A Remarkable Gift


By Heather McGregor, CEO YWCA Toronto

Today, I am honoured to announce that YWCA Toronto has received a groundbreaking $1 million matching gift for YWCA Toronto’s December 6 Fund.

Julia M. Ruby’s five proud daughters’ generous donation will keep their mother’s remarkable legacy alive by transforming the lives of the many women and children in our city who use the December 6 Fund to escape violent homes.
For over 60 years Julia volunteered with YWCA, holding many leadership positions including President of the Board of YWCA Canada, Chair of YWCA Toronto’s International Cooperation for Development Committee, and member of the YWCA World Council. She helped to develop many of the values that still guide the YWCA movement today.

The December 6 Fund is an innovative program that offers interest-free micro-loans that help women rebuild their lives after violence, covering part of their rent, moving costs, furniture, or utility deposits. When they get back on their feet, they repay the loans, freeing up the funds for another woman in need.

YWCA Toronto’s December 6 Fund was established to commemorate the 14 women murdered at École Polytechnique on December 6, 1989. The 14 women who lost their lives 25 years ago had no chance of escape. The Fund was set up so that no woman or child should have to live in violence because they cannot afford to leave an abusive relationship.

The Ruby family’s donation to the YWCA Toronto December 6 Fund shows their continuing leadership in building a city that is safe for women and girls, where the vulnerable are not abandoned. Read more about Julia’s story in our latest Turning Points Newsletter.

Your gift and the Ruby family match will double the number of women and children who can escape violence.

At the YWCA, women tell us that what helps them most is knowing that women who have faced similar challenges can break the cycle of violence.

I think of the December 6 Fund like a financial support group: when a woman reaches out, other women are there ready and willing to help.

I wish to express my deep thanks to the Ruby family for honouring their wonderful mother, Julia M. Ruby. In honouring her, you honour all women.