Miik's Journey: Yorktown Shelter for Women

Posted on December 11 2013

This post is the first in a series, capturing milestones and documenting Miik's journey to help enlighten our customers of our vision and the steps we're taking to grow our business as a responsible organization.

One of the areas we want to highlight as part of this incredible adventure include the charitable causes that are important to us. 

Miik's Season of Giving is all year round

When Michael Gaughan and Donna Smith started Miik, they made the decision to build charitable donation into their business model. It was important, from the start, they build the business by giving back. Along the way, Miik has become avid supporters of organizations such as Women's Healthy Environmental Network's Cancer Prevention Challenge,   Youth Without Shelter, Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, Arthritis Society, The Gatehouse, among many others.

This post focuses on the Yorktown Shelter for Women, one that is near and dear to our hearts.

Yorktown Shelter for Women: A Safe Haven 

The Yorktown Shelter for Women is a safe home for women and their children who have been forced to flee from an abusive situation. Yorktown works to provide counselling and support and the help they need to secure a new home through Toronto's community housing.

Miik Cofounder, Donna Smith had a chance to interview Judy Huyer, a volunteer for the Shelter.

Last spring, Judy Huyer, Tracy Martin and Jane MacFarlane found themselves "in a position to give back". Upon discovering that after these women and their chiildren were placed in an apartment or townhouse, they had "little, if anything, to begin this new stage of their life..... that is when we come in..."

"Many of our friends and family are downsizing and trying to find a good home for their gently used household items. We collect and store these items in our own homes and then work to match these to the families that can use them."


They typically meet with the mother to determine the ages of her children, their interests, what they need, what they like, even their favourite colours. Then they come back to their basement and begin the process of staging the new home. 

In many cases, this involves painting the walls their favourite colours and decorating so everything matches and it feels like home. As Judy says, they're all pretty creative.


The objective is to give the family a comfortable bedroom in which to sleep, a stocked kitchen to cook a meal and bath supplies. It means creating a place they can feel proud to call home.

On moving day, these women and children are so appreciative that it motivates Jane, Judy and Tracy to continue this venture. To date, they have already helped 9 families. 

"We see ourselves matching those who are looking to give with those who are in need...We are at the right time in our lives to be able to do this and are enjoying it immensely," says Jane.

"We draw on our talents and do what we enjoy to help those in need. It's a very satisfying way to help provide hope for women and children beginning new lives."

For every dollar you spend at Miik.ca from now until Christmas, Miik will donate 10% of online sales to Yorktown Shelter for Women. Guaranteed, you are giving a gift of "Home". 
To find out more, please visit Yorktown Family Services.


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