The Broom Tree Foundation has been working hard in the City of Lacombe to provide women and their families the support they need. Recently, their efforts have not only expanded but also been recognized in the community.
“Since we started in 2020, we have almost hit the number 300, which means that we've served in some capacity or another just about 300 women but that doesn't include their children or their partners. So that could be honestly, like directly and indirectly, probably upwards of 1,000 people,” said Tamara Noordhof, Program Director and Co-Founder of the Broom Tree Foundation.
The Broom Tree Foundation has built an office into the Gish Law Building and has a thriving café downtown Lacombe.
Thanks to a $12,000 grant from the Echo Lacombe Association and a donation from a private donor in Calgary, the organization has gained two new housing units. One suite is already occupied by a family in need and the other will be used for transitional housing.
“It'll be used to help that transition piece when someone needs immediate housing and they don't fit into the criteria of a women's shelter or addiction support. If we're able to, because we've had such an increase in seeing people in that capacity,” explained Noordhof.
Noordhof says occasionally the Broom Tree will partner with local hotels and camps but they are looking forward to having their own space to govern. The organization will have the units for a year and then re-evaluate the project.
The majority of women come to the Broom Tree Foundation through referrals but some come to the organization directly looking for help as well.
“We feed a lot of people like we have our food security initiative out of our cafe. We have our social enterprise café that on average I think we're donating up to $3,000 a month in food security... They have a token program where people can come in and eat in the cafe discreetly,” said Noordhof.
The Broom Tree café also sells ten table meals a week then donates another ten to families in need in the community.
The Foundations hard work is not going unnoticed. The Broom Tree Foundation has recently won the Lacombe and District Chamber of Commerce’s Non-Profit of the Year award after being nominated for the award for the last two years in a row.
“It's kind of cool to be nominated in the first place and then you are actually selected. Obviously we don't do it for the accolades. We do it because we have a desire and a heart to serve the community and so do our volunteers and our donors,” said Noordhof.
“We couldn't do without the community. Lacombe has always been extremely generous. Certainly, since the Broom Tree started, we've seen such a great support."
Noordhof says the organization hosts around 60 volunteers regularly.
As the season turn cooler, the Broom Tree Foundation is looking forward to their holiday program, The Noel Project. Local families can adopt families in need and support them by supplying them with gifts for the holiday season.
“Last year, we had a lot of people like actually sponsor families and then they went shopping for them and stuff like that. Of course, we don't give out any names or anything of our clients, but they might know that it's a family of four or five or whatever, and then they can shop for them,” explained Noordhof.
You can find more information on the Noel Project here.
As always, you can also support the Broom Tree Foundation by simply heading over to their café located on 4737 49B Avenue #3 downtown Lacombe for a coffee or a bite to eat.
For more information on the Broom Tree Foundation, click here.