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City's vulnerable population invited to look good, feel good and live good at Mustard Seed's Women Empowerment Day

Edmonton Journal logo Edmonton Journal 2020-02-12 Dylan Short
a group of people posing for a photo: Volunteer organizers pose for a group photo at the Mustard Seed which hosted the Women's Empowerment Day to raise awareness about confidence and empowerment for women who struggle with self-esteem issues in Edmonton, February 12, 2020. The event offered complimentary mini cosmetic makeovers, hair cuts, massages, financial literacy and access to local business leaders and entrepreneurs. Ed Kaiser/Postmedia © Ed Kaiser Volunteer organizers pose for a group photo at the Mustard Seed which hosted the Women's Empowerment Day to raise awareness about confidence and empowerment for women who struggle with self-esteem issues in Edmonton, February 12, 2020. The event offered complimentary mini cosmetic makeovers, hair cuts, massages, financial literacy and access to local business leaders and entrepreneurs. Ed Kaiser/Postmedia

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, vulnerable women in Edmonton were invited to a community event to help them look good and feel good.

The Mustard Seed opened its doors Wednesday to about 70 women for the second annual Women’s Empowerment Day. The organization partnered with London Drugs to offer complimentary cosmetic makeovers, haircuts and massages and ATB to offer breakfast and lunch.

Sally Martin, a supervisor with the Mustard Seed’s Christian Care Centre, said it’s important for marginalized women to connect with others in the community ahead of Feb. 14.

“Some of the women in our community can be very isolated so this creates a sense of unity and belonging,” said Martin. “We hope that women can take some self-confidence with them and some healing.”

Melissa Fraser, 39, who is eight months sober and is receiving treatment for trauma and addiction, said she could see the attitudes of the women improve as they spent the morning getting pampered.

“It’s helping other women stay sober and it’s empowering them to stay sober and it empowers me to stay sober,” said Fraser.

Fraser said the community she has around her, thanks in part to the Mustard Seed, is helping her get through treatment. She has attended both empowerment days and said the event gives her a chance to encourage others, such as her mom, to work through trauma and substance abuse issues.

“I gotta help out number one, which is me. So if I help me, I can help other people and I love helping women, especially abused women,” said Fraser.

Martin said the annual event helps break down barriers and build community within Edmonton’s vulnerable female population.

“We understand that there’s a huge need for women’s empowerment,” said Martin. “For a long time it’s been associated with women in leadership and women of authority and I think it’s important that we reach out to everyone.”

In addition to the makeovers and meals, the event included seminars on proper nutrition and financial literacy, as well as cultural activities such as Indigenous drumming.

dshort@Postmedia.com

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