Karis is a not for profit that provides recovery-focused programming for women battling substance misuse. So, seeing our clients not only survive but thrive both physically and emotionally makes our hearts burst with pride. Anyone that has experienced addiction will understand the bravery it takes to seek help. Kay (name changed) is one such brave woman, and we thank her for sharing her story.
Kay’s commitment to a better life has had an exponential effect on those around her. Not only are her children thriving, but she is touching and aiding others through her teachings of meditation and spirituality group facilitator.
Testimonial by “Kay”
Date: March 17, 2021
I am so grateful to Karis Support Society for being a safe place to heal my trauma and create a new life for myself. When I went to Karis, I believed I had many psychological disorders and felt like a victim to the circumstances of my life. My self-worth was so low, and for the year prior to arriving at Karis, I was using drugs and drinking alcohol to cope with my reality. My experimentation with drugs and alcohol started at 12 years old and slowly progressed until I finally made a choice to put myself first and move to Karis.
The staff are so warm and understanding. They treated me with respect and taught me new ways to cope with my feelings. They taught me that feeling is part of life, and I am worthy of love from myself and others. They lifted me up and helped me to experience joy naturally for the first time since I was a child.
I am now married, have a second child, and my 12-year-old daughter is thriving. I teach meditation and facilitate spirituality groups and see the good in the Universe. I hike and ride my bike for joy. I no longer have any mental health issues or addictive behaviour. I have found balance and live a healthy, holistic lifestyle.
Karis allowed me to build a strong foundation for the life I have today. They truly have figured out the most graceful way to support women in recovery and with mental health issues.
Karis Support Society is a non-profit organization. We provide recovery-focused programming, counselling, and support to vulnerable, at-risk expectant women, women with babies or toddlers, women working towards reunification with their children, and single women with no dependents living in poverty, homelessness, or at-risk of homelessness.
Karis participants are women whose negative experiences have led to substance misuse or mental health challenges, negatively impacting their lives. They are now actively working on personal recovery.
Thank you to iA Financial Group and their philanthropic contest and all our amazing donors for voting for Karis … we were awarded an incredible $10,000 towards our recovery program for vulnerable and at-risk women in our community.
We stood alongside so many worthy causes across Canada and felt honoured to be awarded such a generous contribution to our cause.
Karis Support Society is honoured to be one of five community partners in the City of Kelowna to receive funding through Canada’s Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Partnering Strategy, managed by the Central Okanagan Foundation.
Our commitment to long-term care and support through our residential program is helping women struggling with substance misuse, homelessness and poverty, to rebuild their lives.
“This contribution will make a significant impact for the women in our program, offering recovery-based supports, skills and resources helping them move through our program and into stable community living,” said Deborah Klassen and Geri Pauls, Co-Executive Directors of Karis Support Society.
In November 2018 we were fortunate to meet Diana Reyers when she launched her first book in the collaborative Daring to Share Global™ storytelling series.This event resonated with a few of the women in our program as it was a dream of theirs to share their stories of struggle, addiction, trauma and recovery and to become published authors.
It turned out that this project fit so perfectly with our Dream Project that we invited Diana in to meet the class and it took off from there!!Diana worked tirelessly with the women and together they created Daring to Share: Trauma to Recovery – Special Edition 2019 which was launched in September 2019.
The six authors of this Karis Special Edition are women experiencing successful recovery and they worked with Diana for 8 months to create a masterpiece collection of stories with the degree of resilience that most of us wish we had.They are not stories of addiction, but rather, stories of moving from the trauma that led them to addiction and the courage they found to move past their adversities to full recovery.
Both Karis Support Society and the Daring to Share Global™ Movement believe in the power of Love, Grace and Inclusivity and, as a result, these writers were given the chance to, not only become published authors, but intentionally pay it forward and support others through the power of inspiration by sharing their stories.
Including the Karis book, Diana Reyers has published and self-funded 3 books in the Daring to Share series through Influence Publishing. Her intention and that of each collaborative authorshe supports is only to inspire.They want to inspire others to dig deep and find the courage to take a step forward towards leading a life that is purposeful and of service while working through the cathartic writing process and all the trade-offs that appear along the way.
In just one day we accomplished the incredible victory of achieving the Amazon Top 10 Bestseller List status in the categories of Inspiration, Spirituality and Personal Transformation.
We invite you to purchase Daring to Share: Trauma to Recovery -Special Edition 2019!! By doing so, you will be supporting Karis Support Society as partial proceeds of the sale of each book are donated to the Karis Dream Project. You can find this beautiful biographical collection at Daring to Share Global™ or online at Amazon worldwide and online and instore in select Indigo Books.Be prepared to be inspired!!
We are eternally grateful to Diana for the dedicated input, love and support she gave our women and walking through this journey with them.She quite literally made all these women’s dreams come true!
Praise for Our Karis Authors and Their Amazon Bestselling Book,
Daring to Share: Trauma to Recovery – Special Edition 2019
These stories of recovery take you from a place of awe and heartbreak to grit and resilience. They inspire you to take action in your life, no matter what is going on for you, to be a better person. Those that dared to share did so with grace, humour, and great self-reflection. As tears streamed down my face, I found myself lost in the stories as they moved from darkness to light. You can find real seeds of inspiration and by just reading one story, you could bloom to a greater perspective in your own life.
~ Tamara McLellan, Humanitarian | Wild Breath, Kelowna British Columbia
The readings of these stories bring out the real in women and their traumatized journeys through life. Their courage to manage life, to belong in a place where they finally feel safe and are able to heal and move towards a new life with new meaning is remarkable. They all believe in the hope of recovery from many injuries as this book of inspiring stories shares Trauma to Recovery.
