you.

2023

what it's all about

Given the political climate in 2022, and the overturn of some laws in the world's most influential county, The Stella Collective chose The Shore Centre in Waterloo Region as their charity of choice for the Stella Co-mittment. This organization focuses on sexual education + workshops, offer sexual resources and medical services, outreach and support groups for women and children, empowering women through pregnancy and/or abortion, and openly discussed options with women as it pertains to sex and their bodies. They have many programs and services that can benefit from donation which is why we chose to support them in our efforts. Our 2022 season raised $2100 for The Shore Centre. 100% of donations were donated directly to the organization. 

We encourage you to visit their website and learn more about their efforts and change to our community. 

To learn: 

https://www.shorecentre.ca/?gclid=Cj0KCQiAnrOtBhDIARIsAFsSe52cxeaYGXjjBclQ_vg2C-E9PQbf5v35bM2EbYJYcd1cD6eWsgzKe5IaAoAdEALw_wcB

 

To donate: 

https://www.shorecentre.ca/donate-to-shore-centre/

If you have read this far, thank you.

2022

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