WATCH:Shield of Athena gets keys to new donated van after old one stolen
A local organization helping victims of conjugal violence that had their van stolen last month got a new vehicle today donated by Avon Canada.
The Shield of Athena got the keys to their white 2017 Dodge Caravan at a cheery, often teary ceremony at the cosmetic company's Pointe Claire office.
The organization's van was stolen in late March. They use it transport the women and children they help as well as to collect donations.
Avon Canada employee Janine Huot got the ball rolling when she heard about the theft on CJAD.
"That really struck a chord for me," said Huot who had heard about the organization's work and had made donations to them in the past.
Huot said she contacted her colleague Nathalie Laurence, in charge of P.R. and events.
"Janine came in and says, 'Can we give them money?' And I said, 'Why give them money? They're just going to have to go find a van somewhere and buy it and get all the resources pulled.' So I said, 'No, let's get them a van,' " said Huot.
Six hours later, they had a deal with a car dealership and contacted the organization.
President Chris-Ann Nakis said getting a new van and free of charge is a big deal for a small non-profit like themselves.
"It's extremely important. This is our lifeline to the rest of the world. This is how we bring our clients - the women, the children - how we bring them to meetings, how we pick up food for them," said Nakis.
"It shows us a big corporation reacted to a grassroots community organization and, I can say, in the same way that a grassroots organization reacts when there is a crisis. They reacted immediately," said executive director Melpa Kamateros.
"I just want to say that the outpouring of empathy from the whole community was fabulous."