~Angie Lohr , Founder, Hope Outreach
After reading Diana’s collected stories, I felt grateful and inspired.Grateful because it is apparent that I and many others are NOTalone in our separate journeys.Inspired because each of these women stepped up to share their stories in order to provide strength and to elevate others.They confirm that each of us walks a different path but our goals and finish-lines are the same as we all seek the love and connectionthat allows us to thrive emotionally.
~ Bill Welychka, Co-host & Co-Producer of The Morning Show
on Global News Kingston, Ontario
As a fellow author (volume 1), I was excited to read these stories and was drawn in and captivated by their beautiful storytelling. It is so telling that we all experience similar emotions and times of trauma, despair and feeling lost. The courage, commitment to doing the inner work, to love one’s self is daunting at times, yet so rewarding. These women did it with strength alongside the people – earth angels – who came into their lives to help them see their full potential. Their stories will impact and make a huge difference in the lives of others.
~ Donna Fitzgerald, Collaborative Author of Daring to Share, Volume 1
Being part of the journey of this book and meeting Diana has made a huge impact on my life, bothpersonally and professionally. Until working with Diana on this particular
Dream Project, I didn’t realize how muchauthenticity was actually missingin my life. The Daring to Sharemovement gave me insight into how powerful sharing one’s story andtrue self can be. Watching Diana walking the path of authenticity with our women inrecovery has been an inspiration.She is strong, stands in hertruth and yet has such great love and care for these women. She guidedthem to create the most amazing stories of truth they can be proud ofand I feel so privileged to have been a part of this whole movement.
Head of Fundraising, Karis Support Society
Project Coordinator of The Dream Project; Daring to Share
From the first in-class writing session Diana held with the women in our addictions recovery program she created a professional and transparent mentoring relationship with the women. This relationship has proven to be necessary as each writer entered their own personal and vulnerable journey of expression though writing. The creative experience that Diana has guided these women through has produced curiosity, purpose and hope resulting in a rich therapeutic journey. Anticipation is rising as we move closer to the release of this publication and the stories that will undoubtedly impact each reader.
~ Deborah Klassen, Co-Executive Director Karis Support Society
Praise for Our Karis Authors and Their Amazon Bestselling Book,
Daring to Share: Trauma to Recovery – Special Edition 2019
In September our women took part in a 5 week horse assisted therapy program with Lightbulb Coaching which was an incredible experience for all of them!
Working with horses is known to have a positive impact on mental health and wellbeing with an influence on anxiety, PTSD and depression.
We are grateful to the following sponsors who made this opportunity possible for the women in our recovery program … Dr Alex Wales of Wales of Wales Equine Vet Services, Kelowna Christian Reformed Church and Mission Rotary Club.
The haunting, sometimes agonizing, stories of trafficked girls and women play out on stage as three wildly incompatible individuals—a social activist nun, a neurotic writer, and an out-of-work film director— grapple with how to stage a production about global sex trafficking. The trio argue, voice their doubts, and struggle with their own darkness.
Written by Catherine Cunningham-Huston & directed by Catherine Cunningham-Huston and Kim Fournier.
THE WALK premiered at the 2011 Ottawa Fringe Festival, where it won “Best in Venue.” An expanded version of the play was produced, again to sell-out audiences, in 2012 at Ottawa’s Natalie Stern Theatre. The play was adapted for audio in both English and French for Public Safety Canada’s TruckSTOP Campaign and distributed in CD format to truckstops across Canada. Kelowna audiences had a sample of the show in 2016, when it was presented as a staged reading fundraiser for the Women’s Shelter.
The 2020 production will include new scenes to reflect the current trafficking of teens in Canada as well as the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women.
The show runs:
February 19 to 23, 2020 inclusive, Wednesday through Sunday and
February 26 to 29, 2020 inclusive Wednesday through Saturday
Karis Support Society will be the featured charity on Friday, February 21st! Please come on down and support us as a percentage from the sale of the tickets on this night will be donated to Karis.
Each performance will start at 7:30 pm, with the exception of February 23, which will be a matinee starting at 2:00 pm. The After-Show will begin immediately following each performance.
The Toolbox Theatre (home of Theatre Kelowna) located in the Rotary Centre for the Arts. The After-Show is located in the Alex Fong Gallery (the hallway/display area immediately outside the theatre doors) Ticket prices are very economical at $15 students and seniors and $20 adults.
The objective of mounting this production is to bring awareness to the issue of Human Trafficking and to highlight local and locally-based organizations which are addressing this abuse. A number of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals are targeted within the scope of this event: Goal #5 Gender Equality; #10 Reduced Inequalities; #16 Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions; #11 Sustainable Cities and Communities; #1 No Poverty; #3 Good Health and Well-being.
THE WALK is being produced through a partnership of with thanks to the City of Kelowna & Dept. of Canadian Heritage.
Stigma is a significant barrier to wellness and good health for people who use substances.
This year we give voice to #StigmaEndsWithMe in order to highlight the devastating stigma associated with substance use and addiction and its impact on the well-being of people touched by this health issue.
With your help we can end stigma! Breaking down barriers to recovery and wellness or good health is extremely important.
We’ve received a nomination in the category of Best Local Charity for #bestofkelowna 2019. We require at least five nominations in a given category to be eligible for the voting round. We would be honored if you would consider nominating us for Best Local Charity!
These awards highlight what we do and how we contribute to addiction and recovery services in our community.